LOWELL, MA (January 27, 2024) – Hilary Knight scored her first PWHL goal just 52 seconds into overtime, lifting Boston to a 4-3 win over Minnesota on Saturday.
The win is Boston’s first at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell in the team’s third game on home ice.
Knight began the play by regrouping in the neutral zone before entering Minnesota’s end with speed. She then used the Minnesota defender as a screen as she put a low wrist shot on net, which squeaked past goaltender Maddie Rooney.
Boston led by 2-0 and 3-1 scores in the game but Minnesota continued to battle, scoring with just 53 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
The first period saw four goals scored, including three by the home team. Kaleigh Fratkin got Boston on the board first by tipping Jessica DiGirolamo’s point shot at the 5:35 mark. The tally was Fratkin’s first of the season and DiGirolamo’s first point. Jamie Lee Rattray picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
Taylor Girard put away a rebound at the side of the net to give Boston a 2-0 lead at 6:05, just 30 seconds after Fratkin’s goal. Shiann Darkangelo and Nicole Kosta assisted on the goal, which is the first PWHL point for both players.
Minnesota briefly cut the lead in half at 13:07 after Brittyn Fleming scored her first of the season. Teammates Liz Schepers and Claire Butorac won a battle behind the net, and Schepers fed the puck in front to Fleming who scored far-side on Boston goaltender Emma Söderberg.
The home team answered quickly, as Alina Müller scored her second goal of the season at 14:27, restoring Boston’s two-goal lead. The forward got on the board with a quick wrist shot after cycling the puck with Loren Gabel, who fed the puck back to Müller in the slot.
Grace Zumwinkle’s sixth of the season cut Boston’s lead to 3-2 late in the second period. Lee Stecklein’s point shot created a rebound, which Zumwinkle then put home on her second attempt from the top of the crease.
Minnesota put the pressure on Söderberg in the third period, outshooting Boston 9-2 in the frame. It was captain Kendall Coyne Schofield who stunned the home crowd at 19:07 by scoring her second of the season, tying the game 3-3.
After Stecklein’s point shot went wide, the puck bounced behind the net, to the opposite side, and onto the stick of Coyne Schofield, who quickly buried the puck.
The overtime win is Boston’s second on the season. Megan Keller and Alina Müller collected the assists on Knight’s winner.
Up next, Minnesota plays in Toronto at Mattamy Athletic Centre on February 3, two days after the PWHL 3-on-3 Showcase takes place during NHL All-Star Thursday. The next afternoon, Boston continues their homestand when they welcome Montréal to the Tsongas Center for the first time.
Boston captain Hilary Knight – “Every time I step on the ice, you know, I’m known for being a goal scorer, so to go with a drought for a while, it doesn’t feel comfortable to me. I’m obviously trying to make an impact in other ways of the game and be a playmaker, play solid d-zone, and tonight I really had to make up for that (last minute) icing. That’s what got us into the overtime, so I’m glad we could get on the board and get out with the W on home ice. I love our team. We’ve got amazing chemistry. We haven’t found the rhythm collectively to put together a 60-minute game, but I really like the spurts that we had throughout this game. We’re getting closer to jelling the right way on the ice. We have awesome faces in the room, really powerful women, and it’s really exciting to come to work every single day, and work with them and compete and go out here and put Boston on the map.”
- Attendance: 4,059 – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, Lowell, MA
- Three Stars 1) Hilary Knight 2) Alina Müller 3) Grace Zumwinkle
- Minnesota outshot Boston 21-15 – Boston scored on their first two shots on net in the game.
- Boston’s 15 shots are the team’s lowest total of the season – Their two shots in the third period is tied for the league’s lowest single period total.
- Boston is undefeated in four games when being outshot by their opponent.
- Knight led all players with four shots on goal — Kendall Coyne Schofield was second with three.
- Boston’s three first period goals is tied for the most by any team this season – They only had two first period goals all season prior to this game.
- Boston was 0/2 on the powerplay – Minnesota was 0/3.
- Müller now leads the PWHL in scoring with nine points — She also leads the assist category with seven.
- Müller has the league’s longest active point streak at four games.
- Zumwinkle sits tied for second in the league with eight points, tied with New York’s Alex Carpenter — Her six goals tie her for first with Montréal’s Marie-Philip Poulin.
- Lee Stecklein is second in scoring amongst all defenders with six points — Keller is tied for third with four points.
- Boston has won both of its overtime games this season – Amanda Pelkey scored the winner on January 13 to beat Montréal.
- This was Emma Söderberg’s second win and Maddie Rooney’s second overtime loss of the season.
- Minnesota has collected at least one point in six of their seven games this season.
- This was Minnesota’s first road loss of the season.
- Boston is 92.3% on the penalty kill, the best mark in the PWHL.
- Boston (2-2-0-2) now sits in third place with ten points at the quarter-mark of their schedule —Minnesota (3-1-2-1) remains in second place with 13 points through seven games.
- Legendary American soccer player Sam Mewis, of Weymouth, MA performed the ceremonial puck drop.
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