Boston

PWHL Boston Snaps Four-Game Skid With 3-1 Win Over Ottawa

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Desperation time may be where the PWHL Boston (5-4-2-0) team was last night. They were trying to snap a four-game losing streak at home vs PWHL Ottawa (3-4-4-0) before a crowd of 1,889. These two teams met just a couple of days ago with Ottawa getting the 4-2 win. For PWHL Boston, playing at Tsongas Center has been a challenge, to say the least. Their home record is 1-4-2-0 which has contributed to their last place standing in the league. Scoring goals has been a problem for this team, and when on the power play the bad numbers really stick out. At home, the PWHL Boston power play is at 8% (2/25) Away from home it’s worse in seven games where they are at 5.26% (1/19). Their penalty-killing unit has been a bit of a bright spot at 86.9% (3/23) and at home they are at 85.7% (2/14). As PWHL Boston head coach Courtney Kessel said after Monday’s loss “Something has to change”

For PWHL Ottawa, Monday’s win snapped a losing streak of their own. A four-game skid where all four losses were by one goal. Away from home, they are an above .500 team heading into Wednesday night’s game at 2-1-1-0. While Boston’s PP has not been very good, Ottawa’s PP on the road has been good at 44.4% (4/9). Staying out of the box for the home team was priority number one on Wednesday night. So too was getting off to a good start, something that PWHL Boston has not been able to do. Would Wednesday night be different?

The starting goalies were the same two as started Monday afternoon. For PWHL Ottawa, Emerance Maschmeyer (3-3-4, 2.14 GAA, 917%), and for PWHL Boston Aerin Frankel (2-2-2, 2.08 GAA, 922%). The PWHL Boston power play got an early chance to do something. At 3:48, Gabbie Hughes of PWHL Ottawa went off for interference. Although they did not score, they did create some shots on goal with Alina Muller getting two of them. At 7:35 of the period, it finally happened. PWHL Boston scored the game’s first goal. Loren Gabel came into the PWHL Ottawa zone on the right wing side and fired a wrist shot that beat Maschmeyer to the blocker side for a 1-0 PWHL Boston lead. Alina Muller and Jess Healey picked up the assists. For the first time at home this season, PWHL Boston had a lead to work with. However, at the 16:35 mark, PWHL Ottawa tied the game at 1-1. Katerina Mrazova scored her third of the season as she roofed a shot past Frankel just under the crossbar. Video review was used to make sure it was a good goal which it was. Daryl Watts and Aneta Tejralova received the assists. PWHL Boston also survived two PWHL Ottawa power plays to leave the ice tied at 1-1. Shots in the first were 8-6 PWHL Boston.

It would take all of 45 seconds for PWHL Boston to retake the lead in the second period. Susanna Tapani scored her third of the year. Megan Keller, her third point in the last two games, and Kaleigh Fratkin got the assists. PWHL Boston was back in front at 2-1. Tapani scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that found the back of the net on the glove side. Each team would get grade-A chances, to add to the scoring. PWHL Ottawa Mrazova came off the right wing boards and skated into the slot to get a testing shot on goal that Frankel stopped. PWHL Boston’s Amanda Pelkey fired a shot on net off a rush that Maschmeyer took care of. PWHL Boston killed two more penalties in the period. They were now 4-for-4 on the shorthand through two periods. PWHL Boston took a 2-1 lead with them to the locker room. An important third period awaited them. Shots were 14-7 PWHL Ottawa, with Frankel making several good saves to keep PWHL Boston in the lead. Through two periods it was 20-15 in favor of PWHL Ottawa.

PWHL Boston started the third period on a short power play that PWHL Ottawa killed off. Seconds after the kill, PWHL Ottawa’s Akane Shiga grabbed a loose puck at her own blue line and broke in all alone on Frankel. She went to the backhand and put a shot on net that Frankel stopped with her blocker. Other than that moment early in the third, PWHL Boston was doing an ok job of keeping the puck at the other end of the ice. PWHL Boston would get a chance to extend their lead on the power play at 9;23 as PWHL Ottawa’s Savannah Harmon went off for cross-checking. The power play did not produce any positive results. With seven minutes left, PWHL Ottawa was looking for the tying goal. Instead, it would be PWHL Boston that would get some insurance. PWHL Boston’s Hilary Knight scored her 2nd of the season at 13:49 to give her team a 3-1 lead. Knight, who has struggled so far this year, broke down the left wing and fired a shot on the net that beat Maschmeyer above the glove. 3-1 PWHL Boston. PWHL Ottawa pulled their goalie late in the third period to try and get back into the game. It did not work as PWHL Boston won their second game at home 3-1 over PWHL Ottawa. Shots were 10-6 in favor of PWHL Ottawa. PWHL Boston goalie Frankel stopped 29 of 30 shots. PWHL Ottawa Maschmeyer stopped 20 of 23 shots.

After the game, some happy PWHL Boston players and coach Kessel talked about the win. Loren Gabel, who scored the game’s first goal said “It was a good feeling.” She also thought “We came out and played a full 60 minutes.” Coach Kessel put it this way “Weight off everyone’s chest.” She also noted it was our “best team game.” PWHL Boston now goes on a long road trip that begins in Minnesota on Sunday afternoon. They return to Tsgonas Center on March 10 to face PWHL New York.

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