Boston

PWHL Boston Defeats PWHL Toronto 2-1 at Tsongas Center

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It has been a while since the PWHL has been at work. The league took two weeks off to allow the World Championships to take place in upstate New York. On Thursday night, the league was back at Tsongas Center before a crowd of 4,084, as the PWHL Toronto (10-3-0-7) came to Lowell to take on PWHL Boston (5-4-2-9). For the PWHL Toronto team, one point in Thursday night’s game would put them into the playoffs. PWHL Boston is five points back of the final spot with five games to play. It is time to start winning for PWHL Boston. 

The starting goalies for Thursday night’s game were Kristen Campbell (12-5-0, 2.09 GAA, 907%) PWHL Toronto, and for PWHL Boston it was Aerin Frankel (5-6-2, 2.09 GAA, 927%). The first period was a scoreless one. PWHL Boston outshot PWHL Toronto by a 9-7 count. There was one penalty in the period that went to Alle Munroe of PWHL Toronto for tripping at 11:32.. PWHL Boston’s power play has been a sore spot all season long coming into Thursday night’s game as they were 3-for 44 (6.82% and at home it was 1-for-28 or 3.57%). Boston did not score on the women-advantage. In fact, they gave up great chances to PWHL Toronto’s Natalie Spooner in the slot and to Sarah Nurse on a cross-ice feed. PWHL Boston got shots on net from Kaleigh Fratkin and Lexie Adzija. Aside from that, it was a pretty even first period and a good one considering they have not played in two weeks.

The second period started at even strength. PWHL Boston got another power play chance at the 5:08 mark when Renata Fast of PWHL Toronto went off for interference. Once again the power play got nowhere. However, PWHL Boston scored the game’s first goal at 14:28 from Emily Brown, her 1st of the season from Hilary Knight and Alina Muller. A harmless backhand shot from Brown that found its way through the legs of Campbell. PWHL Boston made it 2-0 on a deflected shot from Susanna Tapani with her 4th of the year from Jess Healey at 17:45 of the second period. Tapani won an offensive zone faceoff back to Healey, then got in front of the net to redirect Healey’s shot from the left point into the back of the net. The second period ended with PWHL Boston up 2-0. Shots in the second were  8-7 in favor of PWHL Toronto. Through two periods it was 16-15 PWHL Boston.

The third period started with PWHL Boston holding a lead and looking to finish what they started in the second period. A regulation win would be big for this team’s playoff chances. PWHL Toronto had other ideas. At the 9:03 mark, they made it a one-goal game at 2-1. Fast, skating down the right wing side cut toward the net, and snuck one between the post and Frankel’s pad to score her third of the season. Assists went to  Emma Maltais and Jocelyne Larocque. With nine minutes to go, the game was still in the balance.

PWHL Toronto got their first power play of the night at 17:15 when Amanda Pelkey of PWHL Boston went off for boarding. PWHL Toronto pulled their goalie with 21 seconds left on the power play and 1:05 left in the game. PWHL Boston would kill the penalty and run out the clock to get a BIG 2-1 regulation win over PWHL Toronto. Shots in the third period were 9-5 PWHL Toronto. For the game, 24-21 PWHL Toronto.

After the game, a happy PWHL Boston head coach Courtney Kessel admitted “This was a little bit of playoff hockey tonight.” She also thought her team “Took their foot off the gas a little toward the end of the second period.” The goal on Thursday night, according to the coach, was “60 minutes we play to win.” PWHL Toronto forward Natalie Spooner thought her team: “Played better as the game went along.” PWHL Toronto head coach Troy Ryan thought his team was “Sloppy to start, not bad in the third period.”

PWHL Boston goes back on the road for a Saturday afternoon game vs PWHL New York.

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