Ottawa hosts New York for the first of two February matchups
OTTAWA, ON (February 4, 2024) – The fifth week of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season wraps up with a pair of Sunday afternoon games, including New York facing Ottawa for the first time, beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET at The Arena at TD Place.
WHERE TO WATCH
Canadian viewers can tune-in live across the country on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, and Pacific channels and stream on Sportsnet+. In the United States, the game is available live on MSG and MSGHD and streaming on the league’s YouTube channel. Daniella Ponticelli has the play-by-play call alongside analyst Saroya Tinker.
SETTING THE STAGE
Today’s matchup features the only two teams across the PWHL who have yet to face-off. Ottawa (2-0-3-1) and New York (2-1-1-4) are tied for fifth place in the standings with nine points, with both looking to get back into the win column after two straight losses. Ottawa’s last victory was also their first on home ice, recording a 3-1 win over Toronto on Jan. 23. Since then, they lost to Boston by a 3-2 score at home on Jan. 24, and 2-1 to Montréal in overtime on the road on Jan. 27. Ottawa remains the only team in the PWHL without an overtime or shootout victory in three attempts and have lost three of their four games at TD Place so far this season. New York has also managed just one point in their last two games, suffering a 2-0 loss in Toronto on Jan. 26, and a 2-1 overtime loss to Minnesota at their Total Mortgage Arena home last Sunday. New York has won all three of its games on the road, most recently on Jan. 20 in Boston by a 4-1 score. Keep an eye on the powerplays in today’s game as Ottawa and New York rank one-two across the PWHL when given the advantage. This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season, with the next one slated for Feb. 28 back in Ottawa.
THEY MET IN UTICA
Even though they haven’t played yet during the regular season, there is history between New York and Ottawa. The teams competed as part of the league’s pre-season evaluation camp in Utica on Dec. 5, with New York winning 2-1 in a shootout. Lexie Adzija and Alex Carpenter both scored in regulation, Elizabeth Giguère and Gabbie Hughes traded goals in the shootout, and Chloé Aurard’s snipe in the fifth round of the shootout was the winner. Corinne Schroeder earned the win with 40 saves. Emerance Maschmeyer stopped 23 shots in defeat.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
New York has two of the league’s top-five scorers, including Alex Carpenter (3G 6A), who is tied for the league-lead with nine points in eight games. Next up is Ella Shelton (3G 5A) who leads all defenders with eight points, including five on the powerplay, which is most among all skaters. Jessie Eldridge is the team’s leading goal scorer with four. She’s been held off the scoresheet the last two games after stringing together a five-game point streak. Ottawa’s Lexie Adzija (3G 2A) had her five-game point streak come to an end in Montréal, but her five points continue to lead the team. Defenders Savannah Harmon (1G 3A) and Ashton Bell (4A) are the team’s next two top scorers with four points in six games. Captain Brianne Jenner is riding a three-game point streak.
ALL-STAR NIGHT FOR HARMON
Ottawa’s Savannah Harmon stole the show at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena in the Canadian Tire PWHL 3-on-3 Showcase during NHL All-Star Thursday. Her five-point performance, which included a natural hat trick, led Team King to a 5-3 victory over Team Kloss. The 28-year-old first round pick from Downers Grove, IL was one of seven players from today’s game to represent the PWHL on the NHL stage. New York’s Ella Shelton teamed up with Harmon on Team King and scored the game’s first goal – one month after she famously scored the first goal in PWHL history. New York’s Alex Carpenter scored a goal and an assist, and Ottawa’s Brianne Jenner scored a goal for Team Kloss.
Players who played their NCAA hockey together will line up opposite former teammates today, with ten schools represented amongst that group. Abigail Levy (NY) and Savannah Norcross (OTT) spent one year together at Boston College. Ella Shelton (NY) is facing her former Clarkson University defence partner, Savannah Harmon (OTT)— the two also played at the school with Élizabeth Giguère (NY). All of Jessie Eldridge (NY), Olivia Zafuto and Rosalie Demers played together at Colgate University. Ottawa captain Brianne Jenner and Jill Saulnier, who’s on New York’s injured reserve list, spent three seasons together at Cornell University. Goaltender Rachel McQuigge (OTT) called Claire Thompson (NY) a teammate at Princeton University from 2017-20. Corinne Schroeder (NY) played with a pair of Ottawa players during her single season at Quinnipiac University in 2021-22 – Lexie Adzija and Zoe Boyd. Paetyn Levis (NY) and Jincy Roese (OTT) spent 2018-20 together at The Ohio State University. Carley Olivier (NY) spent her lone season at the University of Connecticut with Natalie Snodgrass (OTT). Ottawa’s Gabbie Hughes and Ashton Bell suited up alongside Élizabeth Giguère (NY) in 2021-22 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Abby Roque (NY) and Emily Clark (OTT) were Wisconsin Badgers together from 2016-19— Daryl Watts (OTT) then played one season with Roque, in 2019-20.
