Coyotes to host PHF women’s hockey Isobel Cup championship

The Premier Hockey Federation is taking its Isobel Cup championship game to the desert to close its eighth season.

The women’s pro league announced Thursday it is partnering with the Arizona Coyotes to host the final at the NHL team’s home rink, Mullett Arena, on March 26. The arena on the campus of Arizona State University has a seating capacity of about 4,600, and is serving as the Coyotes’ temporary home.

The title game, which will be broadcast on ESPN2 and Canada’s TSN, will be a double-header of hockey at Arizona, with the Coyotes hosting the Colorado Avalanche earlier in the day. The PHF will work with the Coyotes and the Arizona Kachinas Girls Hockey Association in hosting activities for local youth during the weekend.

This marks the second consecutive year in which the Isobel Cup will be played at a neutral site after the Boston Pride defended their title by beating the Connecticut Whale in a game played outside of Tampa Bay, Florida.

“As we continue building momentum for our sport in the new PHF era, it’s important to strengthen relationships in different markets and grow the game by showcasing professional women’s hockey to more fans throughout North America,” commissioner Reagan Carey said in a news release.

While the Isobel Cup final is a one-game showdown, the PHF’s semifinals feature a best-of-three format and will be played in Boston and Toronto from March 16-20.

The league-leading Pride and Toronto Six were chosen as hosts after they were the first to clinch playoff berths last month. The Whale and Minnesota Whitecaps have also clinched semifinal berths, with seeding to be determined as the league enters its final weekend of the regular season. ___ AP sports: and

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