Ten takeaways from the league’s first 10 games

TORONTO, ON (January 15, 2024) – Here’s a look at 10 highlights, including notable team and individual performances, covering the first 10 games of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season – plus a look ahead to this week’s action.


Through four games, Minnesota currently leads the PWHL standings with 10 points by virtue of three regulation wins that reward three points each, plus the single point awarded for Sunday’s overtime loss to New York that ended their win-streak. Minnesota is the only team to win consecutive games this season. Every PWHL team has at least one victory and a different point total: Minnesota (10 points), Montréal (6), New York (5), Ottawa (4), Toronto (3), Boston (2). See the full standings here.


Eight of the league’s first 10 games have been won by the visiting team, including four of the five games played this past week. Minnesota, the only team to win on home ice, picked up its second victory at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday night against Toronto. The eight road wins spoiled home openers for everybody but Minnesota. Montréal, the last team to play in front of its fans, played its home opener on Saturday, January 13 at Verdun Auditorium – suffering a 3-2 overtime loss to Boston. See all results here.


Five of the league’s first 10 games have produced 3-2 final scores. Three of those games went to overtime, including Saturday in Montréal, where Amanda Pelkey scored the winner for Boston, and Sunday in Minnesota where Emma Woods won it for New York. Both of those games were comeback wins that erased 2-0 deficits. On top of the five one-goal differentials, final scores this season include two four-goal and three goal spreads, and one two-goal margin.


New York defender Ella Shelton stands alone atop PWHL scoring leaders with six points, including four assists, through four games. The 25-year-old from Ingersoll, ON famously scored the first goal in PWHL history on January 1, and on Sunday became the first player to record three assists in a single game. Teammate Alex Carpenter (3 goals, 2 assists) ranks second with five points, followed by five players with four points apiece. See all points leaders here.


The first goal of the season for Marie-Philip Poulin quickly turned into three, as the Montréal captain delivered the second hat trick of the PWHL season on Wednesday, the first scored in a road game, in a 5-2 victory over New York. The 32-year-old from Beauceville, QC had an assist in the team’s opening game, then found the net in her third PWHL appearance. She is tied for third in league scoring with four points. Her hat trick followed one by Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle who scored her trio against Montréal on January 6 at Xcel Energy Center.


First overall draft pick Taylor Heise has continued making an immediate impact for Minnesota. After scoring the franchise’s first goal on January 3, she delivered a three-point performance, including two goals, in Wednesday’s win over Toronto. She is tied with teammate and former University of Minnesota co-captain Grace Zumwinkle with four points to lead the league’s first-year pro class. Two 2023 Northeastern University graduates, Chloé Aurard (New York) and Maureen Murphy (Montréal), have three points each.


Thirty-four players have scored PWHL goals, including 16 players who tallied their first in action this past week. That list includes Boston’s Taylor Girard, Hannah Brandt, and Amanda Pelkey; Minnesota’s Kendall Coyne Schofield, Lee Stecklein, and Kelly Pannek; Montréal’s Marie-Philip Poulin, Catherine Dubois, Kennedy Marchment, and Erin Ambrose; New York’s Jessie Eldridge and Emma Woods; Ottawa’s Gabbie Hughes, Daryl Watts, and Natalie Snodgrass; and Toronto’s Sarah Nurse. See all PWHL goal scorers here.


Boston’s Taylor Girard became the second player in PWHL history to score a shorthanded goal on Saturday. The snipe by the 25-year-old from Macomb, MI meant the second time the league’s innovative penalty kill rule took effect and ended the team’s minor penalty in what has been coined a ‘jailbreak’ goal. The first shorthanded goal of the season was scored on January 5 by Toronto’s Emma Maltais.


Seven of the 10 goaltenders to see action this season have posted save percentages of .900 and above – led by Minnesota’s Nicole Hensley (.955) and Maddie Rooney (.943). New York’s Corinne Schroeder (.942) leads the league with 98 saves and is tied with Hensley with two wins. Montréal’s Elaine Chuli (.938) won her PWHL debut on Wednesday with a 30-save performance. The list also includes New York’s Abigail Levy (.919) in one start, Ottawa’s Emerance Maschmeyer (.917) through two starts, and Montréal’s Ann-Renée Desbiens (.900) in three starts. In addition to her stellar save percentage, including .958 this past Saturday against Toronto, Maschmeyer picked up the PWHL’s first-ever goalie assist. See goaltender stats here.


Montréal’s home opener on Saturday at Verdun Auditorium had a sold-out crowd of 3,245 in attendance. It was the third home opener to produce a sell-out crowd following the 2,537 who attended at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre on New Year’s Day and the 8,318 fans at The Arena at TD Place in Ottawa on January 2. Following Minnesota’s record crowd of 13,316 on January 6, the team’s next two games at Xcel Energy Center drew 4,707 and 7,951, respectively. The league’s total attendance through 10 games is 50,856.


Five games are on this week’s PWHL schedule, beginning Tuesday night with Montréal’s first-ever game at Place Bell where they’ll host New York. The schedule also features two Wednesday night games, including Minnesota at Ottawa and Boston at Toronto, followed by two Saturday games including New York at Boston and Toronto at Montréal.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

7:00 p.m. ET – New York at Montreal (Place Bell)
Linear TV: Sportsnet Ontario/East/Pacific, MSGSNZ2
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube
French: RDS2

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

7:00 p.m. ET – Boston at Toronto (Mattamy Athletic Centre)
Linear TV: TSN4, NESN
Streaming: YouTube

7:00 p.m. ET – Minnesota at Ottawa (The Arena at TD Place)
Linear TV: Bally Sports North Extra
Streaming: TSN+, YouTube

Saturday, January 20, 2024

12:30 p.m. ET – New York at Boston (Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell)
Linear TV: MSG/MSGHD, NESN, Sportsnet 360
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube

8:00 p.m. ET – Toronto at Montreal (Verdun Auditorium)
Streaming: CBC Gem, YouTube
French: ICI TOU.TV

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