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‘In the right headspace’: Kelowna’s Abby Cook and Boston ready for PWHL playoffs

Cook and her teammates take on Montreal in the first round, starting on Thursday
Kelowna’s Abby Cook and PWHL Boston begin the playoffs on Thursday, May 9 against Montreal. (Kelly Hagenson/PWHL)

The inaugural PWHL season has come to an end and Kelowna’s Abby Cook is ready for the playoffs.

Cook and her Boston team struggled in the month of March, going 2-5 but after the near month-long break in the schedule, they went 4-0-1-0 down the stretch to clinch a playoff birth. They finished the regular season third in the standings with a record of 8-4-3-9 (wins, overtime wins, overtime losses, losses).

The soon-to-be 26-year-old said everyone counted them out after struggling in March but the break came at the right time.

“I think it was good for us to sort of step away and get us back in the right headspace,” said Cook. “We came together as a group. Everything that needed to happen worked out in our favour and were really excited for playoffs.”

In her first season, Cook potted two goals in 18 games and also made history in the league.

On Sunday, Feb 11, the Kelowna native was involved in the first trade in PWHL history. Her and her teammate and roommate Susanna Tapani were traded from Minnesota to Boston.

“It was quite shocking actually,” said Cook. “I always knew a trade was possible but when the phone call came through, I was like ‘this is actually happening.’ That all happened really fast, I had 24 hours to get to Boston.”

A trade to Boston worked out for Cook as she played her university hockey at Boston University and still has a lot of friends in the area.

Kelowna’s Abby Cook and PWHL Boston begin the playoffs on Thursday, May 9 against Montreal. (Michelle Jay)

“It also put it into perspective for everyone that this is a professional league and this is a business, everyone was sort of on their toes after that for a while,” added Cook. “Maybe it’ll be a trivia question one day.”

Now Cook and her teammates are ready to take on Montreal in the first round of playoffs in a best-of-five series.

“Playoffs is different hockey, it’s a lot more physical, everyone is leaving it all out on the line,” said Cook. “They have a lot of players with skill and a lot of speed. We’re going to counter their speed with our physicality.”

In the PWHL, the team that finishes first overall gets to select who they want to play in the first round. In this inaugural season, Toronto finished first and selected to play against Minnesota instead of Boston.

“We were ready for whoever, we’ve had similar outcomes against both Toronto and Montreal,” added Cook.

Cook and PWHL Boston open the playoffs on Thursday, May 9. Game one is in Montreal with puck drop at 4 p.m. Pacific time.

READ MORE: ‘Can’t even describe it’: Kelowna’s Abby Cook making a name for herself in PWHL

Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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