THE PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE (PWHL) THIS WEEK

Highlights following 15 games of the 72-game inaugural season

TORONTO, ON (January 22, 2024) – Here’s a look at highlights from the third week of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season, plus a look ahead to this week’s action.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS

New York forward Alex Carpenter is in sole possession of the PWHL scoring lead with eight points, including three goals and five assists, in six games. Montréal captain Marie-Philip Poulin ranks second in points with seven but leads the league with six goals. New York’s Ella Shelton also has seven points in six games and is currently the league’s top-scoring defender. Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle (5G 1A) and New York’s Jessie Eldridge (4G 2A) round out the top-five point producers and rank second and third in goals. Carpenter and Shelton are tied for the PWHL lead in assists with five along with Rebecca Leslie (TOR), Alina Müller (BOS), Maureen Murphy (MTL), and Tereza Vanišová (MTL). See all points leaders here.

STANDINGS THROUGH 15 GAMES

Minnesota (3-1-1-0) continues to lead the PWHL standings with 12 points by virtue of their three regulation wins (three points each), overtime victory (two points), and overtime loss (single point). Montréal (2-1-2-1) is in second place with 10 points, followed by New York (2-1-0-3) with eight points. Boston (1-1-0-2), Ottawa (1-0-2-0), and Toronto (1-1-0-4) are all tied with five points each. Minnesota and Ottawa are the only teams without a regulation loss, and Minnesota remains the only team to win consecutive games in regulation time with three straight victories to open the season. Montréal has recorded points in four straight games, and Ottawa has points in all three games. Minnesota, Montréal, and Toronto are the first three teams to have played all five opponents. The league displays team records in writing as follows: Regulation Wins (RW) – OT/SO Wins (OT/SOW) – OT/SO Losses (OT/SOL) – Regulation Losses (RL). See the full standings here.

MONTREAL WINS AT HOME

On Tuesday, Montréal became the first Canadian team to win on home ice with a 3-2 triumph over New York at Place Bell. They are just the second team to win at home following Minnesota’s back-to-back victories at Xcel Energy Center. Montréal is still looking for its first win at Verdun Auditorium following two straight losses, while, in the week ahead, Boston, New York, Ottawa, and Toronto all have opportunities to grab their first home wins of the season. Road teams have won 12 of the league’s first 15 games. See all results here.

MINNESOTA WINS IN OVERTIME

On Wednesday, Minnesota became the fourth team to win an overtime decision by a 3-2 result against Ottawa. Susanna Tapani added her name to the list of overtime game-winners scored during the three-on-three extra period, along with Ann-Sophie Bettez (Montréal, against Ottawa), Amanda Pelkey (Boston, against Montréal), and Emma Woods (New York, against Minnesota). Nine of the league’s first 15 games have been one-goal differentials, and eight of them have been 3-2 scores.

TORONTO WINS FIRST SHOOTOUT

The only one-goal game not settled by a 3-2 score was Saturday’s 4-3 Toronto victory over Montréal in the league’s first-ever shootout. Lauriane Rougeau scored the historic winner in the sixth round of attempts and Kristen Campbell earned the first-ever shootout win in goal. The PWHL’s shootout format gives each team five shots unless the outcome is determined earlier in the shootout. If the score remains tied after five rounds, the shootout will proceed with a ‘sudden victory’ format. Players are also eligible at any time to take shots as often as the team chooses. Saturday’s result put all these nuances into effect as Montréal’s Marie-Philip Poulin took four of her team’s six attempts and Toronto’s Hannah Miller shot twice.

HAT TRICK DOWNIE-LANDRY

New York’s Jade Downie-Landry became the third player in the PWHL to record a hat trick this season and first in team history. Her three-goal performance on Saturday in a 4-1 win in Boston was spread over all three periods and consisted of two even-strength markers and an empty-net tally. She follows hat tricks by Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle on January 6, and Montréal’s Marie-Philip Poulin on January 10. Downie-Landry scored on all three of her shots on goal, and like Poulin, her hat trick accounted for her first three career PWHL goals.

