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 Professional Women's Hockey League

Professional Women's Hockey League Pregame Primer - Toronto at Ottawa

March 2, 2024 - Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) News Release


OTTAWA, ON - The Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) schedule continues this weekend with a pair of Saturday afternoon games, including Ottawa and Toronto, at 3:30 p.m. ET at The Arena at TD Place.

WHERE TO WATCH

Fans in Canada can watch the game live on CBC, streamed on CBC Gem, cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. The game is also available on the league's YouTube channel for United States viewers. Andi Petrillo will host the game in studio alongside analysts Hailey Salvian and Saroya Tinker. In Ottawa, Daniella Ponticelli will have the play-by-play call with Hanna Bunton on colour and Signa Butler reporting rinkside. CBC is hosting a watch party at Peaches Sports Bar in Toronto and will have live hits during the game with reporter Anastasia Bucsis.

MINOR HOCKEY/DO IT FOR DARON DAY IN OTTAWA

It's Minor Hockey Day at TD Place! PWHL Ottawa will take advantage of the occasion to lend a helping hand to the Do It For Daron (DIFD) organization, which has been multiplying mental health initiatives in the Capital Region for nearly 15 years. When they arrive at TD Place, players will wear toques from the organization, which was created following the tragic death of Daron Richardson, a young Ottawa-area hockey player, in the fall of 2010. At a special pre-game ceremony, two cheques will be presented to DIFD volunteers from the Nepean Girls Hockey Association for the proceeds raised at 'DIFD Paint it Purple' tournaments and merchandise sales. The funds will go to The Royal - a Mental Health Care & Research Hospital in Ottawa. Chicago Blackhawks head coach (and Daron's father) Luke Richardson has prepared a note to thank PWHL Ottawa. His message will be shown on the videoboard in-venue. Fans have been encouraged to wear the colour purple, which was Daron's favorite, for this game.

SETTING THE STAGE

Critical points, winning streaks, and provincial bragging rights are on the line as the puck drops in Canada's capital city. Toronto (5-3-0-5) enters the action in third place in the league's standings with 21 points, one back of Minnesota and three behind Montréal. Ottawa (4-0-4-5) has 16 points in a fifth-place tie with New York, just two back of Boston. Toronto has won six straight games, the longest streak in the PWHL this season, and have not lost since Jan. 23 when Ottawa beat them 3-1 at TD Place. Toronto has captured 16 of a possible 18 points during their current stretch, with their last two games requiring extra time. They beat New York 2-1 in a shootout last Friday night at home, then picked up a 4-3 overtime win in Minnesota on Tuesday. Ottawa also hits the ice fresh off a win, beating New York 4-2 at home on Wednesday. Two of Ottawa's four wins this season have come against Toronto, and a win today would clinch the season series between the Ontario rivals. Ottawa's win over Toronto and most recent against New York are the team's only two at home in seven appearances so far this season. Toronto has won four of its six road games this season, including two within their current streak. The teams will meet two more times during the regular season, with the next scheduled matchup taking place Mar. 23 back at TD Place.

THE SEASON SERIES SO FAR

Ottawa has earned all six points in two previous meetings this season, including a 5-1 win on Jan. 13 at Mattamy Athletic Centre, and a 3-1 victory on Jan. 23 at TD Place. In the first game, Ottawa scored two powerplay goals in 48 seconds and took a 3-0 lead in the opening frame and never looked back. Gabbie Hughes tallied twice, with singles from Kateřina Mrázová, Daryl Watts, and Natalie Snodgrass. The rematch also saw three goals scored in the first period, with Brianne Jenner's first of the year holding as the difference maker. Emily Clark opened the scoring, and Lexie Adzija added the empty-net insurance marker shorthanded. Four Ottawa defenders have recorded two assists in the season series, counting Ashton Bell, Amanda Boulier, Zoe Boyd, and Savannah Harmon. Toronto's goals have been scored by Natalie Spooner and Brittany Howard. Emerance Maschmeyer won both games between-the-pipes and has a head-to-head save percentage of .964. Kristen Campbell allowed three goals on 11 shots in the first meeting and was pulled for Erica Howe who made her first and only start so far this season in the rematch. Ottawa is the only team that Toronto has not defeated.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Toronto's Natalie Spooner leads the league with 10 goals and ranks third in overall points with 11 through 13 games. While held officially without a point in three straight games, her two shootout goals against New York led the team to victory. Emma Maltais elevated her offensive game in February with a goal and six assists in five games. She has points in two straight and ranks second on the team in scoring with nine points. Maltais' seven assists are tied with defender Jocelyne Larocque who has three helpers in her last two games and eight points overall. Sarah Nurse brought her point total to eight with her first two-goal performance of the season on Tuesday in Minnesota, which included the overtime winner. Four of Ottawa's top-five scorers all contributed offensively to Wednesday's win over New York. Lexie Adzija (5G 3A) leads the team with eight points and is on a two-game streak after scoring the insurance marker into the empty-net. Gabbie Hughes (5G 2A) scored the game-winner, Kateřina Mrázová (4G 3A) picked up an assist to extend her point streak to three, and Savannah Harmon (3G 4A) scored the game's first goal. Emily Clark (2G 5A) is also tied for second in team scoring and had five points in seven February games. Last week's Second Star Daryl Watts (3G 3A) has four points in her last three games.

