OTTAWA, ON (January 17, 2024) – Susanna Tapani scored her first two goals of the season, including the overtime winner, as Minnesota rallied from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in overtime on the road against Ottawa on Wednesday.
Tapani scored 1:57 into overtime, when the forward carried the puck into Ottawa’s zone and shot the puck from the outside hash marks— the puck ricocheted off an Ottawa player and flipped up-and-over Emerance Maschmeyer’s shoulder to end the game 3-2.
The three-time Olympian for Team Finland first got on the board at the 3:21 mark of the second period with a powerplay goal assisted by Taylor Heise and Lee Stecklein. Tapani took the cross-ice feed from Heise and wristed the puck far-side and into the back of the net, which brought Minnesota to within one goal.
The goal was Minnesota’s first on the powerplay this season after the team went 0/8 in their first five games played.
The crowd at TD Place in Ottawa was treated to a first period lead for the second time in two home games, as Ottawa’s first round draft pick Savannah Harmon was first on the board just 3:41 into the game. The goal was Harmon’s first of the year.
On the play, forward Emily Clark recorded the assist after she rushed the puck from her own zone and into the offensive zone, then fed the puck to Harmon who roofed the puck past Nicole Hensley.
Less than ten minutes later, Lexie Adzija scored a powerplay goal, assisted by Jincy Roese and Katerina Mrazova, at 10:55 to put Ottawa up 2-0. The goal—Adzija’s first of the season and first-ever professional mark— came after a Jincy Roese shot from the point created a rebound, which Adzija then tapped home.
After Tapani’s 2-1 goal earlier in the frame, Grace Zumwinkle evened the score at 2-2 with a shorthanded goal at 11:20 in the second period.
On the penalty kill, Zumwinkle cut to the net and roofed the puck from in tight past Maschmeyer, which also freed Tapani from the box. This is the third ‘jailbreak’ shorthanded goal in the PWHL this season and Zumwinkle’s league-leading fifth tally. Kelly Pannek got the lone assist on the goal, her third helper of the season.
After neither team could capitalize in the third period, the game required 3-on-3 overtime, the second OT game each team has played this season.
- Ottawa head coach Carla MacLeod:“There isn’t a game you’re gonna walk into and not be excited to play. Obviously, Minnesota has gotten off to a great start this year and they are the team that everyone is chasing. It doesn’t take much to get up for that experience. We thought our start was great and we thought the game was great. We know it would be. It was back and forth.”
- Ottawa forward Gabbie Hughes:“I think we need to continue to bring energy through all three periods and not let the highs and lows of the game determine how we play. We know it’s still early. We got a point out of the game. It’s something to be proud of.”
- Attendance: 5,609 – TD Place, Ottawa, ON
- Three Stars: 1) Susanna Tapani 2) Nicole Hensley 3) Savannah Harmon
- Final shots 26-21 for Ottawa — The team outshot Minnesota 8-5 in the second, 10-6 in the third, and tied 7-7 in the first — Minnesota had a 3-1 edge in shots in overtime.
- Ottawa’s Gabbie Hughes led all players with five shots — Taylor Heise was second with four.
- Ottawa was 1/5 on the powerplay — Minnesota was 1/3 with the advantage.
- Ottawa has taken the fewest penalties of any team in the PWHL — They’ve gone to the box seven times in three games played.
- This is the second overtime game in a row for Minnesota—the team fell 3-2 to New York at home on January 14, the team’s first loss of the season.
- Ottawa and Minnesota are the only two teams to record at least a point in all of their games this season.
- With the two points for an overtime win, Minnesota now sits three points ahead of Montréal for first place in the PWHL.
- Minnesota has a league-best plus-six goal differential — Ottawa is second at plus-two.
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