ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA (January 10, 2024) – First overall draft pick Taylor Heise stole the show on Wednesday with two highlight-reel goals and an assist to lead Minnesota to a 3-1 win against Toronto.
Minnesota is the first PWHL team to three wins, and the only remaining undefeated team.
Heise got the crowd at Xcel Energy Center on their feet near the end of the first, as she rushed the puck down the wing, beat two Toronto defenders in close, and tucked the puck past goaltender Kristen Campbell. This gave Minnesota the 1-0 lead at the 18:00 mark of the first period.
The University of Minnesota graduate continued to impress in the second period, scoring the eventual game-winner at 11:11 on a breakaway goal in which she deked and ripped a shot over the shoulder of Campbell in close to put Minnesota up 2-1. Heise now has three goals in her first three professional games.
Sarah Nurse got Toronto back in the game at 3:43 in the second period, her first goal of the season. The native of Hamilton, Ontario took a quick snap shot in the slot to beat Minnesota starter Nicole Hensley and tie the game 1-1.
Minnesota captain Kendall Coyne Schofield got her first goal of the season—and the insurance goal for her team—at 8:43 of the third period to put the score at 3-1.
Heise recorded her third point of the game with the primary assist, her first helper of the year, and Denisa Križová was credited with the secondary assist, her second of the season.
Despite outshooting Minnesota 10-7 in the third period, Toronto wasn’t able to capitalize on their chances.
Hensley made 31 saves and recorded her second win of the season, the first PWHL goalie to reach the mark. Kristen Campbell made her third straight start for Toronto and made 26 saves in the loss.
Three Stars: 1) Taylor Heise 2) Nicole Hensley 3) Kendall Coyne Schofield
- Sarah Nurse’s goal is the first Minnesota has allowed on home ice — They shut out visiting Montréal 3-0 during the home opener at Xcel Energy Center on January 6.
- The two goal scorers, Nurse and Taylor Heise, got coincidental roughing minors at 14:59 in the second period — This is the first set of coincidental penalties in the PWHL.
- Two Toronto players recorded a game-best 6 shots on goal: captain Blayre Turnbull and defender Renata Fast.
- PWHL leading goal scorer Grace Zumwinkle recorded 5 shots on goal, the most among Minnesota players.
- Final shots were 32-29 in favour of Toronto — The team outshot Minnesota in the first 9-6, 10-7 in the third.
- Minnesota outshot Toronto 16-13 in the second period.
- Minnesota went 0/3 on the powerplay — The team has yet to score on the advantage and is 0/8 on the season.
- Toronto went 0/2 on the powerplay — They are now 1/11 on the season, with Natalie Spooner scoring their lone PP goal on January 5 against New York.
- Through seven league games, Minnesota has recorded the only two wins on home ice.