Toronto goes for 12-straight wins, Ottawa aims for a third win against its provincial rival

OTTAWA, ON (March 23, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) schedule continues on Saturday afternoon with an all-Ontario matchup between Ottawa and Toronto at The Arena at TD Place at 1:00 p.m. ET.



Fans in Canada can watch the game live on TSN1/5 channels,, and the TSN app. The game will also be available in the United States on Sportsnet Pittsburgh Plus, and streamed on the league’s YouTube channel. Kenzie Lalonde will have the play-by-play call alongside analyst Cheryl Pounder.



PWHL Ottawa will be celebrating some of the many trailblazers in women’s hockey in Ottawa, as they host their first ever Legacy Night as part of Women’s History Month. Some 50 players who played for the Ottawa Raiders, the Capital City Canucks, and the Ottawa Lady Senators in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) in the early 2000s will be among the special guests. They will be considered alumni of the new team representing the nation’s capital in the PWHL. Several PWHL Ottawa players have taken this opportunity to invite women who have inspired them. These mentors will have the honour of accompanying the players as they arrive at TD Place, allowing them to take part in the very popular “walk ins”. Finally, the mentors will wish the players good luck by standing in “High Five Alley” as they step on the ice at the start of the game. On this special day, PWHL Ottawa will also look to the future. Young U11 and U13 players from Nunavut, who are in Ottawa to take part in a girls’ hockey tournament, will watch the warm-up from the players’ benches.



The fourth installment of the PWHL’s ‘Battle of Ontario’ between provincial rivals has a lot on the line in Canada’s capital. Toronto (10-3-0-5) is in first place in the standings with 36 points and can become the first team in the PWHL to clinch a playoff berth with a win in regulation. They would hold tiebreaker advantages over Ottawa (6-0-6-6) who currently rank in fourth place with 24 points. Toronto sits three points up on Minnesota and six ahead of Montréal, while Ottawa is two up on Boston and seven ahead of New York for the final playoff spot. Toronto has won eleven straight games, including a 5-2 victory at TD Place back on Mar. 2. They most recently beat Montréal 2-1 last Sunday as part of PWHL Takeover Weekend at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena, then scored two goals in the third period on Wednesday in a 2-1 comeback win over Boston at home. Since losing to Toronto, Ottawa has points in four straight games including two regulation wins and two shootout losses. Their most recent outcomes were a 2-1 shootout setback against Boston at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena last Saturday, and a crucial 3-0 shutout victory against New York at Bridgeport’s Total Mortgage Arena on Wednesday. Toronto is the league’s best road team with six wins and 16 points in eight games as the visitor, while Ottawa ranks fourth on home ice where they’ve won only twice and collected nine points in eight games. This game features the league’s top two offenses and the teams with the most multi-goal victories. All six of Ottawa’s wins have been by two or more goals, and seven of Toronto’s 10 wins have also been by two or more. This is the last game for both teams before the league pauses for an International Break until April 18. They will play each other once more to end the season on May 5 at Mattamy Athletic Centre.



Ottawa leads the season series 6-3 in points over Toronto and is the only team in the league that has beaten the first-place team twice this year. Ottawa won their first meeting 5-1 at Mattamy Athletic Centre back on Jan. 13, and again on home ice by a 3-1 score on Jan. 23. Toronto has not lost in the 11 games they’ve played since then. Their league-leading streak includes a 5-2 victory at TD Place on Mar. 2. In that contest, Toronto built a 4-0 lead with a first period goal by Natalie Spooner, followed by three in the middle frame in a span 2:28. Brittany Howard, Hannah Miller, and Ottawa native Samantha Cogan all scored second period goals. Gabbie Hughes and Ashton Bell helped give Ottawa life offensively, but Maggie Connors sealed the game with an empty net goal. Victoria Bach, Renata Fast, and Sarah Nurse all finished the game with two assists. Shots were an even 25-25 with Kristen Campbell earning the win opposite Emerance Maschmeyer who was pulled in favour of Sandra Abstreiter after allowing three goals on 13 shots. Toronto, who notably gave up two powerplay goals to Ottawa’s top unit in the opening game, played penalty free in their last meeting. Hughes leads the way with three goals in head-to-head competition, Spooner has two goals and one assist, Bell has a goal and two assists, and Howard has scored in both games played in Ottawa.