The final three games of the 2023-24 Rivalry Series between Canada and the United States will be played on Feb. 7 in Saskatoon, SK, Feb. 9 in Regina, SK, and Feb. 11 in Saint Paul, MN. Ottawa has eight players spread across the rosters including Ashton Bell, Emily Clark, Brianne Jenner, and Emerance Maschmeyer on Team Canada, plus Becca Gilmore, Savannah Harmon, Gabbie Hughes, and Hayley Scamurra on Team USA. New York also has eight players competing including Canadians Jaime Bourbonnais, Jessie Eldridge, Corinne Schroeder, Ella Shelton, Micah Zandee-Hart, plus Americans Alex Carpenter, Abbey Levy, and Abby Roque.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“It’s an interesting couple of weeks in our league’s schedule. A lot of fun and interesting things happening with the NHL All-Star and the International Break coming up. We obviously know that we have a job to do. We have an exciting game to play. We’re really itching to compete again on Sunday. It will be the first time that we face New York so it will be a big game. It can set the tone for our games against them for the whole season. We’re excited to play.” – Emily Clark, Ottawa
“We are looking forward to facing off against New York. They are a great team, with good structure and have no doubt it will be another incredibly competitive game.” – Carla MacLeod, Ottawa
“The team knows we need to get a win on the road this weekend. We have a really tight knit group in our locker room, and I think having Micah (Zandee-Hart) back on the bench is helping a lot from a leadership standpoint to steer us in the right direction. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy when the full swing of the season started and we have battled some adversity as a group, but it’s all about how we respond. We have a long stretch ahead without games. We know it’s important to earn some points back here on the road and I think the group is ready for the challenge. I like our compete in practice, I like our communication with one another, and I’m excited to see how we respond here after the break and heading into another one with Rivalry Series coming up.” – Madison Packer, New York
“We’re looking forward to our matchup with Ottawa today. They play a high paced game on both sides of the puck, so we’ll need to be prepared to match that tempo step for step.” – Howie Draper, New York
Ottawa (+2) is tied for first in goal differential and New York (even) is tied for fourth…New York (+5) has the best goal differential in games on the road…Ottawa (2.50) is second in goals-per-game average and New York (2.25) ranks fifth…Ottawa (2.17) allow the second fewest goals-against per game and New York (2.25) allow the third fewest on average…Both New York and Ottawa have scored the first goal in four games…Ottawa is second in the league with seven first period goals, New York leads the league with eight third period goals…Ottawa (+28) is second in shot differential and New York (-48) ranks sixth…Ottawa (30.50) is second in shots-per-game and New York (28.0) ranks fourth…Ottawa (25.83) allow the second fewest shots-per-game on average and New York (34.0) allows the most…Ottawa (6/20) is first in powerplay efficiency at 30%…New York (5/24) ranks second with a 20.8% PP…New York (21/23) ranks third in penalty kill efficiency at 91.3%…Ottawa (12/14) ranks fifth on the PK at 85.7%…Alex Carpenter (NY) is tied for the league-lead with nine points…Ella Shelton (NY) leads all defenders with eight points…Shelton is tied for first with two power play goals along with Ottawa’s Lexie Adzija and Hayley Scamurra…Adzija is tied for the league-lead with one shorthanded goal…Adzija leads the league with a 42.9% shooting percentage…Abby Roque (NY) is tied for second with 10 penalty minutes…Jessie Eldridge (NY) is tied for the league-lead with 35 shots…Scamurra leads Ottawa with 20 shots on goal…Roque (76/125) leads her team with a 60.8% face-off efficiency…Carpenter (58.8%) has taken the most draws with 160…Brianne Jenner (49/91) leads Ottawa with a 53.8% face-off efficiency and has also taken the most draws…Emerance Maschmeyer (OTT) has two wins in six starts and ranks third with a goals-against-average of 1.89 and sixth with a save percentage of .923…Corinne Schroeder (NY) has three wins in five starts and ranks second with a 1.79 GAA and a .946 SV%…The PWHL schedule will pause after this weekend’s games for an IIHF International Break, with action resuming on Feb. 14.
Scamurra | Jenner | Adzija
Clark | Hughes | Watts
Gilmore | Mrázová | Snodgrass
Gasparics | Della Rovere | Shiga
Harmon | Bell
Tejralová | Boulier
Roese | Boyd
Maschmeyer | Abstreiter
Scratches: Buckles, Grant-Mentis, McQuigge
Roque | Carpenter | Levis
Aurard | Downie-Landry | Eldridge
Vespa | Woods | Giguère
Packer | Labelle | Norcross
Fällman | Shelton
Hobson | Bourbonnais
Zandee-Hart | Baker
Schroeder | Levy
Scratches: Gruschow, Post, Saulnier, Zafuto
Referees: Samantha Hiller (Chicago, IL) and Laura Schmidlein (Quincy, MA).
Linespersons: Melissa Brunn (Kelowna, BC) and Greg Offerman (Madison, WI).