PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE (PWHL) PREGAME PRIMER: OTTAWA AT MONTRÉAL

Fourth meeting of the season and second at Place Bell between Ottawa and Montréal

 

LAVAL, QC (March 10, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) schedule for this week wraps up with a pair of Sunday afternoon games, including Montréal against Ottawa, at 4:00 p.m. ET at Place Bell.

 

WHERE TO WATCH

 

Fans in the Canada can watch the game live on Sportsnet Ontario, East, and Pacific channels, and stream via Sportsnet+. In the United States, viewers can watch the game on the league’s YouTube channel. Daniella Ponticelli will have the play-by-play call alongside analyst Saroya Tinker. French language coverage is available on ICI TOU.TV with studio host Alexandre Coupal, Jean St-Onge calling play-by-play, analyst Stéphanie Poirier, and Diane Sauvé providing rinkside reports and interviews.

 

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

 

Today’s game at Place Bell will spotlight a number of women leaders in sport as part of Women’s History Month celebrations. A special ceremonial puck drop will recognize the contributions of local pioneers including journalist Claudine Douville, former tennis player Valérie Tétreault, Montréal Alliance President Annie Larouche, and Montréal Canadiens Vice President of Hockey Communications Chantal Machabée. PWHL Montréal will honor the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team for their RSEQ championship over the Montréal Carabins and wish both teams luck in the upcoming University Cup. Also in-game, fans and players will be featured on the videoboard sharing stories and shoutouts of women who inspire them, Marycee will be the game’s guest DJ, and comedian Mégan Brouillard will be interviewed.

 

SETTING THE STAGE

 

It’s the fourth meeting of the season between two Canadian rivals looking to get back in the win column. Montréal (7-3-3-3) has 30 points and is tied for first place with Toronto, and Ottawa (4-0-5-6) is in fifth place with 17 points – one behind Boston and one up on New York. Montréal is wrapping up their busiest stretch of the season by playing their third game in five days. They beat New York 4-3 at Bridgeport’s Total Mortgage Arena on Wednesday, then fell to Toronto 3-0 at Mattamy Athletic Centre on Friday. The loss snapped the team’s three-game winning streak. Ottawa was also in action this week and dropped a 4-3 shootout decision in Minnesota on Tuesday. It was the team’s second straight loss. They last won on Feb. 28 with a 4-2 victory over New York at TD Place. That win was a rebound from a 6-3 loss to Montréal at Verdun Auditorium on Feb. 24, the last time these two teams met. This will be the second time the teams will play each other at Place Bell, with Montréal winning 2-1 in overtime on Jan. 27. Montréal is the league’s best team on home ice where they’ve won five times and have collected 16 of a possible 21 points, including eight of nine points at Place Bell where they are unbeaten. Ottawa has won just twice on the road and have produced a league-low eight points in seven away games. The teams will meet one more time on Apr. 27 at TD Place.

 

THE SEASON SERIES SO FAR

 

Montréal has won the first three games against Ottawa in a series that launched the inaugural season for both teams. Montréal spoiled Ottawa’s home opener with a 3-2 overtime victory on Jan. 2 at The Arena at TD Place, then followed it up with a 2-1 overtime win at Place Bell on Jan. 27. After the two overtime decisions, Montréal’s offense exploded in a commanding 6-3 victory on Feb. 24 at Verdun Auditorium. Claire Dalton was the star of the show with a hat trick performance, captain Marie-Philip Poulin had three assists, and Laura Stacey had two helpers. Montréal led 2-1 after 40 minutes and scored four times in the final frame, which is the most by any team in any period this season. Ann-Sophie Bettez scored one of Montréal’s goals and has two tallies and three points against Ottawa this season. She was the overtime hero in the first meeting, while Maureen Murphy scored the overtime goal in the rematch and added another tally in the last encounter. Stacey also has two goals in the season series, as do Ottawa’s Hayley Scamurra and Kateřina Mrázová. All three games have featured Ann-Renée Desbiens and Emerance Maschmeyer between-the-pipes. Desbiens has a .942 save percentage head-to-head, bolstered by a season-high 43 saves in the second game. Ottawa has outshot Montréal in all three games.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

 

Montréal’s secondary scoring will be put to the test today with Marie-Philip Poulin out of the lineup. The captain is tied for first in league scoring with 17 points and had produced eight points in her last four games. Maureen Murphy (3G, 8A) is second on the team with 11 points, followed by Tereza Vanišová (2G, 8A) with 10 points. Laura Stacey (6G, 3A) has nine points, and Erin Ambrose (3G, 5A) leads the blue line attack with eight points. Mélodie Daoust, who scored in her PWHL debut last Saturday, will play her third and final game of her current 10-day contract. Kristin O’Neill will play up the middle on today’s top line. Ottawa’s Kateřina Mrázová is one of the league’s hottest players with a current five-game point streak that has launched her into the team’s scoring lead with 10 points, including six goals and four assists. Five players share a tie for second in team scoring with eight points each, including Gabbie Hughes (6G, 2A), Lexie Adzija (5G, 3A), Daryl Watts (3G, 5A), Emily Clark (2G, 6A), and Brianne Jenner (2G, 6A). Mrázová scored twice in Minnesota on Tuesday, with both goals set up by Watts and Jenner.

