MYHockey News

Pulse of the PWHL - Week 7

PWHL Facebook Photo


By Scott Lowe –

Apparently, when it comes to the Professional Women’s Hockey League, absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Anyone who thought the momentum generated during the first five weeks of the league’s inaugural season would slow after the PWHL’s 10-day National Team Break can think again. The players were back in action on Valentine’s Day, and they certainly felt the love upon their return.

Week 7 featured three-straight sellouts and season-high attendance marks in Canadian host markets, including the “Battle on Bay Street” on Friday, Feb. 16 at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. That night, an all-time record crowd for women’s hockey of 19,285 jammed into the home of the Maple Leafs and Raptors to see Toronto take on Montreal.

Friday’s crowd surpassed the previous record of 18,013 that was set during the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota. It also eclipsed the professional women’s hockey attendance mark of 13,336 that had been set by the PWHL in that same St. Paul, Minn., building Jan. 6.

The “Battle on Bay Street” was the first of three-consecutive sellouts and season-high attendance totals in Canadian cities. Saturday’s game between Ottawa and Montreal drew a crowd of 8,407, and 10,172 spectators filed into Place Bell for Sunday’s tilt between Montreal in Minnesota.

For the week, the league drew nearly 50,000 spectators for its six games, an average of almost 9,000 per contest. That brought the league’s overall season attendance to 171,333 through 31 games and bumped the per-game average to 5,527.

“Once again, PWHL fans have made history,” Jayna Hefford, PWHL Senior Vice President for Hockey Operations, said in a story on the league’s website. “With a record-setting performance on a national stage, our fans made the ‘Battle on Bay Street’ an unforgettable, inspirational moment — and we couldn’t be more appreciative.”

Toronto General Manager Gina Kingsbury echoed Hefford’s appreciation for the turnout.

“We are beyond excited to get to play in front of a sold-out crowd at Scotiabank Arena,” she said. “The support of our fans has been incredibly empowering, and we feel privileged to get the opportunity to represent them and this world class city.”

Coincidentally, Hefford served as captain of the Canadian National team in 2013 and played in the game that established the previous record. Four current PWHL players – Montreal’s Marie-Philip Poulin along with Toronto’s Jocelyne Larocque, Lauriane Rougeau and Natalie Spooner – played in both record-setting contests.

Thus far, the PWHL has set a women’s hockey attendance record of some sort four times this season. Each of those four contests has featured Montreal.

Oh, there also was a game that night or the excitable crowd would have gone home extremely disappointed.

Toronto exploded for three third-period goals to break open what had been a scoreless tie through the game’s first 40 minutes and skate off with a 3-0 victory.

Jesse Compher, Hannah Miller and Victoria Bach scored in the decisive final 20 minutes, while Krsten Campbell turned aside all 10 shots she faced to finish with a 30-save shutout and earn first-star honors. Compher and Miller were tabbed as the second and third stars, respectively.


Three of Hearts

Toronto’s Natalie Spooner continued her hot streak and became the fourth PWHL player to record a hat trick this season as her team knocked off Boston, 5-3, at Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass., on Valentine’s Day. Spooner scored twice in the second period and teamed up with Sarah Nurse to give Toronto a 3-0 lead entering the final frame. Spooner and Kali Flanagan scored in the third period to secure the win and thwart Boston’s late three-goal rally. Jamie Lee Rattray, Hannah Brandt and Taylor Girard potted goals in the final 20 minutes for Boston. Kristen Campbell made 32 saves to earn the win in goal. Spooner, Nurse and Boston’s Megan Keller were named the game’s three stars.


Big Goals for Grace and Alex

Grace Zumwinkle of Minnesota and Alex Carpenter lead the PWHL in game-winning goals with three and two, respectively. In fact, they are the only players in the league with more than one GWG, and they both scored the decisive goals for their teams in 2-1 victories Saturday.

Zumwinkle scored the game-winner late in the second period of her team’s win at Ottawa, while Carpenter buried her second overtime goal in a win at Boston. She is the only PWHL player with two extra-time tallies this season. 

Zumwinkle broke the 1-1 tie by scoring her seventh goal of the year with 19 seconds left in the middle frame. Maggie Flaherty recorded her first assist on Zumwinkle’s tally, and Nicole Hensley held off Ottawa by making five third-period saves to finish with 24 stops for the game. Sophia Kunin scored Minnesota’s first goal in the opening period only to have Emily Clark tie it up for Ottawa at 10:04 of the second. Hensley, Zumwinkle and Ottawa’s Amanda Boulier (1 assist) were named the game’s three stars.

Carpenter scored her sixth goal of the season 2:28 into overtime, with Jaime Bourbonnais and Emma Woods picking up assists, to lift New York to victory after Megan Keller had tied the game for Boston in the third period. Bourbonnais also picked up an assist as Woods opened the scoring at 14:59 of the first period. Corinne Schroeder made 34 saves to notch the victory in goal. Carpenter, Schroeder and Keller were the game’s three stars.


