PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE (PWHL) PREGAME PRIMER: MONTREAL AT NEW YORK

Fourth game between New York and Montréal and first at Total Mortgage Arena

BRIDGEPORT, CT (March 6, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) schedule continues this week with a pair of Wednesday night games, including New York and Montréal, at 7:00 p.m. ET at Total Mortgage Arena.

 

WHERE TO WATCH

Fans in the United States can watch the game live on MSGSNHD/Z1-Z2. The game will also be streamed on the Women’s Sports Network, in Canada on TSN+, and on the league’s YouTube channel. Jamie Hersch will have the play-by-play call alongside analyst David Starman. French language coverage is available on ICI TOU.TV with studio host Alexandre Coupal, Jean St-Onge calling play-by-play, and analyst Stéphanie Poirier.

 

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

In honor of Women’s History Month and Friday’s International Women’s Day, PWHL New York will give fans the opportunity to celebrate and recognize women in sport that inspire them. The main concourse at Total Mortgage Arena will have signs in the team’s turquoise color that read “A Woman In Sport That Inspires Me Is….” with a blank space and markers for fans to personalize and showcase in the crowd. Sunday’s game at UBS Arena featured hundreds of unique signs and role models across women’s sports.

 

SETTING THE STAGE

Two teams at opposite ends of the standings meet for the fourth time and second game in two weeks. Montréal (6-3-3-2) is tied for first place with Minnesota with 27 points, three ahead of Toronto, while New York (2-4-2-6) is positioned in sixth place with 16 points, one behind Ottawa and two back of Boston. Montréal enters the action with three regulation wins in their last four games. Their only blemish in that stretch was against New York when the home team picked up its first win at UBS Arena 3-2 in a shootout. Montréal is on a two-game streak since then, defeating Ottawa 6-3 on Feb. 24 and Boston 3-1 on Saturday. New York’s fortunes changed after beating Montréal as they’ve lost a season-high three straight games since. The slide includes a 2-1 shootout loss in Toronto on Feb. 23, a 4-2 loss in Ottawa on Feb. 28, and most recently a 2-0 loss to Minnesota at UBS Arena on Sunday. This is the team’s third game of the season at Total Mortgage Arena and first since a 2-1 overtime loss to Minnesota on Jan. 28. They are still looking for their first win in Bridgeport and second win on home ice. New York is currently last in the league with just three points at home. Montréal ranks fourth in the league in away games where they’ve earned 11 of a possible 21 points. The teams will play once more in Montréal on Apr. 19 at Verdun Auditorium.

 

THE SEASON SERIES SO FAR

Two regulation wins and a shootout loss give Montréal the lead over New York in the season series 7-2 in points. Montréal won 5-2 at UBS Arena on Jan. 10, followed by a 3-2 victory at Place Bell on Jan. 16, and most recently New York won 3-2 in a shootout at UBS Arena on Feb. 21. Alex Carpenter scored on the powerplay and shorthanded to build a 2-0 lead in the first period of that contest, then sealed the win with a shootout tally. Abby Roque had two assists and also scored in the shootout for New York. Montréal found its offense from Laura Stacey and Maureen Murphy, plus two assists from Tereza Vanišová. New York’s head-to-head point leaders include Carpenter with two goals and two assists, and the trio of Roque, Jessie Eldridge, and Ella Shelton all with three points. Murphy and Vanišová both have five points in games against New York, and Montréal captain Marie-Philip Poulin has four goals. Abbey Levy picked up her first PWHL win between-the-pipes in the last game with 21 saves, opposite Ann-Renée Desbiens who stopped 19. Corinne Schroeder stopped 30 of 34 in the first loss and will face Desbiens for the first time in the series. Desbiens won the second game against Levy with a 30—save performance. Elaine Chuli made 30 saves to win the first game for Montréal.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Today’s game features the league’s top two scorers in New York’s Alex Carpenter (8G 8A) who has 16 points, and Montréal’s Marie-Philip Poulin (7G 8A) with 15 points in 14 games. Carpenter is looking to reignite her offense after snapping a six-game point streak when New York was shutout against Minnesota on Sunday. Poulin is red hot with back-to-back three-point performances totalling one goal and five assists. New York’s Ella Shelton (4G 6A) is tied for the scoring lead among defenders with 10 points, Jessie Eldridge (4G 4A) and Abby Roque (2G 6A) have eight points each, and defender Jaime Bourbonnais (2G 5A) has climbed into fifth in team scoring with seven points. Those five players have combined for 22 of the team’s 23 points on the powerplay. For Montréal, Maureen Murphy (3G 7A) and Tereza Vanišová (2G 8A) are tied for second on the team with 10 points, followed by Laura Stacey (6G 2A) and defender Erin Ambrose (3G 5A) with eight points each. Two of the team’s recent heroes, Claire Dalton, who scored a hat trick against Ottawa, and Mélodie Daoust, who scored in her PWHL debut on Saturday, are both out of tonight’s lineup.

