GAME RECAP: ROONEY BACKSTOPS MINNESOTA TO SHUTOUT IN NEW YORK

ELMONT, NY (March 3, 2024) – Maddie Rooney made 29 saves to backstop Minnesota to a 2-0 shutout victory over New York on Sunday afternoon at UBS Arena.

The shutout is Rooney’s second of the season, tying her for the league-lead. The 29 saves are also a season-high for the 26-year-old who has won three of her six starts.

Minnesota’s win lifts them back into second place in the overall standings and snaps a season-high losing streak of three games. The loss is New York’s third straight which is a new season high for the team.

The teams skated a scoreless first period where Minnesota generated most of the chances but were stymied by New York netminder Corinne Schroeder. Midway through the frame, New York went a stretch of nearly 11 minutes between shots on goal, until Rooney was tested twice in close during the period’s final 30 seconds.

Kelly Pannek and Abby Boreen scored Minnesota’s goals in a second period span of 2:22 which counts as the team’s fastest two tallies of the season.

The opening strike at 1:33 of the middle frame developed when Denisa Křížová intercepted a New York breakout attempt. The Czech forward kept the puck in the offensive zone and found linemate Grace Zumwinkle at the left circle. Zumwinkle stickhandled around a sprawling New York defender and fed a backhanded cross-crease pass to Pannek. She roofed the puck over Schroeder’s outstretched glove for her second goal of the season.

Minnesota then capitalized on the powerplay for the first time in five games. Maggie Flaherty took a Sophie Jaques pass at the hashmarks and steered a shot towards a crowded net front. The puck appeared to ricochet off several bodies, including Boreen, and just barely trickled over the goal line at 3:55.

New York’s potent powerplay couldn’t deliver in an early third period advantage. The team was later denied on one of its best scoring chances with just over three and a half minutes remaining when Rooney stopped a strong Micah Zandee-Hart point shot, then turned away top scorer Alex Carpenter on her bid to bury the rebound.

With Schroeder on the bench, New York won several key offensive zone face-offs and controlled most of the play inside the final three minutes but couldn’t find the offense it needed to score.

Rooney’s performance lowers her goals-against-average to 1.65 which is second best in the league and raises her save percentage to .929.

Schroeder, who ranks third in goals-against-average and second in save percentage, stopped 35 shots.

Minnesota leads the season series two wins to one, with the first two meetings both requiring overtime. They now have 25 points on the season, two back of first place Montréal. New York remains tied for fifth place with 16 points.

Up next, Minnesota returns home for a Tuesday night tilt against Ottawa. Game time on March 5 is 8:00 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center. New York is back in action on Wednesday, March 6, at 7:00 p.m. ET when they host Montréal at Bridgeport’s Total Mortgage Arena.

 

Postgame Quotes:

Minnesota head coach Ken Klee on the significance of the victory: “Those are three huge points for us. We played well in every facet of the game today. We put pressure on New York, didn’t give them many good looks, and Maddie Rooney shut the door. It was a total team effort today.”

New York head coach Howie Draper on playing from behind: “We got down two goals in the second period, which brought us back to that (mindset) where we have to find and create something amazing here. We don’t have to create anything that’s amazing, we just have to do small things in a great way.”

 

Notes:

  • Attendance: 4,459 – UBS Arena, Elmont, NY.
  • Three Stars: 1) Maddie Rooney 2) Kelly Pannek 3) Maggie Flaherty
  • Shots were 37-29 in favor of Minnesota who outshot New York in all three periods – Minnesota led 11-5 in the first period, 15-14 in the second period, 11-10 in the third period.
  • This is Minnesota’s second win when outshooting its opponent – They also outshot New York 37-34 in a 2-1 overtime victory on Jan. 28.
  • New York’s Alex Carpenter and Jessie Eldridge led all players with seven shots on goal – Pannek and Kendall Coyne Schofield led Minnesota with five shots each.
  • Minnesota was 1/2 on the powerplay – New York was 0/2.
  • Minnesota’s powerplay goal ended a streak of 10 scoreless opportunities – Abby Boreen also scored the team’s last PPG on Feb. 14 against Ottawa.
  • Rooney’s shutout was the sixth in the PWHL this season – Her first since Jan. 6 with 24 saves in a 3-0 win over Montréal – Rooney is tied with Toronto’s Kristen Campbell with two shutouts.
  • Grace Zumwinkle’s assist brings her team-leading point total to 11 which is tied for fourth in the league’s scoring race – Pannek’s assist brings her season point total to 10.
  • Pannek and Zumwinkle both have two points in their last two games.
  • Sophie Jaques has three points in her last two games.
  • Carpenter’s league-high point streak ends at six games.
  • New York’s Ella Shelton led all skaters in time on ice with 26:36, followed by Abby Roque at 25:58 – Lee Stecklein led Minnesota at 24:44 followed by Jaques at 24:41.
  • Minnesota’s Taylor Heise played 17:54 in her return from LTIR after missing five straight games.
  • This was the first game of the PWHL season where all goals were scored in the second period.
  • Minnesota (6-2-3-4) reclaims second place in the standings with 25 points, two back of Montréal and one point ahead of Toronto.
  • New York (2-4-2-6) remains tied for fifth place with Ottawa with 16 points, two back of Boston.
  • Today’s attendance was New York’s highest in five home games.
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