Kitchener’s Loren Gabel registers six shots in PWHL debut

It was a dream come true moment for Kitchener’s Loren Gabel who made her PWHL debut Wednesday night.

The 26-year-old, who once dreamt about playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) returned to the ice as a professional hockey player with PWHL Boston as they hosted PWHL Minnesota.

She told CityNews 570 on Tuesday night how important it’s been to have the support of the public in the first few games in the inaugural PWHL season.

“It’s amazing, anytime we have any type of support, it’s truly great to see. I think the fans that’ll be at our game and the rest of the games this season, it’s great to see that they will be supporting us.”

Just over 4,000 people were in attendance Wednesday night at Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. Capacity at the venue is just under 6,500.

It also wasn’t an easy task for PWHL Boston as it was the first time that #1 overall pick in the inaugural PWHL Draft, Taylor Heise took to the ice as a professional hockey player. Heise recorded 200 points over five seasons at the University of Minnesota and set the record for games played with the program.

She also made an impact right away scoring PWHL Minnesota’s first goal in franchise history 3:58 into the first period.

PWHL Minnesota would hold the lead for the entire game.

PWHL Boston scored their first goal in franchise history in the second period when Theresa Schafzahl cut into PWHL Minnesota’s lead making it 2-1. Less than a minute later, Grace Zumwinkle scored to make it 3-1 for PWHL Minnesota.

PWHL Boston’s Megan Keller made it close towards the end of the third period getting her team within one. They couldn’t get another goal though as they ran into a strong performance from PWHL Minnesota’s Nicole Hensley. She made 33 saves. Hensley won gold for the USA in 2018 and silver in 2022.

Gabel registered six shots in her first PWHL game. She saw time on the powerplay and played on a line with captain Hilary Knight and Alina Muller.

PWHL Boston is back on the ice Monday, Jan. 8 when they take on PWHL Ottawa.

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