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PWHL rivals Montreal and Toronto will meet at Bell Centre on April 20 | Globalnews.ca

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A Professional Women’s Hockey League game between rivals Montreal and Toronto is being moved to the Bell Centre.

The April 20 game was originally scheduled to be played April 21 at Verdun Auditorium, which seats 4,114 fans.

With a capacity of over 21,000 spectators, Bell Centre, which is home to the Montreal Canadiens, will be the sixth NHL arena to host a PWHL game in the league’s inaugural season.

Montreal and Toronto are tied for first place in the six-team PWHL with 30 points each. The Bell Centre game has been dubbed the “Duel at the Top.”


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“This game will reach well beyond the rivalry that always accompanies a game between pro hockey teams from Toronto and Montreal,” Jayna Hefford, PWHL senior vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement.

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“The ‘Duel at the Top’ will bring an intriguing dimension to this chapter — whether PWHL Montréal, which already has played before four of the top five crowds in our inaugural season, can make more women’s hockey history at the Bell Centre by taking the world attendance record away from PWHL Toronto.”

Montreal and Toronto previously met at Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, on Feb. 16 and set a women’s hockey attendance record with a sold-out crowd of 19,285.

Toronto won that game 3-0.

The attendance surpassed a crowd of 18,013 at the 2013 world championships in Ottawa and the previous PWHL mark of 13,316 people at Xcel Energy Center for Minnesota’s home opener on Jan. 6.

“Our fans have been asking us for this and we are happy to be able to give them what they want,” Montreal general manager Danièle Sauvageau said of the move to the Bell Centre. “It’s exciting to know that we will be playing in the largest hockey venue in North America, and I am certain that our supporters will be louder than ever.”

Montreal and Toronto will play a neutral-site game at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena, home of the NHL’s Penguins, on Sunday.

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