UBS Arena hosts first-ever PWHL game played in New York
ELMONT, NY (January 10, 2024) – The second week of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season begins on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. ET when Montréal visits New York at UBS Arena.
WHERE TO WATCH
Fans in the United States can tune-in live on MSG Networks (MSG/MSGHD) and stream on the league’s YouTube channel with Jamie Hersch calling play-by-play alongside analyst Dave Starman. Canadian viewers can watch live on TSN+. French coverage can be seen live on RDS2 with host Andrée-Anne Barbeau, desk analyst Karell Émard, Claudine Douville on play-by-play, and Isabelle Leclaire providing color commentary.
SETTING THE STAGE
Both teams hit the ice for the third time this season and look to get back into the win column after suffering losses in their last games. New York (1-1-0) is currently tied for second place in the overall standings with three points after splitting their first two games with Toronto, including a 4-0 shutout victory on the road to launch the season, followed by a 3-2 loss at Total Mortgage Arena in their home opener on Friday. Montréal (1-1-0) is playing their third-straight road game to open the PWHL season. They are in fourth place with two points by virtue of their season-opening 3-2 overtime victory against Ottawa, then lost for the first time on Saturday in Minnesota by a 3-0 score.
PWHL DEBUTS IN NEW YORK
UBS Arena, located within historic Belmont Park, is the site of the first-ever PWHL game played in New York. The matchup against their counterpart Montréal mirrors the NHL’s Big Apple debut on December 15, 1925, when the first-year New York Americans played their first home game at Madison Square Garden against the defending Stanley Cup champion Montréal Canadiens. PWHL New York has four of its 12 home games scheduled at UBS Arena including February 21 against Montréal, March 3 against Minnesota, and March 25 against Boston. The venue is one of two NHL facilities the PWHL calls home, along with Minnesota’s Xcel Energy Centre. On Tuesday night, PWHL New York players and staff attended UBS Arena to watch the New York Islanders take on the Vancouver Canucks, and the Empire State Building lights shined white and teal in celebration of the team.
FIRST LOOK IN UTICA FAVORED NEW YORK
New York dominated the first encounter between the two teams on day one of the scrimmage schedule at the league’s pre-season evaluation camp in Utica, New York back on December 4, 2023. Jessie Eldridge scored two goals and one assist, both Alex Carpenter and Emma Woods found the back of the net, and Elizabeth Giguère recorded two assists in the 4-0 victory. Abigail Levy stopped all 24 shots she faced opposite Elaine Chuli who made 29 saves for Montréal.
CARPENTER AND SCHROEDER NAMED PWHL STARS
The PWHL named its inaugural ‘3 Stars of the Week’ on Monday and two New York talents were recognized for their opening week performances. Forward Alex Carpenter earned second star honors for scoring two goals and one assist in two games against Toronto and currently sits tied for second in PWHL points. Goaltender Corinne Schroeder stopped all 29 shots she faced to preserve the team’s 4-0 shutout to open the season. Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle was named first star with four goals.
NEW YORK IS HOME
Three players in the lineup for tonight’s game will be part of PWHL history in their home state. New York goaltender Abigail Levy, a 23-year-old Boston College graduate, hails from Congers, a town situated in the foothills of the Hudson Valley. New York defender Olivia Zafuto, a 26-year-old who spent last season with the PHF’s Boston Pride, is from Niagara Falls. On the visiting side, Montréal has four American players on its team including Buffalo native Maureen Murphy, a 24-year-old forward and recent graduate of Northeastern University.
There is no shortage of NCAA representation from New York programs up and down both rosters, including a total of 15 players from six different schools. Five players attended Cornell University including New York’s Jill Saulnier who was a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist in 2014. Four players – New York’s Jaime Bourbonnais and Micah Zandee-Hart, and Montréal’s Marlène Boissonnault and Kristin O’Neill – had their Big Red careers overlap in 2016-17. Four players attended Clarkson University including Montréal’s Erin Ambrose who won a national championship in 2014. New York’s Elizabeth Giguère (2018 NCAA champion) won the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2020, with teammate Ella Shelton (2017 and 2018 NCAA champion) and Montréal’s Gabrielle David finishing second and third in Golden Knights 2019-20 scoring. New York’s Olivia Zafuto and Patty Kazmaier finalist Jessie Eldridge were teammates at Colgate University. New York’s Kayla Vespa and Montréal’s Kennedy Marchment played together at St. Lawrence University. New York’s Taylor Baker attended Rochester IOT, and reserve player Alexa Gruschow went to RPI.
The 2024 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship is underway in Switzerland and is an event that helped the development of many PWHL players. The first event was hosted in Calgary, Alberta, in 2008 and New York’s Madison Packer helped the United States win gold over a Canadian team that featured Montréal’s Marie-Philip Poulin. New York’s Johanna Fällman also competed for Sweden in the inaugural tournament. Montréal’s Erin Ambrose (Canada) and New York’s Alex Carpenter (United States) have some of the most U18 experience and went head-to-head in three consecutive tournaments. Ambrose won gold, silver, gold, and Carpenter won silver, gold, silver from 2010-2012. Both players served as captains in 2012 with Ambrose named Best Defenseman and Carpenter Best Forward.
Montréal (0/5) and New York (0/6) are both looking for their first power play goals of the season…Both Montréal (9/10) and New York (6/7) have allowed one power play goal against…These are the two most penalized teams in the PWHL with Montréal at 20 PIM and New York at 16 PIM…New York’s Chloe Aurard is tied with Alex Carpenter for second in PWHL scoring with three points…New York’s Johanna Fällman and Paetyn Levis are tied for fourth with plus-minus ratings of plus-3…New York’s Jessie Eldridge and Elizabeth Giguère, and Montréal’s Leah Lum and Tereza Vanišová are all tied for second in the PWHL with 4 PIM…Eldridge (9), Carpenter (8), Ella Shelton (8) lead New York in shots…Laura Stacey (7) and Sarah Lefort (6) lead Montréal in shots… Montréal’s Marie-Philip Poulin leads the PWHL with 48 face-offs and has a win percentage of 64.6…Carpenter and Abby Roque lead New York with 21 face-off wins…Ann-Renée Desbiens started Montréal’s first two games and carries a 2.00 GAA and .918 SV%…New York’s Lindsey Post turns 30-years-old on Thursday.
Levis | Carpenter | Eldridge
Woods | Roque | Aurard
Saulnier | Downie-Landry | Giguere
Vespa | Labelle | Norcross
Shelton | Bourbonnais
Hobson | Fallman
Zafuto | Baker
Schroeder | Levy
Vanišová | Poulin | Murphy
Bujold | O’Neill | Dalton
Lefort | Dempsey | Marchment
Dubois | | David
Tabin | Ambrose
Lum | Lásková
Laganière | Daoust
Bizal | Keopple
Chuli | Desbiens