Toronto’s Natalie Spooner is tied for the scoring lead with 18 points, including a league-high 13 goals in 18 games. She extended her point-streak (3G 4A) to five on Wednesday, scoring her third game winning goal of the season against Boston. Ottawa’s Kateřina Mrázová (6G 9A) is fifth in league scoring with 15 points. She had her six-game point streak snapped in Detroit, despite scoring the team’s only shootout goal, but rebounded with two assists in Wednesday’s win. Sarah Nurse (4G 10A) is second in Toronto scoring with 14 points which ranks sixth overall. Her two assists on Wednesday brought her total to 10 which shares the league-lead. Brianne Jenner (4G 8A) also had a two-point performance on Wednesday for Ottawa and has three multi-point games in her last four. She is second in team scoring with 12 points. Ottawa’s Emily Clark (4G 7A) has 11 points and a three-game streak with goals in two straight. Toronto’s Emma Maltais (3G 8A) also has 11 points but has been held off the scoresheet in her last two games which hasn’t happened since January. Ottawa’s Daryl Watts (5G 5A) has 10 points and scored the game winner on Wednesday to stay hot with four points in her last four games. Toronto’s Hannah Miller (6G 3A) has nine points and riding a three-game streak, and Renata Fast (2G 7A) leads the blue line with nine points and has six in her last six games after scoring on Wednesday. Gabbie Hughes (7G 2A) has nine points and leads Ottawa with seven goals including three in her last six games. The league’s two busiest goaltenders will do battle in today’s game, and both make their 17th starts of the season. Ottawa’s Emerance Maschmeyer earned her first shutout of the season on Wednesday and has faced a league-high 428 shots, while Toronto’s Kristen Campbell has won 11 in a row and faced 401 shots.



Ottawa’s two newest players will get a warm welcome in their home debut after being acquired by the team at Monday’s trade deadline. Shiann Darkangelo, who joined the team from Boston, and Tereza Vanišová, who joined the team from Montréal, were both in the lineup on Wednesday against New York. Darkangelo played nearly six minutes centering the team’s fourth line where she’s slated again today. Vanišová will play at left wing on the third line where she registered over 14 minutes of ice time on Wednesday up until she was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding. The first of her 18 points this season was recorded at TD Place in the opening game back on Jan. 2.



The 2024 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four is underway with the National Championship game set for Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. ET at Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, NH. The final will feature No. 1-ranked Ohio State against No. 2 Wisconsin. A number of alumnae representing the two competing programs are on PWHL Ottawa and Toronto rosters. Former Buckeyes include Emma Maltais (TOR), Jincy Roese (OTT), and Natalie Spooner (TOR), and former Badgers include Kristen Campbell (TOR), Emily Clark (OTT), Samantha Cogan (TOR), Jesse Compher (TOR), Sarah Nurse (TOR), Blayre Turnbull (TOR), and Daryl Watts (OTT). Roese’s younger sister Joy Dunne plays for Ohio State and was recently named NCAA Rookie of the Year. Campbell is a past Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player, winning in for the 2019 tournament. The winner of the 2024 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which goes to the top player in NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey, will be announced today at 12:30 p.m. ET. Watts was the first freshman to ever win the award back in 2018 while attending Boston College.



“I think we have a good understanding of where we’re at. We know the position that we’re in. We do not have to be scared of it. We have to be excited about the chance that we have to fight towards the playoffs. Every game matters. I think we have a big belief in our group. If we keep doing what we have been doing and if we keep getting better, we’re going to earn our way there. This battle mindset is going to put us in a good position. If we get to the playoffs, were going to be playing good playoff hockey.” – Emily Clark, Ottawa

“The process has been strong from the start but there is still room for improvement. We know that and we are working on it. The old adage says that we need to trust the process. There are still lots of games to be played. I thought our third period in New York was the most ‘teamed feeled’ closing third period that we needed. What I mean by that is I think that we settled into what our natural strengths were. Not only as individuals. It was a collective group effort. We had a big penalty kill. We were relentless in the big moments. Early in the year we were talking about being relentless. That is what we have developed during the season.” – Carla MacLeod, Ottawa