 

GETTING READY FOR WORLDS

 

Hockey Canada announced on Thursday the 23 players named to Canada’s National Women’s Team who will look to reclaim the gold medal at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship, April 3-14 in Utica, New York. Nineteen PWHL players are on the roster including Montréal’s Erin Ambrose, Ann-Renée Desbiens, Kristen O’Neill, Marie-Philip Poulin, and Laura Stacey, and Ottawa’s Ashton Bell, Emily Clark, Brianne Jenner, and Emerance Maschmeyer. USA Hockey announced on Wednesday 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, NY. Thirteen PWHL players are listed, including Ottawa’s Savannah Harmon, Gabbie Hughes, and Hayley Scamurra. The 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship will be played in Utica, NY, Apr. 3-14.

 

DEBUT FOR DAVIS

 

Today will be the PWHL debut for Ottawa forward Sammy Davis who was signed to a Standard Player Agreement earlier this week. The 26-year-old from Pembroke, MA, spent the first half of the season as a member of Boston’s Reserve Player list. Davis is a graduate of Boston University and represents the Terriers in the Beanpot Hall of Fame. She turned pro as the first overall pick in the 2020 PHF Draft and played three seasons with the Boston Pride where she won two Isobel Cup titles. Last season she scored six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 24 games.

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

 

“I love playing with those two (Kateřina Mrázová and Daryl Watts). Their vision is just awesome. Obviously, Watts is a special player with the way she moves out there. Mrázová is probably one of the smartest players I’ve played with. We complement each other really well. It is really fun in hockey when you find that natural chemistry. All three of us really enjoy playing together. It’s just a matter to keep getting that offensive production.” – Brianne Jenner, Ottawa

 

“I think she (Sandra Abstreiter) played a great game for us (on Tuesday). She made some great saves and boosted our group a lot. We have a special group. Our goalies push each other every day at practice. We’re lucky that we have that depth.” – Haley Irwin, Ottawa

 

QUICK HITS

 

Montréal (+3) is tied for second in goal differential and Ottawa (-6) is tied for fifth…Ottawa (2.47) is second in goals-per-game and Montréal (2.44) ranks third…Montréal (2.25) allows the third fewest goals-per-game on average and Ottawa (2.87) allows the most…Montréal has scored first in 10 of their 16 games and Ottawa in eight of their 15…Ottawa has scored their most goals in the first period with 15 and Montréal has scored their most in the third period with 14 goals…Montréal has played 10 one-goal games and Ottawa has played in eight but have not won any of them…Ottawa (+40) is third in shot differential and Montréal (-44) ranks fifth…Ottawa (30.13) is second in shots-per-game average and Montréal (27.31) ranks sixth…Ottawa (27.47) allows the third fewest shots-per-game on average and Montréal (30.19) allows the second most…Montréal has outshot its opponents in eight of 16 games and Ottawa has outshot its opponents in 11 of 15 games…Montréal (7.38) averages the second most penalty minutes per game and Ottawa (4.80) averages the fewest…Ottawa (11/42) is first in powerplay efficiency at 26.2%…Montréal (4/53) is fifth on the PP at 7.5%…Montréal (45/54) is fourth in penalty kill efficiency at 83.3%…Ottawa (27/34) is fifth on the PK at 79.4%…Marie-Philip Poulin (MTL) is tied for the scoring lead with 17 points…Tereza Vanišová (MTL) leads the league with eight minor penalties…Claire Dalton (MTL) leads the league with a 29.4% shooting percentage followed by Kateřina Mrázová (OTT) at 28.6%…Laura Stacey leads Montréal with 62 shots on goal…Hayley Scamurra leads Ottawa with 55 shots…Poulin (212/370) is Montréal’s best on face-offs with a 57.3% win-rate…Brianne Jenner (82/150) leads Ottawa with a face-off percentage of 54.7%…Gabbie Hughes (45.9%) leads the team with 255 draws taken…Ann-Renée Desbiens (MTL) has five wins in 10 starts with a goals-against-average of 2.25 and save percentage of .920…Emerance Maschmeyer (OTT) has four wins in 13 starts with a 2.59 GAA and .900 SV%.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

 

MONTREAL:

 

Vanišová | O’Neill | Stacey
M. Daoust | David | Murphy
Lefort | Bujold | Bettez
Dubois | Dempsey | Poznikoff

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

 

Desbiens | Chuli

 

Scratches: Boissonnault, Dalton, Lásková, Marchment, Poulin

 

OTTAWA:

 

Clark | Hughes | Scamurra
Watts | Mrázová | Jenner
Adzija | Snodgrass | Shiga
Davis | Gilmore | Demers

 

Tejralová | Harmon
Boyd | Bell
Roese | Boulier
Buckles

 

Maschmeyer | Abstreiter

 

Scratches: Della Rovere, Gasparics, Isbell, McQuigge

 

OFFICIALS:

 

Referees: Krysta Ansell (Brownstown TWP, MI) and Jake Kamrass (Atlanta, GA).
Linespersons: Ali Beres (Brant, ON) and Adam Burnett (Toronto, ON).

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

 

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