BUSIEST BETWEEN-THE-PIPES

Today's starters are no strangers to action and represent the top two goaltenders in minutes played this season. Ottawa's Emerance Maschmeyer has accumulated 764:08 over the course of all 13 of her team's games, including 12 starts. Kristen Campbell has started 12 of Toronto's 13 games and has played 690:31. She leads the league with eight wins and carries a personal streak of seven straight. Naturally, both netminders have also faced the most shots with Maschmeyer seeing 327 pucks to Campbell's 312. Ottawa and Toronto also rank one-two in shots-per-game average which could make for an even busier afternoon between-the-pipes.

KEEPING AN EYE ON COLLEGE HOCKEY

Playoff tournaments are now fully underway in all five NCAA Division I women's hockey conferences, with lots of PWHL players keeping an eye on their alma mater. This afternoon is the CHA Championship between Penn State and Mercyhurst - where Toronto's Jess Jones and Alexa Vasko attended. Best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinals are underway this weekend where Ottawa's Rosalie Demers will be cheering for No. 1 ranked Colgate against No. 8 Brown. No. 2 ranked Clarkson, with alumnae Savannah Harmon (OTT), Renata Fast (TOR), Erica Howe (TOR), and Emma Keenan (TOR), take on No. 7 Princeton where Rachel McQuigge (OTT) and Maggie Connors (TOR) attended. No. 3 St. Lawrence features alumnae Amanda Boulier (OTT) and Hannah Miller (TOR) and take on No. 6 ranked Yale. No. 4 Cornell with alumnae Brianne Jenner (OTT) and Lauriane Rougeau (TOR), take on No. 5 Quinnipiac with alumnae Lexie Adzija (OTT) and Zoe Boyd (OTT). Boston College, where Daryl Watts (OTT) was a Patty Kazmaier Award recipient and Kali Flanagan (TOR) attended, won their Hockey East quarterfinal 2-1 over Providence, where Sandra Abstreiter (OTT) graduated. In other Hockey East action, Connecticut, where Natalie Snodgrass (OTT) played, takes on Holy Cross. Vermont, where Maude Poulin-Labelle (TOR) spent four years, battles New Hampshire. Merrimack also takes on Northeastern, a program that also featured Poulin-Labelle and Hayley Scamurra (OTT). Best-of-three WCHA quarterfinals are also underway. No. 1 Ohio State, with alumnae Emma Maltais (TOR) and Natalie Spooner (TOR), are facing No. 8 Bemidji State. No. 2 Wisconsin, with alumnae in Watts (OTT), Emily Clark (OTT), Samantha Cogan (TOR), Sarah Nurse (TOR), and Blayre Turnbull (TOR), host No. 7 St. Thomas. No. 3 Minnesota, with alumna Olivia Knowles (TOR), faces No. 6 Minnesota State, with alumna Jessica Kondas (TOR). No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth, with alumnae Ashton Bell (OTT), Gabbie Hughes (OTT), Kateřina Mrázová (OTT), and Jocelyne Larocque (TOR), are hosting No. 5 St. Cloud State.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"There's been a lot of games in which we have given up later goals in a period when we should have been in shut down mode. It was great to see that New York came out really strong in the third period. They did everything except scoring. We stuck to our plan. We made sure we got the puck out when we could. For me, I covered pucks whenever I needed to stop the play. Just to see the resilience and the fact that we didn't get passive, it's really promising for us going forward. It's going to give us a lot of confidence going forward." - Emerance Maschmeyer, Ottawa