“We’re excited for the game and to have an opportunity to even the season series with Ottawa. We’re definitely looking to have a fast start and play our game.” – Allie Munroe, Toronto

“This is a great opportunity for us to even up the season series against Ottawa. At this point of the season (with such a tight playoff race) we expect everyone’s best. We will need to be better than we have been the last couple days to be successful against Ottawa. It should be a good one.” – Troy Ryan, Toronto



Toronto (+11) is tied for first in goal differential and Ottawa (-2) ranks fourth…Toronto (2.61) is first in goals-per-game average and Ottawa (2.50) ranks second…Toronto (2.00) allows the second fewest goals-per-game and Ottawa (2.61) is tied for the most on average…Toronto leads the league with 11 first goals and have gone on to win 10 of those games, while Ottawa has 10 first goals and has won six of those games…Ottawa’s 18 first period goals leads the league, while Toronto’s 19 third period goals lead the league…Toronto has won six of its seven one-goal games, and Ottawa has lost all nine of their one-goal games…Toronto (+48) is second in shot differential and Ottawa (+41) ranks third…Ottawa (30.0) is second in shots-per-game average and Toronto (28.56) ranks third…Toronto (25.83) allows the second fewest shots-per-game and Ottawa (27.83) allows the third most on average…Both teams lead the league by outshooting their opponent in 12 games…Toronto (6.56) averages the third most penalty minutes per game and Ottawa (6.17) the fourth most…Ottawa (14/52) is first in powerplay efficiency at 26.9%…Toronto (7/50) ranks third on the PP at 14.0%…Toronto (49/52) is first in penalty kill efficiency at 94.2%…Ottawa (39/47) ranks fourth on the PK at 83.0%…Natalie Spooner (TOR) is tied for the scoring lead with 18 points…Spooner leads the league with 13 goals…Sarah Nurse (TOR) is in a four-way tie for the league-lead with 10 assists…Spooner leads the league with five powerplay goals…Ottawa’s Kateřina Mrázová and Hayley Scamurra are in a four-way tie with three powerplay goals…Emma Maltais (TOR) leads the league with two shorthanded goals…Spooner and Gabbie Hughes (OTT) are tied for second with three game winning goals…Tereza Vanišová (OTT) leads the league with 31 penalty minutes…Scamurra leads Ottawa with 63 shots on goal…Spooner leads Toronto with 69 shots…Brianne Jenner (97/180) leads Ottawa in face-off percentage at 53.9%…Hughes (45.0%) leads the team with 309 draws…Alexa Vasko (56/111) leads Toronto in face-off percentage at 50.5%…Blayre Turnbull (42.3%) leads the team with 260 draws…Emerance Maschmeyer (OTT) has six wins and one shutout with a goals-against-average of 2.28 and save percentage of .914…Kristen Campbell (TOR) has 12 wins and three shutouts with a 1.93 GAA and .925 SV%…Kaitlin Willoughby (TOR) will celebrate her 29th birthday on Tuesday…Jocelyne Larocque (TOR) is serving a one-game suspension for a cross check to the head during the game against Boston on Mar. 20…Today’s on-ice officials will all wear yellow/gold laces in honour of Griffin Bell, the six-year-old nephew of former Ottawa Senators player Brendan Bell, who passed away on Monday after a courageous battle with cancer.




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

Tejralová | Harmon
Roese | Bell
Isbell | Buckles

Maschmeyer | Abstreiter

Scratches: Boyd, Della Rovere, Gasparics, MacInnis, McQuigge



Maltais | Turnbull | Connors
Miller | Nurse | Spooner
Cogan | Compher | Bach
Howard | Vasko | Leslie
| | Willoughby

Munroe | Fast
Poulin-Labelle | Flanagan
Rougeau | Knowles

Campbell | Howe

Scratches: Jackson, Larocque



Referees: Brandy Dewar-Beecroft (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) and Harrison O’Pray (Hillgrade, NB).
Linespersons: Sarah Buckner (Plymouth, MN) and T.J. Dockery (Buffalo, NY).

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