Ottawa’s second of back-to-back games features their first meeting with Boston
OTTAWA, ON (January 24, 2024) – The fourth week of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season continues on Wednesday night with two games, including the first meeting of the season between Boston and Ottawa at The Arena at TD Place, beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.
WHERE TO WATCH
Fans in Canada can watch the game live on TSN3 and TSN5 channels, TSN.ca, and the TSN app with Kenzie Lalonde calling play-by-play alongside analyst Cheryl Pounder. Fans in the United States can watch live on NESN, NESN+ or stream on the NESN 360 app by logging in with their TV provider or purchasing a direct subscription. The game will also stream on the league’s YouTube channel.
SETTING THE STAGE
It’s the first of five meetings between the teams this season with both Ottawa (2-0-2-0) and Boston (1-1-0-2) playing their fifth game of the campaign. The teams were scheduled to meet on January 8 in Boston, but the game was postponed due to inclement weather and rescheduled for February 19. Ottawa jumped into a tie for third place in the standings with eight points after earning their second regulation win over Toronto on Tuesday night by a 3-1 score. The victory counted as their first-ever win at The Arena at TD Place and the fourth straight game where they have picked up at least a point. The team previously lost overtime decisions at home to Montréal on January 2, and to Minnesota on January 17. Ottawa’s fourth home game of the season is also the only time on the schedule where they will play back-to-back games. Boston is tied for fifth in the standings with five points and are coming off a 4-1 loss to New York at home on Saturday. They have won both of their road games to date, including a 3-2 overtime triumph against Montréal on January 13, and a 3-2 regulation win in Toronto on January 20. Boston’s only other trip to Ottawa this season will be on April 24.
THEY MET IN UTICA
While this is their first regular-season encounter, Boston and Ottawa did meet in Utica, New York on the final day of the league’s pre-season evaluation camp. During the December 7 scrimmage, Boston skated to a 3-1 victory with a three-point performance by Loren Gabel that included two goals. Both of her tallies were assisted by Alina Müller, and provided some early signs of chemistry that has translated into the season. Müller leads the team with five assists, which includes primary helpers on all three of Gabel’s goals. Hannah Brandt also scored for Boston in the Utica scrimmage, with Ottawa’s lone goal scored by Savannah Harmon. Aerin Frankel stopped 31 shots opposite Rachel McQuigge who turned aside 25.
Tonight’s game marks the first PWHL homecoming for Boston alternate captain Jamie Lee Rattray. The 31-year-old hails from Kanata, Ontario and is a product of the Kanata Minor Hockey Association and the Ottawa Lady Senators program. Rattray was a decorated athlete at Clarkson University where she won a national championship and the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award in 2014. At the pro level, she was a CWHL MVP and Clarkson Cup champion with the Markham Thunder in 2018. She has also represented Canada and won medals at six IIHF Women’s World Championships and won gold at the 2022 Olympics. She was part of Canada’s National Women’s Team that competed in the Rivalry Series game held at TD Place on November 23, 2021. Boston also has three other Ontario-born players in its lineup tonight including Jessica Digirolamo (Mississauga), Loren Gabel (Kitchener), and Sophie Jaques (Toronto).
Tonight’s game will see several former NCAA teammates face-off, with five schools represented amongst that group. Boston goaltender Emma Söderberg and Ottawa forward Gabbie Hughes played their entire NCAA careers together at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, from 2018-23— Ashton Bell (OTT) became a Bulldog in 2017 where she remained with the duo until 2023. Bell also played the 2017-18 season at the college with teammate Kateřina Mrázová and Boston players Jess Healey and Sidney Morin. A pair of defenders who will be on opposing blue lines tonight played from 2018-20 at the Ohio State University—Jincy Roese (OTT) and Sophie Jaques (BOS). Ottawa’s Kristin Della Rovere and Becca Gilmore will reunite with former Harvard teammate Emma Buckles, who they played with from 2017-21. Emily Clark (OTT) spent her senior year at Wisconsin with then-freshman Sophie Shirley (BOS) in 2018-19. Shirley then welcomed Cami Kronish (BOS) and Daryl Watts (OTT) to the Badgers, where the three were teammates from 2019-22. Taylor Girard (BOS) played with Lexie Adzija (OTT) and Zoe Boyd (OTT) for the 2018-19 season at Quinnipiac University. That same year, then-freshman Savannah Harmon (OTT) played with Loren Gabel (BOS) at Clarkson University in the forward’s final year of NCAA hockey. Boston’s Aerin Frankel and Alina Müller, along with Ottawa’s Hayley Scamurra, will be celebrating today as Northeastern alumnae, following the Huskies 2-1 overtime victory over Boston University to win the 45th annual Women’s Beanpot Championship last night at TD Garden. Boston’s Sammy Davis and Kaleigh Fratkin are both BU grads.
