MONTRÉAL, QC (January 20, 2024) – Lauriane Rougeau scored in the sixth round of the first-ever PWHL shootout to lift Toronto over Montréal 4-3 at Verdun Auditorium on Saturday night.
Rougeau, who hails from Beaconsfield, Québec, utilized a quick wrist shot to put the puck over Montréal goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens’ glove hand and into the top corner, which gave Toronto their second win of the season.
The score was tied up on three separate occasions throughout the game and neither team had more than a one-goal-lead at any time.
The final 90 seconds of the third period saw Toronto get the go-ahead goal from Natalie Spooner with 1:24 on the clock, followed by a Marie-Philip Poulin equalizer with just 18 seconds remaining to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
Spooner’s goal, which put Toronto ahead 3-2, was the team’s first lead of the game to that point. The goal, scored on a delayed Montréal penalty, was assisted by Sarah Nurse, who fed the puck to Spooner in the slot, and Maggie Connors, who drew the tentative penalty while carrying the puck.
With Desbiens on Montréal’s bench to give her team the extra attacker, Poulin carried the puck into Toronto’s zone, weaved her way to the net and slid the puck past Kristen Campbell to tie the game 3-3. Poulin, who also sniped in the second frame, now has a league-leading six goals on the season.
The 3-on-3 overtime saw Toronto kill off a 2-minute tripping penalty taken by captain Blayre Turnbull.
Campbell stopped 21 shots through regulation and overtime, then six of seven attempts in the shootout, including three of four against Poulin. Desbiens made 36 saves in the loss.
Sarah Bujold scored the game’s first goal at 11:21 in the first when she pounced on a rebound that was created from a Leah Lum shot off the rush. The goal was Bujold’s first PWHL tally and Lum’s first assist.
Jocelyne Larocque got Toronto on the board at 3:01 of the second period with her first of the season, when she jumped into the rush and took a feed from Rebecca Leslie from the right-side circle. The second overall draft pick quickly snapped the puck past Desbiens from just outside the crease to tie the game 1-1.
Montréal re-gained their lead when Poulin scored on a breakaway at 8:20 of the second period to make the game 2-1. The captain broke free after Lum created a neutral zone turnover, which led to Claire Dalton quickly tapping the puck onto Poulin’s stick who then snapped it home low-blocker on Campbell.
Connors scored her first goal of the season for Toronto at 2:32 of the third period to tie the game 2-2. Leslie recorded her fifth assist of the year on the goal, and Jesse Compher recorded her third helper.
Up next, Toronto looks to make it two wins in a row when they visit Ottawa at TD Place on Tuesday, January 23. The next night, on January 24, Montréal faces first-place Minnesota on the road at Xcel Energy Center.
Lauriane Rougeau on helping Toronto pick up their second win of the season: “It feels great to be able to look at our team and just win this one — especially in Montréal for me, it’s a big moment. Our team has been working so hard and we haven’t had the results that we’ve wanted, but it just feels good for us to get the W on the road.”
- Attendance: 3,232 – Verdun Auditorium, Montréal, QC.
- Three Stars: 1) Lauriane Rougeau 2) Marie-Philip Poulin 3) Ann-Renée Desbiens
- Final Shots were 39-24 for Toronto — They outshot Montréal in each period in regulation time (14-6/15-10/9-6/1-2).
- The 39 shots are a season-high for Toronto, and their 14 first period shots are the most by any team in the opening frame this season.
- Ann-Renée Desbiens’ 36 saves is her most in a single game this season.
- Marie-Philip Poulin is now second in PWHL scoring with 7 points — Alex Carpenter (NY) leads the league with 8 points.
- Rebecca Leslie’s 5 assists is tied for the league-lead.
- Natalie Spooner’s third goal of the season leads Toronto in that category.
- Claire Dalton’s second period assist was her first helper of the season — She scored Montréal’s first-ever goal on January 2.
- Spooner and Poulin led the game with 7 shots each — Sarah Nurse (TOR) was second with 6 shots on goal.
- Toronto was 0/1 on the powerplay — Montréal was 0/4.
- Toronto is 5th in the league on the PP (6.7%) and Montréal is 6th (5%).
- Montréal has yet to win at Verdun Auditorium — They also lost their home opener at the arena 3-2 in overtime to Boston on January 13.
- Montréal has collected points in four-straight games.
- Toronto’s two wins have both come on the road — Their first win of the season came on January 5 in New York.
- Toronto’s win snaps a three-game losing streak – The longest in the PWHL this season.
- Three of six Montréal games have gone to extra time, the most of any team in the PWHL.
- Laura Stacey and Tereza Vanišová also had shootout attempts for Montréal in addition to Poulin’s four.
- Hannah Miller scored once in her two shootout tries for Toronto in addition to Lauriane Rougeau. Connors, Nurse, and Spooner also had attempts.
- The PWHL’s shootout format gives each team five shots unless the outcome is determined earlier. Rules permit a player to take any number of shots and as often as the team chooses.
- Montréal maintains their hold on second place with 10 points on a record of 2-1-2-1, Toronto is tied for fourth with five points with a record of 1-1-0-4.
- League Standings | League Schedule | League Stats
Team Records display as follows:
Regulation Wins (RW) – OT/SO Wins (OT/SOW) – OT/SO Losses (OT/SOL) – Regulation Losses (RL)
Teams are awarded points as follows:
RW (3) – OT/SOW (2) – OT/SOL (1) – RL (0)