 

CARPENTER NAMED TO TEAM USA EVALUATION CAMP ROSTER

USA Hockey today announced the 39 athletes who have been invited to the 2024 U.S. Women’s National Team Evaluation Camp, which will take place March 27-30 at the Lake Placid Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. Thirteen PWHL players are listed including New York’s Alex Carpenter. The 2024 U.S. Women’s National Team will be named at the conclusion of camp and will compete at the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Utica, N.Y., April 3-14.

 

WELCOME BACK TO CONNECTICUT

Four Montréal players spent their NCAA careers at nearby Connecticut programs, including first-year pro Claire Dalton who graduated from Yale University in 2023. She spent five seasons as a Bulldog, including the 2022-23 campaign as captain. Goaltender Elaine Chuli (2012-16) and forward Leah Lum (2014-18) were both University of Connecticut Huskies, and defender Kati Tabin (2016-20) played for the Quinnipiac University Bobcats where she wore the ‘C’ as a senior. On the professional side, forward Kennedy Marchment was a star for the PHF’s Connecticut Whale for two seasons. She won league MVP honors during the 2021-22 campaign and set an all-time franchise record with 68 points in 44 games.

 

KEEPING AN EYE ON COLLEGE HOCKEY

Playoff tournaments continue this week in NCAA Division I women’s hockey conferences, with lots of PWHL players keeping an eye on their alma mater. Hockey East semifinals take place tonight with New Hampshire taking on Northeastern where Chloe Aurard (NY), Brooke Hobson (NY), and Maureen Murphy (MTL) all graduated. Boston College, where Alex Carpenter (NY), Abbey Levy (NY), and Savannah Norcross (NY) are all former Eagles, takes on Connecticut, where Carley Olivier (NY), Elaine Chuli (MTL) and Leah Lum (MTL) were Huskies. ECAC Hockey semifinals will take place on Friday and will feature No. 1 Colgate against No. 4 Cornell, and No. 2 Clarkson against No. 3 St. Lawrence. Raiders alumnae include Jessie Eldridge (NY) and Olivia Zafuto (NY), while former members of the Big Red include Jaime Bourbonnais (NY), Jill Saulnier (NY), Micah Zandee-Hart (NY), Marlène Boissonnault (MTL), and Kristin O’Neill (MTL). Golden Knights alumnae include Elizabeth Giguère (NY), Ella Shelton (NY), Erin Ambrose (MTL), and Gabrielle David (MTL). Kayla Vespa (NY) and Kennedy Marchment (MTL) are Saints alumnae. The WCHA semifinals on Friday feature No. 1 Ohio State against No. 4 Minnesota Duluth, and No. 2 Wisconsin against No. 3 Minnesota. Paetyn Levis (NY) and Madison Bizal (MTL) are former Buckeyes, Giguère (NY) and Catherine Daoust (MTL) are Bulldogs alumnae, Madison Packer (NY), Abby Roque (NY), and Ann-Renée Desbiens (MTL) are all former Badgers, and Norcross (NY) is a former Gopher.