NINE COUNTRIES IN LINEUP
Tonight’s game could see up to nine different countries represented on the ice which would be the most in any PWHL matchup this season. In addition to Canada and the United States, Ottawa has players from four international countries including Czechia’s Kateřina Mrázová and Aneta Tejralová, Hungary’s Fanni Garát-Gasparics, Germany’s Sandra Abstreiter, and Japan’s Akane Shiga. Boston has players representing three different international countries including Austria’s Theresa Schafzahl, Sweden’s Emma Söderberg, and Switzerland’s Alina Müller.
ABSTREITER GETS HER FIRST START
All eyes will be on one of the game’s international talents as Sandra Abstreiter makes her PWHL debut between-the-pipes for Ottawa. The 25-year-old German goaltender, selected in the 12th round of the draft, is hoping to build on her incredible success of recent years, including four outstanding NCAA seasons with the Providence College Friars. Last season, in 33 games, she maintained a 19-10-4 record, with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. Abstreiter also won three of her five games at the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
WHAT BOSTON’S SAYING
Head Coach Courtney Kessel on the team’s game plan…
“We need to be committed to team defense and play a consistent 60 minutes.”
Jamie Lee Rattray on the team’s outlook and her return home…
“I think we are super excited for this game against Ottawa. It’s an opportunity for us to bounce back after our game against New York. We are looking forward to continuing to build, we are getting better each day as a team, and we can’t wait to show it off! I’m so excited to be back home, pretty surreal feeling to be playing a pro game where it all started. It’s going to be a fun night with a ton of family and friends in the stands!”
Ottawa (+4) ranks second in goal differential and Boston (-2) ranks fifth…Ottawa (3.0) leads the league in goals-per-game average and Boston (2.25) ranks fifth…Ottawa (2.0) ranks second in fewest goals-against per game and Boston (2.75) ranks fifth…Ottawa has scored first in all four of its games this season…Boston is the only team without the game’s first goal…Ottawa leads the league with seven first period goals…Boston has not scored a first period goal all season…Boston (27.75) ranks fourth in shots-per-game and Ottawa (25.0) ranks sixth…Boston and Ottawa are tied for first with a league-low average of 25.0 shots allowed per game…Ottawa (4/15) is tied for the league-lead in powerplay efficiency at 26.7%…Boston (1/9) ranks third on the PP at 11.1%…Boston (9/9) has the league’s best penalty kill at 100% efficiency…Ottawa (10/11) ranks second on the PK 90.9%…Alina Müller was named PWHL Third Star of the week and leads Boston in scoring and is tied for the league-lead with five assists…Lexie Adzija and Ashton Bell are tied for the Ottawa lead in scoring with four points…Adzija is riding a four-game point-streak…Savannah Harmon (OTT) has a three-game streak…Adzija and Kateřina Mrázová are tied for the league-lead with a 40% shooting percentage…Adzija and Taylor Girard (BOS) are tied for the league-lead with one shorthanded goal…Five of Ottawa’s starting six defenders have two or more points this season including Bell (4), Harmon (3), Zoe Boyd (3), Amanda Boulier (2), Jincy Roese (2)…Megan Keller leads Boston defenders with two goals…Hilary Knight leads Boston with 17 shots on goal…Gabbie Hughes leads Ottawa with 11 shots…Jamie Lee Rattray (20/27) is Boston’s best on face-offs with a 74.1% efficiency…Müller has taken the most face-offs with 89…Brianne Jenner (22/49) is Ottawa’s best on draws at 44.9%…Hughes has taken the most with 58…Aerin Frankel (BOS) has made two starts with a goals-against-average of 2.25 and save percentage of .891…Before tonight, Ottawa was the only team to play just one of its goalies with Emerance Maschmeyer starting the first four of the season.
Clark | Hughes | Watts
Scamurra | Jenner | Adzija
Grant-Mentis | Mrázová | Shiga
Gasparics | Snodgrass | Della Rovere
Harmon | Boulier
Tejralová | Roese
Boyd | Bell
Scratches: Gilmore, Howran, McQuigge
Knight | Müller | Gabel
Rattray | Marvin | Shirley
Schafzahl | Brandt | Pelkey
Girard | Darkangelo | Wenczkowski
Keller | Morin
DiGirolamo | Jaques
Brown | Healey
Scratches: Kosta, Kronish
Referees: Brandy Dewar-Beecroft (Sault Saint-Marie, ON) and David Elford (Kitchener, ON).
Linespersons: Shawn Oliver (Ottawa, ON) and Justine Todd (Kawartha Lakes, ON).