Rinse and Repeat

The PWHL’s other two Week 7 games also featured 2-1 final scores, so four of the league’s six games last week ended with the same final tally. 

In the second Valentine’s Day tilt, Minnesota got single goals from Abby Boreen and Maggie Flaherty in the final two periods to rally from a 1-0 early deficit and beat Ottawa, 2-1, at Xcel Energy Center. Boreen also assisted on Flaherty’s game-winner, which also was her first goal of the season, at 3:35 of the final frame. Amanda Boulier opened the scoring for Ottawa with her first of the year 5:29 into the contest. Maddie Rooney stopped 23 shots to pick up the win in goal. Flaherty, Boreen and Rooney were the three stars of the game.

It only was fitting that Week 7’s final game also would produce a 2-1 final score as Montreal defeated Minnesota, 2-1, Sunday at Place Bell. Montreal’s Claire Dalton and Minnesota’s Kendall Coyne Schofield traded first-period goals before Sara Lefort netted her first of the season, which turned out to be the game-winner, 14:06 into the middle frame. Elaine Chuli stopped 21 of the 22 shots fired her way to earn the win in net. Lefort, Chuli and Dalton were selected as the game’s three stars.


Three Stars of the Week

  1. Natalie Spooner – Toronto RW
  2. Kristen Campbell – Toronto G
  3. Kendall Coyne Schofield – Minnesota LW 

Spooner earned top billing for the second-straight week and has been named a star the last three weeks. She recorded a hat trick vs. Boston Feb. 14 to improve her league-leading total to 10 for the season. Spooner leads the league in goals and is second in points (11).

Campbell won both of her starts for Toronto in Week 7, posting a .954 save percentage and a 1.50 goals-against average. She has won her last five starts and picked up an assist while stopping 32 shots Feb. 14. Campbell then recorded a 30-save shutout in the “Battle on Bay Street” Friday. 

Coyne Schofield helped her team to a pair of wins in three games, picking up a goal and an assist, as Minnesota remained atop the PWHL standings. She also recorded 12 shots on goal and was plus-3 for the week. She has six points on the season, and her 39 shots on goal are third in the league.


Week 8 Schedule & Viewing Guide

Week 8 of the inaugural PWHL season got underway Monday, with Ottawa taking on Boston at Tsongas Center in a President’s Day Matinee. Ottawa got a pair of goals fro Gabbie Hughes in a 4-2 victory.

Here is a look at the rest of the Week 8 schedule with viewing information:


Wednesday, Feb. 21
7:00 p.m. EST – Ottawa at Boston
TV: NESN, TSN4/5, Sportsnet Pittsburgh
Streaming: YouTube

7:00 p.m. EST – Montreal at New York
Streaming: TSN+, Women’s Sports Network, YouTube,
French: RDS2


Friday, Feb. 23
7:00 p.m. EST – New York at Toronto
Streaming: YouTube


Saturday, Feb. 24
2:30 p.m. EST – Ottawa at Montreal
TV: Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet Pittsburgh
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube
French: Radio-Canada, ICI TOU.TV


Sunday, Feb. 25
4:00 p.m. EST – Boston at Minnesota
TV: Bally Sports North, NESN, Sportsnet 360
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube


Standings Through Feb. 20

The PWHL standings are based on a three-point system in which teams are awarded three points for a win, two points for an overtime or shootout win, one point for an overtime or shootout lost and no points for a regulation loss.

  1. Minnesota 5W 2OTW 2OTL 3L – 21 pts
  2. Montreal 4W 3OTW 1L 2OTL 2L – 20 pts
  3. Toronto 5W 1OTW 5L – 17 pts
  4. Ottawa 3W 4OTL 3L – 13 pts
  5. New York 2W 3OTW 1OTL 4L – 13 pts
  6. Boston 2W 2OTW 2OTL 4L – 12 pts


Goal Leaders

Natalie Spooner TOR – 10

Grace Zumwinkle MIN – 7

Marie-Philip Poulin MON – 6

Alex Carpenter NY – 6

Laura Stacey MON – 5


Assist Leaders

Alina Müller BOS – 7

Maureen Murphy MON – 7

Alex Carpenter NY – 6

Megan Keller BOS – 6


Points Leaders

Alex Carpenter NY – 12

Natalie Spooner TOR – 11

Grace Zumwinkle MIN – 9

Marie-Philip Poulin MON – 9

Megan Keller BOS – 9


Save Percentage Leaders

Elaine Chuli MON – .961

Corinne Schroeder NY – .947

Nicole Hensley MIN – .938

Ann-Renée Desbiens MTL – .928

Aerin Frankel BOS – .922


Check out the PWHL website for more information about the league!

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