MYHockey News

Pulse of the PWHL - Week 11

By Scott Lowe –

Needless to say, the Professional Women’s Hockey League’s “Takeover Weekend,” was a resounding success – like pretty much everything else the league has tried during its inaugural season.

During Week 11 of its initial campaign, the league invaded two neutral-market NHL arenas in cities that haven’t been shy about their desire to be part of the PWHL’s first wave of expansion, whenever that happens.

On Saturday, Ottawa took on Boston at Little Caesars Arena, the home of the Detroit Red Wings, establishing a United States attendance record yet again as 13,736 fans turned out. The previous U.S. professional women’s hockey attendance record was set at Minnesota’s home opener against Montréal Jan. 6.

And, of course, the women of the PWHL put on another great show in the Motor City.

All-time superstar Hilary Knight got things started for Boston, to the delight of the crowd, with a goal 3:05 into the opening period. She also capped the afternoon with the shootout-winning goal as Boston recorded an important 2-1 victory.

Emily Clark had the other goal, an unassisted power-play marker 12:15 after Knight’s initial tally, while Aerin Frankel and Emerance Maschmeyer each made 25 saves. Frankel picked up the win by thwarting four of the five shooters she faced in the shootout.

Brandt and Knight scored in the skills contest to give Boston the win. Katerina Mrázová was the only Minnesota shooter to score.

Knight, Frankel and Clark were the game’s three stars.

"Detroit's a market we've looked very closely at," PWHL Senior Vice President, Hockey Operations Jayna Hefford said in an on-site interview with Detroit’s WXYZ-7 Action News. "Tonight … has exceeded our expectations. I can't imagine this will be the last time we'll be here."

PWHL Advisory Board member Stan Kasten often has said that the league’s goal is to learn something from everything it tries during this start-up season. Hefford told reporters between periods Saturday that the PWHL “certainly learned something about the city of Detroit.”

On Sunday, the league gifted nearly 9,000 fans at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints arena with another one of its trademark one-goal thrillers. Kali Flanagan’s goal at 6:11 of the second period held up as the game-winner as Toronto knocked off Montréal, 2-1, in a battle of top-three teams.

Kristen Campbell turned aside 17 of the 18 shots she faced to earn the win in goal over Ann-Reneé Desbiens (24 saves). Hannah Miller of Toronto and Montréal’s Kristin O’Neill traded first-period goals, with Flanigan, O’Neill and Campbell being named the three stars of the game.

League officials have stated their intention to consider expansion in the near future, but in a recent “state of the league” video press conference, Kasten said that there would be no expansion for the league’s second season in 2024-25.

The “Takeover Weekend” included PWHL players getting out into the community. Michigan-natives Shiann Darkangelo, Taylor Girard and Megan Keller held a Learn to Play clinic following their practice Thursday, while Montréal’s Sarah Bujold and Catherine Dobbs did the same in Pittsburgh. The three Michigan Natives also were honored prior to Thursday’s Red Wings game.


One Isn’t the Loneliest Number

Although the “Takeover” games were the only one-goal decisions during Week 11 of PWHL play, those two white-knucklers brought the total of one-goal decisions to 28 for the season. Thus far, 54 percent of the league’s games have been decided by a single goal, including 12 in overtime and five by shootout.

Predictably, the league’s standings are just as close, with three-points separating the top-three teams and five separating the bottom-three clubs.

More tight contests are expected during Week 12, with second-place Minnesota (33 points) scheduled to face third-place Montréal (30) Sunday and last-place New York (17 points) trying to catch fifth-place Ottawa (21) as those teams chase fourth-place Boston (22) for the final playoff spot.


Deadline Day

The PWHL’s first-ever trade deadline was Monday at 4 p.m. EDT, and two deals were made as teams jockey for playoff seeding.

Ottawa participated in both player exchanges, receiving forward Tereza Vanišová from Montréal in exchange for defender Amanda Boulier. Ottawa also went out and got forward Shiann Darkangelo from Boston, sending fan-favorite forward Lexie Adzija to Beantown along with the rights to forward Caitrin Longergan.