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

“It’s time for us to turn the tables tonight. We had a good week of skating under our belts and the girls are ready to bring it every shift for a full 60 minutes.” – Jill Saulnier, New York

“I like the way our practice went yesterday. The players brought positive energy and worked hard. We’re due for a win at Total Mortgage Arena, so we’ll have to bring both of those qualities to ensure it happens.” – Howie Draper, New York

“We are physically ready to play three games in five nights. We have been preparing for this since the beginning of the season in the way we practice and train. That being said we will be approaching these games one at a time.” – Catherine Dubois, Montréal

“We are about to start an important series of games for which I feel we are ready for. It’s a great test for us and it will be important for us to start strong in the first period of this first game.” – Kori Cheverie, Montréal

 

QUICK HITS

Montréal (+5) is first in goal differential and New York (-2) is fourth…Montréal (2.50) is second in goals-per-game average and New York (2.14) ranks sixth…Montréal (2.14) allows the second fewest goals-per-game and New York (2.29) allows the third fewest on average…Montréal has scored first in nine of its 14 games and New York in six of its 14 games…Both teams have scored their most goals in the third period with 13…Montréal (-37) is fifth in shot differential and New York (-87) ranks sixth…New York (27.43) is fifth in shots-per-game average and Montréal (27.36) ranks sixth…Montréal (30.14) allows the second most shots-per-game and New York (33.57) allow the most shots on average…New York has only outshot its opponent once…These are the two most penalized teams in the league with New York (7.36) and Montréal (7.00) holding the two highest penalty minute averages per game…New York (8/42) is second in powerplay efficiency at 19.0%…Montréal (4/45) is fourth on the PP at 8.9%…New York (35/40) is third in penalty kill efficiency at 87.5%…Montréal (41/47) is fourth on the PK at 87.2%…Alex Carpenter (NY) leads the league in scoring with 16 points…Marie-Philip Poulin (MTL) is second in scoring with 15 points…Carpenter is second in the league with eight goals…Carpenter leads the league with seven power play points…Claire Dalton (MTL) leads the league with a 29.4% shooting percentage…Jade Downie-Landry (NY) and Abby Roque (NY) are in a three-way tie for the league-lead with seven minor penalties…Carpenter and Jessie Eldridge are tied for the New York lead with 55 shots on goal…Laura Stacey leads Montréal with 50 shots…Carpenter (150/246) leads New York in face-offs and with a 61.0% win rate…Sarah Bujold (63/107) leads Montréal with a 58.9% face-off percentage…Poulin (56.6%) leads the team with 318 draws…Corinne Schroeder (NY) has won five of her nine starts with a goals-against-average of 1.75 and save percentage of .949 that both rank second…Ann-Renée Desbiens (MTL) has won four of her nine starts with a 2.16 GAA and .923 SV%…Jill Saulnier (NY) will celebrate her 32nd birthday on Thursday.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

NEW YORK:

Aurard | Carpenter | Eldridge
Saulnier | Roque | Levis
Woods | Downie-Landry | Giguère
Vespa | Labelle | Packer
| | Norcross

Shelton | Baker
Hobson | Bourbonnais
Zafuto | Zandee-Hart

Schroeder | Levy

Scratches: Fällman, Post

 

MONTREAL:

Stacey | Poulin | David
Vanišová | O’Neill | Murphy
Dubois | Bujold | Bettez
Lefort | Dempsey |
| | Poznikoff

Keopple | Ambrose
Tabin | C. Daoust
Lum | Bizal
Laganière

Desbiens | Chuli

Scratches: Boissonnault, Dalton, M. Daoust, Lásková, Marchment

 

OFFICIALS:

Referees: Shauna Neary (Halifax, NS) and Harrison O’Pray (Hillgrade, NB).
Linespersons: Antoine Bujold-Roux (Ottawa, ON / Albany, NY) and Kirsten Welsh (Conway, PA).

Follow the league on all social media platforms @thepwhlofficial plus team accounts @pwhl_montreal and @pwhl_newyork.

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