A women's hockey team walks down a hallway to head out onto the ice.

I took my daughters to watch a sold-out professional women’s hockey game. It was incredible

The other night, I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the sold-out PWHL women’s professional hockey game to watch Toronto vs. Montréal—the best-attended women’s hockey game in history. And my three hockey-playing daughters came with me.

We piled into the arena, immediately bought the expensive popcorn, pretzels, and drinks and made our way up to our seats. We were up in the very, very last row in the highest section. From up there, the players were tiny, but the ice was in full view, and we were happy to be there.

It’s safe to say we weren’t the only ones. The entire arena was filled with over 19,000 women, men, boys and, of course, girls.

There were girls in Toronto jerseys, girls wearing their own hockey jerseys, girls with signs, girls pounding on the glass, girls with bright smiles and faces full of hope.

When the lights went down at the start of the game, a wild roar filled the air. I turned in my seat and saw my own daughters, smiling so big their faces looked like they might crack, arms way up in the air. We all cheered. We all did the wave. We all hooted when Toronto scored. We witnessed great hockey and strong, athletic women playing a sport they love.

But what kept running through my mind were the mothers. The mothers of those women hockey players. The pride they must have felt. The happiness that must have coursed through their bodies when they saw their daughters achieving greatness and being role models for thousands of young girls.

Our family is a hockey family. My husband played it growing up, and when he got out of school, he joined a men’s league with my brother and our friends. When my daughters were learning to skate, we thought we might as well put them in hockey to see what they think.

And then the love affair began.

Even for me, who has never played, and who enjoys watching NHL games but wouldn’t say I’m a super fan, it was easy to fall in love with watching my daughters play the minute they got out on the ice.

There’s something incredible about seeing them gliding over ice, their pink cheeks lighting up their small faces. They play hard and they have fun. They make friends, their self-confidence grows, they’re active. This sport will hopefully help get them through the tough times during their teen years.

And to think that these women—Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Nurse, Natalie Spooner, Renata Fast, Victoria Bach, and all of the other incredible athletes—started off as girls like the ones in the arena tonight. Like my daughters.

I’m not suddenly hopeful that my daughters will go pro. But I am thrilled that it’s becoming a possibility. And I’m even more thrilled that they have role models to watch. The fact that young girls can now watch women play at the professional level is a fantastic thing for representation. The best talent in the world in women’s hockey is now on television, in arenas, and my daughters can watch and follow and cheer for them.

That night, I found myself getting a little emotional. As a woman, as a mother of daughters, I was moved by everything. I wasn’t thinking about the future, but I was in the present moment, watching history unfold around me.

So happy to be there.

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