"It has been a while (since playing Toronto). They have sorted out their game in a lot of ways. As have we. It's going to be another great tilt. Those games were back and forth. They are a speed centric team. You can see it. They move the puck north quickly and everyone is going. They're a good hockey team and we have to make sure that we play our best too. We are just looking forward to the opportunity." - Carla MacLeod, Ottawa

"I'm excited about the opportunity to play in Ottawa, especially returning to my hometown to compete in front of friends and family. The supportive atmosphere for the new league in Ottawa is fantastic, and I'm anticipating a competitive game. Our team is determined to win against Ottawa, and we're eager to make that happen." - Samantha Cogan, Toronto

"This is a big game for our team. Our focus is on getting back in the season series against Ottawa. We were not pleased with our performances in our first two games so we will look at getting back in the series with a strong performance on the road. It's a good test for our group as we will be approaching this game as it were a playoff game." - Troy Ryan, Toronto

QUICK HITS

Toronto (+1) is second in goal differential and Ottawa (-2) is tied for fifth...Ottawa (2.46) and Toronto (2.46) are in a three-way tie for first in goals-per-game...Toronto (2.38) allows the third most goals-per-game on average and Ottawa (2.62) allows the most...Ottawa has scored first in eight of their 13 games and Toronto has scored the game's first goal seven times...Ottawa leads the league with 13 first period goals and Toronto leads the league with 14 third period goals...Both teams have played the fewest one-goal games this season...Ottawa (+62) is first in shot differential and Toronto (+32) ranks second...Ottawa (30.92) is first in shots-per-game average and Toronto (29.23) ranks second...Ottawa (26.15) allows the fewest shots-per-game on average and Toronto (26.69) allows the third fewest...Toronto (6.92) averages the third most penalty minutes per game and Ottawa (4.92) averages the least...Ottawa (9/38) is first in powerplay efficiency at 23.7%...Toronto (4/39) is third on the PP at 10.3%...Toronto (40/42) is first in penalty kill efficiency at 95.2%...Ottawa (24/30) is fifth on the PK at 80.0%...Ottawa leads the league with three shorthanded goals...Natalie Spooner (TOR) leads the league with 10 goals...Spooner is tied for the league-lead with three powerplay goals...Gabbie Hughes (OTT) is tied for the league-lead with three game-winning goals...Amanda Boulier (OTT) is tied for second with a plus-7 rating...Spooner leads the league with 52 shots on goal...Hayley Scamurra (OTT) is tied for second in the league with 51 shots...Brianne Jenner (79/144) leads Ottawa with a 54.9% face-off percentage...Hughes (42.9%) leads the team with 210 draws...Sarah Nurse (87/160) leads Toronto with a 54.4% face-off percentage...Blayre Turnbull (41.9%) leads the team with 191 draws...Emerance Maschmeyer (OTT) has won four of her 12 starts with a goals-against-average of 2.43 and save percentage of .905...Kristen Campbell (TOR) has won eight of her 12 starts, leads the league with two shutouts, and carries a 2.26 GAA and .917 SV%...Akane Shiga (OTT) is the league's youngest player and will celebrate her 23rd birthday on Sunday...Ottawa is utilizing the same lineup for the third straight game.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

OTTAWA:

Clark | Hughes | Scamurra

Watts | Mrázová | Jenner

Adzija | Snodgrass | Shiga

Gasparics | Gilmore | Demers

Tejralová | Harmon

Boyd | Bell

Roese | Boulier

Buckles

Maschmeyer | Abstreiter

Scratches: Della Rovere, McQuigge

TORONTO:

Miller | Nurse | Spooner

Maltais | Turnbull | Connors

Cogan | Compher | Bach

Howard | Vasko | Leslie

| | Willoughby

Larocque | Fast

Munroe | Flanagan

Rougeau | Knowles

Campbell | Howe

Scratches: Jackson, Poulin-Labelle

OFFICIALS:

Referees: Melissa Doyle (White Bear Lake, MN) and Damian Figueira (Toronto, ON).

Linespersons: Spencer Knox (Clarington, ON) and Sophie Thomson (Halifax, NS).

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Professional Women's Hockey League Stories from March 2, 2024


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