SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA (January 6, 2024) – Grace Zumwinkle scored the PWHL’s first hat trick and Maddie Rooney stopped all 24 shots she faced as Minnesota topped Montréal 3-0 in front of 13,316 fans, a new worldwide attendance record, at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.
Zumwinkle got the home crowd on their feet at 17:31 of the first period to put Minnesota up 1-0, the first home goal for the team, and eventual game-winner. The forward, who also scored the game-winning-goal in Minnesota’s season opener in Boston on January 3, notched two third period goals, including an empty-netter at 17:13, to seal the victory.
Minnesota is now the first team in the league to reach two wins and first team in PWHL history to win on home ice— home teams went 0-4 in the first four games of the season.
Rooney was strong early, as her team was outshot 9-7 and 12-5 in each of the first two periods. The native of Andover, Minnesota picked up her first PWHL win, and shutout, in her first start of the season. The shutout is the first in team history.
Montréal came out strong, outshooting Minnesota 5-0 to start the game, but couldn’t capitalize on early chances. The team was unable to convert on three second period powerplays in a row and are now 0-for-5 with the advantage to start the season.
Susanna Tapani got the primary assist on Zumwinkle’s first two goals and Kelly Pannek picked up two secondary assists in the game. Liz Schepers and Lee Stecklein each recorded one assist.
The world-record crowd of 13,316 came just four days after the PWHL set the previous record of 8,318 on January 2 in Ottawa.
The ceremonial face-off was performed by Diamond Miller, a 2023 first round draft pick of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, and Hutchinson, MN native Lindsay Whalen, a four-time WNBA champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
Next up, Montréal looks to get back into the win column when they visit New York at UBS arena on January 10. Minnesota will try to become the first team in the PWHL to three wins on January 10 when they host Toronto.
- While Montréal outshot Minnesota 9-7 in the first, 12-5 in the second, and 24-22 overall, they were outshot 10-3 in the third — The team didn’t record their first shot of the third frame until the 11:04 mark.
- Zumwinkle now leads the PWHL with 4 goals — Second is New York forward Alex Carpenter.
- In addition to the PWHL’s first-ever hat trick, Zumwinkle is the first player to record a multi-goal game.
- Montréal took all four of their penalties in the third period — Minnesota went 0/4 on the PP and are now 0/5 to start the season.
- Zumwinkle led all skaters with 4 shots on goal, followed by teammate Michela Cava, who recorded 3, along with four Montréal players — Maureen Murphy, Sarah Lefort, Tereza Vanišová, and Erin Ambrose.
- Tapani and Zumwinkle each finished with a game-best +3 rating.
- Three Stars: 1) Grace Zumwinkle , 2) Maddie Rooney, 3) Tereza Vanišová