Ottawa and Boston currently are battling for the fourth and final playoff spot, while Montréal is in third place with 30 points and is looking to catch Toronto and Minnesota, who are tired with 33 points.

There are 20 games remaining in the PWHL regular season, with the league’s top-three scheduled to play each other four more times. Boston and Ottawa are scheduled to face off April 24.



Toronto extended its league-best winning streak to 10 games with Sunday’s win in Pittsburgh. During the run, Toronto has eight regulation wins, three by shutout, and has outscored its foes, 33-12.

Meanwhile, Minnesota continued pushing for the league’s top playoff seed with its fourth-straight win, a 5-1 home decision against New York Saturday.

Michela Cava led the Minnesota offensive onslaught with a pair of goals, while Kendall Coyne Schofield and Grace Zumwinkle each recorded a goal and an assist and Taylor Heise dished out a pair of assists. Claire Butorac scored the other goal for Minnesota, with Maddie Rooney stopping 20 of the 21 shots she faced. Abby Roque scored the lone goal for New York.

Cava, Rooney and Butorac were named the game’s three stars.

Minnesota also notched a 4-0 shutout win against Boston at home Wednesday in the league’s other Week 11 game.

Nicole Hensley stopped 20 shots to earn a shutout win in goal, and four different Minnesota players scored goals. Schofield and Heise led the way with a goal and an assist each, with Cava and Zumwinkle also scoring.

Hensley, Schofield and Cava were the three stars of the game.


Three Stars of the Week

  1. Kendall Coyne Schofield – Minnesota RW
  2. Michela Cava – Minnesota LW
  3. Kali Flanagan – Toronto D

Schofield picked up four points in a pair of Minnesota wins last week as her team won its third- and fourth-straight games. She now has six goals and seven assists on the season and is among the league’s top-five scorers. Schofield recorded 1-1-2 in both games and netted the game-winning goal vs. Boston.

Cava also has been a key component of Minnesota’s recent success. After scoring once in the team’s first 16 contests, she netted three goals in a pair of Week 11 games and notched the first multiple-point game of the year.

Flanigan contributed to both of her team’s goals in a 2-1 victory against Montréal during Week 11, recording a goal and an assist as Toronto won its 10th-consecutive game. It was her first multi-point game of the season.


Standings Through March 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. Toronto 9W 3OTW 5L – 33 pts
  2. Minnesota 8W 3OTW 3OTL 4L – 33 pts
  3. Montréal 7W 3OTW 3OTL 5L – 30 pts
  4. Boston 4W 4OTW 2OTL 7L – 22 pts
  5. Ottawa 5W 6OTL 6L – 21 pts
  6. New York 2W 4OTW 3OTL 8L – 17 pts


Goals Leaders

Natalie Spooner TOR – 12

Grace Zumwinkle MIN – 9

Alex Carpenter NY – 8

Marie-Philip Poulin MON – 8

Laura Stacey MON – 7


Assist Leaders

Alina Müller BOS – 10

Alex Carpenter NY – 10

Kelly Pannek MIN – 9


Marie-Philip Poulin MON – 9

Ella Shelton NY – 9


Points Leaders

Alex Carpenter NY – 18

Marie-Philip Poulin MON – 17

Natalie Spooner TOR – 17

Grace Zumwinkle MIN – 16

Katerina Mrázová – 13


Save Percentage Leaders

Elaine Chuli MTL – .958

Nicole Hensley MIN – .935

Corinne Schroeder NY – .935

Aerin Frankel BOS – .929

Kristen Campbell TOR – .925


Week 12 Schedule & Viewing Guide

Here is a look at the rest of the Week 11 schedule with viewing information: 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Boston at Toronto
TV: TSN3, NESN, Sportsnet Pittsburgh
Streaming: Women’s Sports Network, YouTube

7:00 p.m. ET – Ottawa at New York
Streaming: TSN+, YouTube

Saturday, March 23, 2024
3:30 p.m. ET – Toronto at Ottawa
TV: TSN1/5
Streaming: YouTube

Sunday, March 24, 2024
4:00 p.m. ET – Montréal at Minnesota
TV: Bally Sports North, Sportsnet ONE
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube
French: ICI TOU.TV

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