Now that Year 1 is nearly complete, the Professional Women's Hockey League can take the next steps toward establishing itself as the best in the world. Like having actual team names.

What better way to build a brand then having a team name and unique logo to splash on merchandise? Branding brings revenue, after all. But the league, more concerned about building its infrastructure, didn't want to rush into team names in its first year.

PWHL Minnesota forward Taylor Heise can't wait for that step. She has a name and a logo already in mind. And a mascot wearing a crown.

"Oh, Purple Reign, I already put it out there," said Heise, who schemed up the idea with the help of teammate Grace Zumwinkle. "R-E-I-G-N. I'm also OK with whatever as long as it's not a concept.

"I just think women's sports tend to have concepts and I don't love that idea. I think you want to be able to see a tangible mascot and to have something to cheer for."

The league, and the Minnesota franchise, can crown its inaugural season a success. Even without fancy logos and mascots.

The league has a television deal in place, a collective bargaining contract and a 10-year investment commitment. Given the progress that has been made in women's sports over last decade, the league will be well-positioned for more growth. The record for attending women's pro hockey in North America has been broken several times this season, with a game in Montreal against Toronto tops at 21,105. The interest is there.

In the past decade, interest in women's hockey has grown, partially because of the continuing rivalry between the United States and Canada. Thanks to Caitlin Clark and other college stars, college basketball ratings exploded this past season, and Clark's entry into the WNBA should help that league. And women are breaking into men's professional sports as coaches, trainers and executives.

Women's sports are surging. So, yeah, 10 years from now the six-team league that Mark and Kimbra Walter own — they also are part owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chelsea FC — should be thriving. Expansion could come as soon as following the 2025-26 season, and neutral-site games in Detroit and Pittsburgh were played to promote the league while testing potential markets.

"You know, I don't think any of us are surprised by the success that this league has had in the first six months of it," said Minnesota forward Kendall Coyne Schofield, a driving force in getting the league established. "For me, like, where does it go from here? It only gets better."

Here's one way the league can get better: score more goals.

Heading into Saturday, 64 games had been played. Of those, 36 games were determined by one goal. And 15 games ended 3-2. Minnesota General Manager Natalie Darwitz said one reason is that goaltending across the league is strong. Minnesota goalies Maddie Rooney and Nicole Hensley are third and fourth in the league in goals-against average, respectively. Another is that power-play numbers are down across the league, Darwitz added. As more talent enters the league and players gain experience, she expects offense to pick up and more highlight-worthy goals will be scored.

On Saturday, Minnesota played host to Boston in its final regular-season home game. A announced crowd of 9,977 filled most of the lower bowl of Xcel Energy Center. Coyne Schofield went to center ice before the opening faceoff with a microphone.

"Thank you for your support in this inaugural season," she said to the crowd. "We couldn't have done it without you. You have proven that this is the state of hockey."

The teams then proceeded to play in the 37th one-goal game of the season, one in which former Hill-Murray and Gophers star Hannah Brandt scored off a feed from Team USA legend Hilary Knight with 2.7 seconds remaining to give Boston a dramatic 2-1 victory.

All Minnesota needed was to get to overtime to pick up the one point it needed to qualify for the playoffs. There are two games remaining in the regular season.

The team might not have a name, but it has that Minnesota pro sports trait of making things harder than it needs to be.