TORONTO, ON (February 3, 2024) – Natalie Spooner recorded two goals and one assist against Minnesota in a 4-1 win on Saturday afternoon at Mattamy Athletic Centre, as Toronto claimed its second consecutive victory.
Spooner’s two goals gives her seven on the season, which leads all PWHL players in the category. Saturday’s tilt was the second game in a row that Spooner scored twice, after providing both markers for Toronto in their 2-0 win against New York on January 26, also played at home.
The Scarborough, ON native opened the scoring at 19:06 of the first period with a powerplay goal, her second on the advantage this season. The play began with Victoria Bach— who was making her PWHL debut after signing a Standard Player Agreement on February 1— entering the zone and dropping the puck to linemate Rebecca Leslie, who then found Sarah Nurse on the far wing. Nurse fed the puck to Spooner, who put it on net before stuffing in her own rebound to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.
Then, at 11:24 of the third period, Spooner once again made an impact on the game, assisting on captain Blayre Turnbull’s first PWHL goal. Spooner entered the zone on the rush and fed the puck to Turnbull who was headed to the net—Turnbull then redirected the pass with her backhand, which sailed over Minnesota goaltender Nicole Hensley’s shoulder, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead.
Spooner capped off her impressive performance by scoring her second goal of the afternoon, just 16 seconds after Turnbull’s tally. After Minnesota failed to clear the puck, Toronto defender Jocelyne Larocque put a slapshot towards the net, which Spooner was able to redirect. The goal gave Toronto a 4-1 lead and Spooner her third point of the game.
Minnesota’s lone goal was scored by captain Kendall Coyne Schofield at 12:05 of the second frame, which tied the game 1-1. The goal, assisted by Kelly Pannek and Natalie Buchbinder, is Coyne Schofield’s third of the season.
Renata Fast recorded her first PWHL goal at 17:15 of the second period, an unassisted marker to restore Toronto’s lead at 2-1.
Toronto goaltender Kristen Campbell made 24 saves in the game. She’s now won her last three starts—two in regulation, with one each against New York and Minnesota, and one in a shootout against Montréal.
Hensley also made 24 saves in what was just her second loss of the season.
Up next, after the PWHL’s ten-day break for IIHF international play, Toronto hopes to pick up where they left off when they take on Boston at Tsongas Center in Lowell, MA on February 14 at 7 p.m. ET. That same evening, Minnesota returns home to the Xcel Energy Center to take on Ottawa at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET.
Toronto captain Blayre Turnbull on scoring her first goal of the season: “It felt great [to get my first goal]. I think going into the season you never really expect to wait 8-9 games to score your first goal, but for me it was just about focussing on the things that helped me score, and I think tonight was a pretty good example of just a simple net drive and Spooner made a great play there.”
Turnbull on her team’s recent play: “I think that game kind of felt like we were getting some bounces that we may not have gotten earlier in the season, but I think overall our last few games have been our best games. So I think we’re trying to keep our foot on the gas and improve. Improving every single game and keep rolling as we head into the rest of the season.”
Minnesota head coach Ken Klee on his team’s strong goaltending this season: “It’s nice as a coach. Either way we go, the team the team has confidence in them…that is really nice thing for us.”
- Attendance: 2,470 – Mattamy Athletic Centre, Toronto, ON
- Three Stars 1) Natalie Spooner 2) Renata Fast 3) Blayre Turnbull
- Toronto won the final shot tally 28-25 — The team outshot Minnesota in the first 11-10 and third 8-6 — Second period shots were tied 9-9.
- Spooner led all players with seven shots on goal — Teammates Turnbull, Larocque and Jesse Compher were second on the team with three shots each.
- Defender Lee Stecklein had the most shots for Minnesota, with four — Coyne Schofield was second in the category with three.
- Toronto was 1/3 on the powerplay – Minnesota was 0/3
- Spooner remains the only Toronto player to score on the powerplay— She’s tallied both goals her team has scored on the advantage this season.
- Spooner’s third period assist was her first helper of the year.
- With her second period goal, Coyne Schofield is now on a three-game point streak.
- Rebecca Leslie (TOR) and Kelly Pannek (MIN) both recorded an assist in the game, which gives them each six on the season, tying them for second in the PWHL with four other players.
- Natalie Buchbinder’s assist is her first PWHL point, and first professional point — The Minnesota defender graduated from Wisconsin in 2023.
- Toronto’s third period goals just 16 seconds apart become the fastest two goals scored this season — The previous fastest was 17 seconds, scored by Montréal on January 16.
- Toronto is now 2-0 in games that they’ve gone into the third period with the lead.
- The four goals scored in regulation is the most Toronto has scored in a game this year — Minnesota allowing four goals in regulation ties a season-high for the team.
- The ceremonial puck drop was performed by Maria Dennis and John Langel — Dennis is Chair of the NHL/NHLPA Female Hockey Advisory Committee and Langel is a lawyer who has worked for equality in women’s sports, including hockey and soccer.
- Toronto (3-1-0-5) now sits third in the PWHL standings with 11 points.
- Minnesota (3-2-2-2) has 15 points on the season and remains tied for first in the PWHL standings with Montréal.
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