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 Professional Women's Hockey League

Frankel Stands Tall, Tapani Scores Winner as Boston Wins Rematch against Ottawa

February 21, 2024 - Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) News Release


Aerin Frankel made 29 saves and Susanna Tapani scored the game-winning goal to lead Boston to a 3-1 win against Ottawa on Wednesday evening.

It was the second consecutive game that Boston took on Ottawa at their home rink at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell - Ottawa picked up the 4-2 victory on Monday night in the first tilt.

Boston ends a four-game losing streak with the win, two days after Ottawa snapped a five-game losing streak of their own.

This was the fifth time in Frankel's last six starts that she's seen at least 30 shots against.

Tapani's goal was her first since being acquired by Boston- she joined Boston with defender Abby Cook on February 11 in a trade that saw Sophie Jaques head the other way to Minnesota.

Tapani found the back of the net just 45 seconds into the second period to give her team a 2-1 lead- a lead they never relinquished. Boston defender Kaleigh Fratkin took a pass at the blue line and slid the puck to partner Megan Keller, who then wired a wrist shot through heavy traffic in front of the net. Tapani got a stick on it to redirect the puck past Ottawa goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer for her third goal of the season.

Boston's first lead of the game came when Alina Müller carried the puck over the blue line and linemate Loren Gabel followed up as the puck was knocked off of Müller's stick. Gabel deftly used the Ottawa defender as a screen as she snapped the puck just under Maschmeyer's blocker to make the game 1-0. Defender Jess Healey also picked up an assist on the play, her first point of the season.

Ottawa answered when forward Daryl Watts skated the puck over the blue line, pulling a Boston defender with her as she dropped a pass to teammate Kateřina Mrázová. Mrázová then danced around the remaining Boston defender with a slick move and fired a shot on Frankel, who stopped the first shot, but was unable to corral the rebound- Mrázová then stuffed it home to tie the game 1-1, her third tally of the campaign.

After Tapani's goal, Ottawa controlled much of the play in the second period, but it was Frankel who kept her team ahead, making 14 saves in the frame.

Boston captain Hilary Knight sealed the win for her team when she blocked an Ottawa point shot and followed up the play by picking up the puck at the red line. Knight was joined by linemate Gabel to create a 2-on-1 rush, but finished what she started by firing a laser over the glove of Maschmeyer, giving Boston their first two-goal lead of the game.

The unassisted marker, which made the score 3-1 at 13:49 of the third period, was Knight's second goal this season.

Ottawa made a strong final push, calling Maschmeyer to the bench with just over three minutes to go in the game, but the visitors were unable to solve Frankel as Boston closed out their six-game home stand with a victory.

Up next, Ottawa heads to Montréal for a game at Verdun Auditorium on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET. Then, on Sunday, Boston hits the road to take on Minnesota at Xcel Energy Center. Puck drop is 4:00 p.m. ET.

Postgame Quotes:

Boston Head Coach Courtney Kessel on her team's win: "That was by far our best team game that we've played. We played with way more urgency, but most importantly we played for each other. We stood up for each other out there. That's what we needed to see."

Boston goaltender Aerin Frankel on being locked in for tonight's match-up: "We've been searching for a win for the past few games. I'm a very competitive goalie and I have a lot of competitive teammates in the room as well, so it was for them. We hadn't been playing our best at home, but that made it extra important to do all the little things right tonight."

Ottawa head coach Carla MacLeod on whether a rivalry has developed with Boston: "There is a rivalry with every team, in all honesty. When there are only five opponents, you play each other so often. Certainly, the back-to-back elevates that slightly. There was no love lost here today. On the physicality side, Boston upped their game. Some of which I liked, some of which I didn't like. I thought we didn't respond as naturally to that as maybe we could've. We were juggling a little bit with our lines and our personnel as well. There were different variables here than we faced on Monday."

Ottawa forward Hayley Scamurra on the game's physicality: "It was definitely a more physical game, today. I don't know if we were quite ready at the start. We tried a little bit too late, maybe. We have to be ready. I think that all of our games are going to continue to get more physical as we keep going."

Notes:

Attendance: - 1,889 - Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, Lowell, MA.

Three Stars 1) Hilary Knight 2) Susanna Tapani 3) Kateřina Mrázová

Ottawa had the edge in shots 30-23 - They outshot Boston in the second (14-7) and third (10-8) but were outshot 8-6 in the first.

Ottawa's Hayley Scamurra had a game-high six shots on goal - Teammate Amanda Boulier was second with four.

Boston's Theresa Schafzahl had three shots, the most on her team.

Boston was 0/3 on the powerplay - Ottawa was 0/4.

Megan Keller moves into sole possession of first place in points among PWHL defenders - Her first period assist gives her ten points on the season, one more than Ella Shelton (NY).

With her first period assist, Alina Müller now has eight on the season - She remains tied for first in the category with Montréal's Tereza Vanišová, who recorded two assists tonight against New York.

Keller and Müller are now tied for third in overall league scoring.

Boston's Jess Healey's assist was her first PWHL point - Teammate Kaleigh Fratkin's assist was her first PWHL helper and her second point.

Keller extends her point streak to four games - She has one goal and five assists during that span.

Ottawa's Aneta Tejralová recorded her fourth point in five games.

Boston's season-high losing streak ends at four games - Tonight's win was their first in regulation on home ice and first victory since January 27, a 4-3 overtime triumph against Minnesota.

Ottawa's Mrázová didn't left the game after the second period and didn't return - Teammate Emily Clark was on the bench but play in the last 40 minutes - Ottawa coach Carla MacLeod said after the games that both forwards will be re-evaluated in the upcoming days.

This was the first time that Ottawa has lost a game by more than one goal.

Boston (3-2-2-4) jumps into a fourth-place tie in the PWHL with 15 points.

Ottawa (3-0-4-4) drops to sixth place with 12 points.

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Professional Women's Hockey League Stories from February 21, 2024


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