Minnesota Secures Fourth Seed in the Inaugural PWHL Playoffs 

Natalie Spooner Finishes Season as Points Leader and Top Goal Scorer 


TORONTO, ON (May 5, 2024) – Toronto defeated Ottawa 5-2 at Mattamy Athletic Centre on Sunday night, officially eliminating PWHL Ottawa from playoff contention.


Ottawa entered the game needing a regulation win to claim the PWHL’s final playoff spot. With the result, Boston will enter the PWHL Playoffs as the third seed and Minnesota will sit in fourth.  


As the first-place team, Toronto will have 24 hours to select their playoff semifinal opponent between Boston and Minnesota and will announce its pick at 7:30 p.m. ET via the team’s social media. 


Natalie Spooner scored twice, including the game-winning-goal with just over five minutes remaining in the third period.  


Spooner finishes the season as the PWHL Points Leader with 27 points in 24 games. She also led the league in goals, recording her 19th and 20th on Sunday, officially ending the season as the 2024 PWHL Top Goal Scorer.   


The game was tied 2-2 heading into the third period, with Ottawa fighting back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits earlier in the contest.  


With Toronto on the powerplay late in the third period, Spooner put home a rebound created from a Sarah Nurse shot to give Toronto a 3-2 lead.  


Ottawa—then needing two goals to secure a regulation victory—pulled starting goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer with 5:06 remaining in the third.   


Toronto scored twice with Ottawa’s net empty. First, Victoria Bach got her second goal of the season to give Toronto a 4-2 lead at 16:51. Samantha Cogan then scored at 17:36 to make the game 5-2.  


Ottawa applied heavy pressure throughout the game, as they fired 43 shots on goal, including 17 in both the first and third period.  


Spooner opened the scoring just 1:05 into the game with her 19th goal of the season.  


Maschmeyer stretched out to make a difficult save on Hannah Miller, but the forward found her own rebound and fed Spooner, who was in front of the net. Spooner quickly roofed it to make the game 1-0.  


Ottawa’s Gabbie Hughes evened the game at 9:38 of the first with her ninth goal of the season, assisted by Hayley Scamurra and Emily Clark.  


Sarah Nurse made the game 2-1 just 1:10 later— her first goal on home ice. She finishes the season tied for second in the PWHL in both goals (11) and points (23).  


Ottawa tied the game once again, at 6:26 of the second frame, with Daryl Watts finishing off a passing play with captain Brianne Jenner, evening the score 2-2.  


Kristen Campbell had a season-high 41 saves, earning her league-leading 16th victory of the season. Maschmeyer made 27 saves in the loss.  


Ottawa finishes the season three points behind both Boston and Minnesota—they held the tiebreaker against both teams and would have secured the third seed with a regulation win. 


Up next, Toronto opens the PWHL Playoffs on Wednesday, May 8, at 7:00 p.m. ET at Coca-Cola Coliseum. Their best-of-five semifinal series will be against either Boston or Minnesota, confirmed following their Monday night selection. 


Postgame Quotes: 


Toronto forward Natalie Spooner on whether she thought 20 goals in 24 games was possible: “I don’t know – I don’t know if I even thought about it, but I mean we’ll just go and see how it goes. You know, be grateful to be here, to be able to play, but I think once we kind of got meshing and gelling, and getting those opportunities – I got to play with some pretty amazing players out there that that set me up and it just kind of kept rolling. I look back and the season has kind of felt like its flown by. We went on that win streak and that flew by— little bit of a lull in there, but then now it’s just gone by so fast back at it.” 


Toronto Head Coach Troy Ryan: “We talked all along about just getting better, getting better heading into the playoffs and I thought we did a good job. We focused on a few little things, some of the breakouts I think you could probably see a little difference in the way we broke out the puck, so yeah, just getting better every day.” 


Ottawa Head Coach Carla MacLeod: “There are lots of emotions. We wanted to get this game. You could see by how we played. We were pretty determined to punch our own ticket into the playoffs. It hurts in the coaches’ room. It hurts in the players’ room. It’s a pretty simple message in the end: we couldn’t be more proud of our group. Throughout this season there have been ups and downs. We have never wavered from making sure that we were a team and that we needed to take care of each other.” 


Ottawa forward Emily Clark: “There is so much to be positive about and grateful for. Obviously, our fan base is the first thing that comes to mind. Honestly, (the fans are) part of the reason why it stings so much. We want to do it for them as bad, or more, as we want to do it for us. We are super grateful for them, and we are going to work super hard in the off-season to come back and give them a better outcome next season. I also look at this group. I got to live my dream every single day with them. Teammates that were total strangers at the start of the season feel like sisters now. It will hurt for a bit but at the end of the day, there is just so much to be grateful for.” 




  •  Attendance: 2,620 –Sold out –Mattamy Athletic Centre, Toronto, ON. 
  • The game had the largest crowd of Toronto’s 11 home games at Mattamy Athletic Centre this season. 
  • Three Stars: 1) Natalie Spooner 2) Kristen Campbell 3) Brianne Jenner 
  • Shots ended 43-32 in favour of Ottawa – They had the lead in all three periods (17-14/9-7/17-11). 
  • Ottawa’s 43 shots are their second highest total of the season and the fifth highest leaguewide. 
  • Spooner and Hayley Scamurra led all players with seven shots each – Ottawa’s Gabbie Hughes finished second with six shots on goal.  
  • Toronto was 1/3 on the powerplay — Ottawa was 0/2. 
  • Toronto scored four powerplay goals in their final three games of the season. 
  • Savannah Harmon (OTT) led all players with 29:43 of ice time – Jocelyne Larocque led all Toronto skaters with 28:02 TOI. 
  • With two goals, Spooner extends her point streak to four games (5G, 2A) — She had five goals in her final three games and finishes the season with nine more than teammate Sarah Nurse and Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle (11) who finished second in the category.  
  • Spooner scores her fifth game-winning goal of the season and finishes first in the PWHL in game-winners — All five of Spooner’s game-winning-goals have come at home. 
  • Nurse extends her point streak to four games (6G, 2A) — She’s recorded two or more points in three of four games.  
  • Jenner finishes the season as Ottawa’s scoring leader with 20 points (9G, 11A) in 24 games played — Her 20 points are sixth-most across the PWHL. 
  • Emerance Maschmeyer logged 1332:07 TOI, the most among all PWHL goaltenders this season — Campbell finished second in the category with 1293:57 minutes played. 
  • Maschmeyer finishes the season with nine wins, second most among PWHL goaltenders. 
  • Toronto extends their winning streak to four games and their winning streak on home ice to nine games. 
  • Emma Maltais’ point streak ends at five games — She finished tied for first in rookie scoring with 19 points (4G, 15A).  
  • Maltais finished tied with Alex Carpenter (NY) for the overall lead in assists with 15. 
  • Renata Fast’s point streak ends at four games. 
  • Hannah Miller (2A) extends her point streak to three games (1G, 2A). 
  • Kaitlin Willoughby’s assist on the fifth goal was her first PWHL point. 
  • Toronto finishes the season with the league’s best home record at 8-1-0-3 for 26 points. 
  • Ottawa finishes with a road record of 4-0-3-5 for 15 points. 
  • Ottawa wins the season series against Toronto 9-6 in points, with victories in three of five games. 
  • Toronto (13-4-0-7) finishes the season in first place, with 47 points and a win percentage of 0.653. 
  • Ottawa (8-1-6-9) finishes the season with 32 points, three shy of earning a playoff position. 
  • Ottawa will select second overall in the 2024 PWHL Draft, following New York. 
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