OTTAWA, ON (January 24, 2024) —Theresa Schafzahl broke a 2-2 tie with just 52 seconds remaining in the third period to lift Boston to a 3-2 win in Ottawa at The Arena at TD Place on Wednesday evening.
Schafzahl’s game-winner came off a rebound after teammate Alina Müller intercepted Ottawa’s breakout attempt and directed a shot towards the net, which ricocheted off Gigi Marvin on its way to the goal.
Ottawa battled back from a 2-0 first period deficit to tie the game at twos early in the third, but Schafzahl’s late goal officially ended the home team’s pursuit of a second straight win.
Müller got the game’s first goal, scored on the powerplay, at 8:38 of the first period to give Boston a 1-0 lead. The first-year pro scored from the high slot through a Hannah Brandt screen and past Ottawa goaltender Sandra Abstreiter just 14 seconds into the advantage after taking a feed from teammate Megan Keller.
The goal was the first of the season for Müller, the league’s third overall draft pick, who entered the game with five assists in four games played. Keller’s helper was her first of the season—entering tonight’s contest, she had two goals.
Boston forward Jamie Lee Rattray had a memorable homecoming. The Kanata-born forward scored her first-ever PWHL goal in Ottawa to help her team add to its lead and head into the first intermission up 2-0.
The 31-year-old scored on the rush at 2:23 of the period after slipping by the Ottawa defender to get to the net, where she tapped home a cross-crease pass from Sophie Shirley.
Abstreiter, who was making her first start of the season, left the game after Boston’s second goal with an apparent injury and was replaced by Emerance Maschmeyer.
After trailing 12-7 in shots after the first period, Ottawa bounced back in the second, outshooting Boston 16-8 in the frame.
Kristin Della Rovere finally got the home team on the board at 15:34 of the middle period after Boston goaltender Aerin Frankel made a series of high-quality saves to start the frame. Della Rovere quickly tapped a pass from Natalie Snodgrass into the back of the net, cutting Boston’s lead in half to 2-1.
Della Rovere’s goal was her first of the season—and first as a pro— and Snodgrass picked up her first assist on the marker.
At 3:46 of the third period, Lexie Adzija tied the game at 2-2 by scoring a rebound goal on the powerplay, assisted by captain Brianne Jenner and defender Amanda Boulier, much to the delight of the 5,208 fans in attendance.
The last ten minutes of the third period saw each team produce several dangerous scoring chances. Frankel and Maschmeyer kept the game tied for their respective teams, until Schafzahl’s late winner.
Frankel made 37 saves in the win. Maschmeyer made 18 saves in relief and Abstreiter stopped 10 of 12 shots before leaving the game in the first period.
Up next, Ottawa hits the road for just the second time this season to take on Montréal at Place Bell on January 27. That same afternoon, Boston returns home to the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell to host Minnesota for a second time.
Jamie Lee Rattray on Boston’s win, returning home to Ottawa: “The second period wasn’t our best, but good teams find a way to win. We just stuck together and made little plays here and there, and Theresa (Schafzahl) had a big goal in the end. She’s a heckuva player and she scored a big goal for us. This building is so awesome and has such a history to it in the city. I just love the fans here. They showed out and they were loud. It’s always fun coming home and always fun to win at home as well.”
Ottawa head coach Carla MacLeod on her team’s loss: “It wasn’t a great start. We know that. It’s been a couple of games in a row. We’ll keep working on that. The resiliency is incredible. We shifted the game pretty nicely for two of the three periods. We really showed what we can do. As we learn and we grow, it’s nice to learn that about our group. We’ll keep fostering that as we go forward.”
Ottawa forward Kristin Della Rovere, who scored her first goal after being a healthy scratch for a few games: “It’s not the most glorious part of sports, but being a younger player, it’s something I have to work towards. It’s just about coming in every day, putting the work in and waiting for the opportunity. It’s definitely exciting to hear your name called.”
- Attendance: 5,208 — The Arena at TD Place, Ottawa, ON.
- Three Stars: 1) Theresa Schafzahl 2) Lexie Adzija 3) Aerin Frankel
- Final shots in the game were 39-31 in favour of Ottawa — After Boston led the shot count 12-7 through one period, Ottawa outshot the road team 32-19 in the final two frames.
- Ottawa’s Emily Clark led all players with six shots on goal — Boston’s Sidney Morin was second with five.
- Aerin Frankel’s 37 saves is the second highest single game total this season.
- Boston has now won all three of its road games, all of which ended with 3-2 scores.
- Boston’s 4-1 loss against New York on January 20 is the team’s only game that didn’t finish 3-2.
- Boston’s 2-0 lead after the first period was the first time this season the team scored the game’s opening goal and led after one frame.
- Wednesday’s game was the first in which Ottawa didn’t score first – They had the first goal of the game through their first four contests.
- The loss is Ottawa’s first in regulation.
- Brianne Jenner now has points in back-to-back games after going pointless in her first three games of the season.
- Lexie Adzija now has a point in each of Ottawa’s first five games.
- Alina Müller’s goal and assist gives her six points in her last three games played.
- Each team was 1/1 on the powerplay — Ottawa’s PP goal was the first Boston had given up all season.
- Ottawa (2-0-2-1) and Boston (2-1-0-2) are now tied for third place in the PWHL standings with eight points apiece.
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in attendance and provided a pre-game address to Ottawa players and staff in the team’s dressing room before the game.
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