With Rice Park party planned, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter hints at parade to celebrate women’s Walter Cup hockey championship

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Capping its inaugural season, Minnesota’s professional women’s hockey team skated past Boston to take home the first-ever Walter Cup — the league equivalent of the Stanley Cup, which has proved elusive for the Wild for the past quarter-century. How best to mark the championship glory?

The women’s team — which came together so hurriedly the league has yet to christen a name — announced a victory celebration to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Rice Park, by the statue of Olympic coach Herb Brooks at 317 Washington St.

But could there also be a secondary event in the offing?

“Championship = Parade,” wrote St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter on Wednesday night on the platform currently known as X and previously known as Twitter, using his personal account. “Them’s the rules.”

The mayor, who did not disclose further details, was no less proud on his professional X account: “We are the State of Hockey; it’s only right that the inaugural Walter Cup resides here. Congratulations @PWHL_Minnesota on a championship finish of an extraordinary season! #WeWonTheCup.”

While mounting security costs have derailed some street festivities over the years, St. Paul hasn’t been shy about throwing together an impromptu parade when a special sporting occasion merits. When renowned St. Paul gymnast Sunisa Lee took home a gold medal in the women’s all-around event at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, the city greeted her with a parade down White Bear Avenue that drew some 20,000 to 25,000 well-wishers, many of them Hmong fans who had come from at least as far away as Arkansas to celebrate.

The inaugural Walter Cup championship of the Professional Women’s Hockey League skated to a finish Wednesday when Minnesota blanked out Boston with a 3-0 win at Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. By 9 p.m. Wednesday, the team was marketing pre-orders for championship t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hockey pucks and neck chains.

So when and where will the celebratory parade be held?

Wrote the mayor on social media Wednesday night: “Stay tuned.”

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