HENSLEY AND SCHROEDER FIRST TO THREE WINS

Minnesota’s Nicole Hensley and New York’s Corinne Schroeder both recorded their third wins of the season this past week. Hensley stopped 24 shots in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win against Ottawa, and Schroeder turned aside 32 in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Boston. Both players lead the PWHL in save percentage, with Schroeder’s .949 mark slightly ahead of Hensley’s .946. Hensley carries a goals-against-average of 1.65 to Schroeder’s 1.72, which ranks second and third respectively, behind Minnesota’s Maddie Rooney with a 1.45 GAA in two starts. See goaltender stats here.

FIRST PWHL GOALS

Twelve players scored their first career PWHL goals this past week, bringing the league’s total to 46 different goal scorers. Jade Downie-Landry (NY) scored her first three on Saturday, Susanna Tapani (MIN) got her first two goals on Wednesday, and both Loren Gabel (BOS) and Hannah Miller (TOR) scored their first two the same day. First-year pros Lexie Adzija (OTT), Maggie Connors (TOR), and Gabrielle David (MTL) all found the net, along with veterans Jaime Bourbonnais (NY), Sarah Bujold (MTL), Savannah Harmon (OTT), Jocelyne Larocque (TOR), and Leah Lum (MTL).

IIHF HALL OF FAME HONORS DARWITZ AND DAVIDSON

Eight new inductees, including PWHL Minnesota GM Natalie Darwitz and PWHL Hockey Operations Advisor Mel Davidson, will join the IIHF Hall of Fame during the 2024 Men’s World Championship in May. Darwitz, of the United States, will be honored in the Player category and Canada’s Davidson will be honored as a Builder. Darwitz represented the U.S. at 11 consecutive events between 1999 and 2010, winning three gold medals and five silver at the Women’s World Championship, plus two silver and a bronze in three Olympics. Davidson was the driving force behind Hockey Canada’s women’s program in the first decade of this century. Among her career highlights, she coached the Canadians to gold medals at both the 2006 and 2010 Olympics. Read more here.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE

With seven games, the busiest Monday-Sunday stretch of the inaugural season, the PWHL schedule will clear the quarter mark this week. The action begins Tuesday with Ottawa hosting its first of consecutive game nights at The Arena at TD Place against Toronto, followed by Boston on Wednesday. The league’s top-ranked teams, Minnesota and Montréal, also will meet on Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center. On Friday, Toronto will host New York at Mattamy Athletic Centre, while on Saturday, a pair of afternoon games include Ottawa at Montréal at Place Bell and Minnesota at Boston at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The week wraps with a Sunday matinee, when Minnesota visits New York at Bridgeport’s Total Mortgage Arena.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Toronto at Ottawa (The Arena at TD Place)
Linear TV: Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube

Wednesday, January 24, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Boston at Ottawa (The Arena at TD Place)
Linear TV: TSN3/TSN5
Streaming: YouTube

8:00 p.m. ET – Montreal at Minnesota (Xcel Energy Center)
Linear TV: Bally Sports North Extra
Streaming: TSN+, YouTube
French: ICI TOU.TV

Friday, January 26, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – New York at Toronto (Mattamy Athletic Centre)
Linear TV: TSN1/TSN5, MSG/MSGHD
Streaming: YouTube

Saturday, January 27, 2024
3:30 p.m. ET – Ottawa at Montreal (Place Bell)
Linear TV: CBC
Streaming: CBC Gem, YouTube
French: RDS2

4:00 p.m. ET – Minnesota at Boston (Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell)
Linear TV: NESN, Bally Sports North Extra, Sportsnet One
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube

Sunday, January 28, 2024
1:00 p.m. ET – Minnesota at New York (Total Mortgage Arena)
Linear TV: MSG/MSGHD, Bally Sports North, Sportsnet Ontario/East/West/Pacific
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube

 

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