PWHL Boston prepares to play in the inaugural Walter Cup Final, and it will be a star-studded affair.

That fact was known and was the selling point for the league. Boston will take on Minnesota in Game 1 at Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. on Sunday. Courtney Kessel’s side will have their hands full dealing with the likes of Kendall Coyne Schofield, Taylor Heise and Maddie Rooney, but they’ll match that star power with a team led by Hilary Knight.

Knight didn’t put up gaudy stats in the regular season with six goals and five assists for 11 points in 24 games. The Boston captain didn’t register a point in her team’s series sweep over Montréal, but she’s led by example throughout the season.

It’s why alternate captain Megan Keller in a Zoom conference Saturday called Knight an “X-factor” in the Walter Cup. Keller and Knight are longtime teammates for USA Hockey, and the Boston defender has seen Knight rise to the occasion in big moments.

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“It’s not a secret when the big games come, Hilary Knight is always going to be an X-factor,” Keller said. “I’ve been a part of a few (games) where she’s had a hat trick or game-winning goals. It’s it’s an honor to have her on our team, and I know that makes the rest of this group so confident to have her as our leader and know that she’s going to step up in these big games with (Jamie Lee) Rattray on our side.”

Knight won the Isobel Cup with the Boston Pride in the PHF, nine gold medals in the IIHF World Championships and a gold medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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Of course, Knight is one of the best players in the world for a reason, and it’s a fact Minnesota will be quite aware of. But after a muted semifinal series, she might remind fans of her status in the game with a memorable performance in the Walter Cup Final.

Featured image via /PWHL