The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) has issued its first suspension, with Boston forward Taylor Wenczkowski receiving a one-game ban for a head hit on Ottawa defender Amanda Boulier during Wednesday’s game.
Emphasizing player safety as a top priority, PWHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations, Jayna Hefford, stated that while the league encourages a fast-paced and physical style of play, consistent enforcement of rules and prompt disciplinary action will be ensured.
“Player safety is a top priority for the PWHL,” PWHL senior vice president of hockey operations Jayna Hefford said in a statement. “We all recognize that our game is played at a fast pace and there is a high level of physicality. Overall, this style of play will continue to be encouraged in a safe way, within the rules of the game.
“Our Player Safety Committee, in regular consultation with the PWHLPA, is dedicated to ensuring that there is consistent enforcement of the rules and constant vigilance to deliver supplemental discipline when warranted.”
A PWHL suspension comes down after a league-initiated review.
Boston forward Taylor Wenczkowski has been suspended one game for this hit on Ottawa's Amanda Boulier on Wednesday.
Hit below from a clip circulated by the league. pic.twitter.com/cV5neD6Uvn
— Ben Steiner (@BenSteiner00) January 27, 2024
The incident occurred in the third period, with Boston leading 2-1, as Wenczkowski collided with Boulier in the neutral zone shortly after the defender played the puck. Although Wenczkowski received a minor penalty for roughing, Boston ultimately secured a 3-2 victory in Ottawa.
As a result of the suspension, the 26-year-old forward will miss Boston’s upcoming game against Minnesota on Saturday afternoon. Despite her zero points in four PWHL games, the league’s decision marks a significant moment as it navigates its inaugural season, which commenced on January 1.