BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT (January 5, 2024) – Natalie Spooner put an end to Toronto’s scoreless streak to start the season, and Emma Maltais scored the game-winning-goal on the league’s first-ever shorthanded marker to lead Toronto to a 3-2 victory over New York, who was playing in their home-opener at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, CT.
Spooner’s powerplay goal —and Toronto’s first-ever goal — came off a blocked Sarah Nurse shot just 38 seconds into the second period as the power forward from Scarborough, Ontario tied the game at 1-1.
New York forward Abby Roque gave her team an early 1-0 lead when she slid the puck past Toronto goaltender Kristen Campbell at 3:58 of the first period. Chloé Aurard notched her third assist of the season on the goal and now leads the league in the category.
After Spooner’s game-tying goal, Toronto took their first lead of the season off the stick of Alexa Vasko who secured a loose puck in the slot and buried it past New York goaltender Abby Levy.
Despite a strong second period by Toronto where they outshot New York 17-8, New York’s Alex Carpenter blasted her league-leading second goal of the season off a one-timer from the top of the circle over Campbell’s shoulder to tie the game 2-2, assisted by linemate Jessie Eldridge.
New York thought they gained the lead in the final frame, but the goal was disallowed after video review.
Toronto pulled ahead for good at 6:34 of the third period when forward Emma Maltais scored the league’s first-ever shorthanded goal, which gave her team the lead 3-2. The goal also freed her teammate Allie Munroe from the box due to the PWHL’s innovative penalty kill rule where a shorthanded goal ends the penalized team’s minor penalty.
Kristen Campbell came up big in the third period with a flurry of big saves to secure the first-ever PWHL win for Toronto. Campbell finished the game with 29 saves and New York goaltender Levy had 34 saves in the loss.
The tilt was the second of three games the two teams will play this month. The next battle will take place on January 26 at Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.
Up next, New York looks to get back in the win column when they host Montréal on January 10 at UBS Arena. The same night, Toronto visits Minnesota, a team who plays in their home opener against Montréal at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday afternoon.
- A home team has yet to win this season — Road teams are now 4-0.
- Natalie Spooner scores the first-ever goal for her hometown team 13 months after giving birth to her son Rory — Spooner is the first parent to record a point in the PWHL so far this season.
- Toronto’s first goal came on the team’s 40th shot of the season.
- New York goaltender Abby Levy made her first professional start in the game— Teammate Corinne Schroeder got the nod in game one in Toronto where she secured a shutout on route to a 4-0 win.
- Campbell started her second game in a row for Toronto.
- Along with her shorthanded goal, Emma Maltais recorded 5 shots, tied for first on her team with defender Jocelyne Larocque — New York’s Alex Carpenter led all players with 6 shots on goal and teammate Ella Shelton recorded 5.
- The game featured two special teams goals, one on the PP and one SH, the most of any game so far this season.
- After New York took the first three penalties of the game, Toronto got the next four — the final totals were 5-4 Toronto.
- Abby Roque wore an ‘A’ for New York in place of team captain Micah Zandee-Hart, who missed her second consecutive game due to injury.
- Three Stars of the Game: 1) Kristen Campbell, 2) Emma Maltais, 3) Alex Carpenter
- Former NHL stars Adam Graves (New York Rangers) and Arron Asham (New York Islanders) performed the ceremonial face-off.