Jillian Dempsey, women’s professional hockey’s biggest star, will board a jet at nearby Logan Airport bound for Toronto, site of this year’s Premier Hockey Federation All-Star Game.
Dempsey, the center for the Isobel Cup defending champion Boston Pride, will lead the United States team against the Canadian and World teams in the annual event that will be broadcast live Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
“This season’s All-Star event is a true showcase of our player pool depth that includes an influx of new talent from both sides of the border and overseas, national team players, recent U SPORTS and NCAA standouts, and veterans who have helped build the PHF from the very beginning,” said PHF Commissioner Reagan Carey. “The players who have been selected are all extremely deserving of this honor and highly motivated to represent their countries and this new PHF era on the All-Star stage, which should make for a competitive and entertaining weekend of hockey.”
Dempsey, a Grade 5 teacher at the Cummings School in Winthrop, is making her fifth appearance in the PHF All-Star game. The former Harvard standout has been among the PHF’s leading scorers and has become a nationally recognized ambassador for the league. Dempsey was honored Dec. 6 at The Tradition, a gala that celebrates Boston sports.
Dempsey is excited about this weekend’s showcase of the top professional hockey players in the world.
“It’s definitely a great feeling being named an All-Star in the league,” said Dempsey. “I’ve been fortunate to compete in a handful of these events, and I try to enjoy the moment and represent Boston well. It should be even more exciting this time since there is some home country pride, as well. I like that they’re doing a different format than the typical 5v5 game. Last year, the 3v3 with three teams competing was fun. I’m looking forward to being in Toronto with my teammates.”
Dempsey and the Boston Pride are being featured in five telecasts on NESN this season. With ESPN also putting the spotlight on the women’s pro hockey league as well, Dempsey’s No. 14 Pride ‘C’ jersey has become a popular item for both Pride fans and sports memorabilia enthusiasts.
“Being on NESN Is excellent for expanding our viewership and having increased accessibility for our games,” related Dempsey. “It’s obviously great to have streaming on ESPN+, but being on an actual television channel will make it much easier for people to tune in. The coverage from NESN will promote women’s hockey and hopefully get even more eyes on our team and league. We want this opportunity to create even more fans going forward, so I am thrilled.”
Dempsey has excelled in international competition before as a prep school superstar at Rivers School and a member of Team USA while skating for Harvard.
“I’ve played in Canada, Sweden, Finland, Germany, and France,” said Dempsey.
You can bet that Ms. Dempsey’s students and Butch Martucci’s undefeated Winthrop High girls hockey team will be watching Sunday’s game and rooting for the USA team.