TORONTO, ON (May 1, 2024) – Toronto defeated Minnesota 4-1 at Mattamy Athletic Centre on Wednesday, securing first place in the PWHL standings heading into the playoffs.


With the victory, Toronto will be able to choose to play either the third or fourth place team in the first round of the playoffs— once final standings have been determined.


Three teams — Minnesota, Ottawa, and Boston — are all still battling for the final two playoff spots. Each team has one game remaining in the regular season.


Natalie Spooner scored twice, and Emma Maltais had a goal and two assists to lead Toronto’s offence.


With the game tied 1-1 in the second period, Spooner gave her team the lead with her league-leading 17th goal of the year. Maltais sent the puck to Renata Fast at the point, who ripped a shot that Spooner redirected past Maddie Rooney for the team’s second powerplay goal of the game.


Spooner made the game 3-1 at 7:21 of the third period after she blocked a shot at her own blueline and took off on a breakaway. Spooner made a spectacular backhand to forehand deke to fool Rooney and then deposited the puck into the open cage for her second tally of the game— and 18th of the season.


With the game 3-1 late in the third, Minnesota pulled Rooney for the 6-on-5 advantage, creating a number of chances, but Toronto goaltender Kristen Campbell made several big saves with pressure mounting in her team’s end.


With just under two minutes to go, Maltais tipped the puck out of her zone and outraced two Minnesota defenders to get the puck at the attacking blue line before sending it into the open net as she was falling to the ice. The unassisted goal was Maltais’ third point of the game and sealed the 4-1 victory for Toronto.


Minnesota entered the game needing just one point to clinch a playoff berth.


They got out to an early 1-0 lead as Michela Cava opened the scoring 4:14 into the game. Taylor Heise started the play, stealing the puck from a Toronto defender before sending a pass to Maggie Flaherty at the blueline. Cava, who was parked in the slot, deflected Flaherty’s point shot into the back of the net. The goal was Cava’s fifth of the season.


Toronto evened it up at 9:44 of the first frame with their first of two powerplay goals in the game. Maltais sent the puck below the goal line to linemate Sarah Nurse, who threaded a pass through the seam and onto the stick of a driving Hannah Miller. Miller made no mistake as she one-timed a shot over Rooney’s glove and into the top corner of the net.


Campbell made 25 saves to record her league-leading 15th win of the season. Rooney made 19 saves in the loss.


Minnesota has now lost four straight games. They can clinch the third seed by earning just one point in their final game of the season on Saturday afternoon in New York.



Up next for Toronto is their final game of the season on Sunday, May 5, when they host Ottawa.




Toronto forward Hannah Miller on clinching first place: “It feels really good. You know, new league so it’s pretty cool to take home first there— but we’re working towards a bigger picture here.”


Toronto head coach Troy Ryan: “It was nice that we didn’t have to grind this out. I was able to play through 13 forwards and six D, so it’s just nice that you’re not having to tire out and shorten the bench at this point in the season. You want to be able to give everyone some valuable experience right now in meaningful games in case you have to rely on them to play key minutes in the playoffs. So, it’s just good to be in the situation where you’re not having to grind it out at the last minute of the game to get a win for something like first place. First place is important, it’s great, but it doesn’t guarantee success in the playoffs, so we want to set our team up for success.”


Minnesota captain Kendall Coyne Schofield on needing one point in their final game to clinch a playoff spot: “We know what we need to do. I think it’s knowing that everyone is involved, every goal is important, and everyone is going to contribute.  It’s not going to be one person; everyone is going to contribute.  Everyone is involved and that’s how we’re going to get it done on Saturday.”


Minnesota head coach Ken Klee: “We have the players in the room.  We have the players in the room to win.  You know, we reeled off five wins in a row and now we’re somehow at four losses in a row.  No one is going to help us— we have to get out of this ourselves.”



  • Attendance: 2,571 – Mattamy Athletic Centre, Toronto, ON.
  • Three Stars: 1) Natalie Spooner 2) Emma Maltais 3) Hannah Miller
  • Shots ended 26-23 in favor of Minnesota— They led the category in the first (10-7) and third (12-8), but Toronto had the edge in the second (8-4).
  • Minnesota defenders Sophie Jaques and Lee Stecklein led all players with five shots on goal apiece– Sarah Nurse (TOR) finished second with four.
  • Toronto was 2/3 on the powerplay — Minnesota was 0/3.
  • Toronto went 4/8 on the powerplay in its final three games against Minnesota.
  • Renata Fast (TOR) led all players with 24:34 of ice time – Stecklein led all Minnesota skaters with 22:14 TOI.
  • With two goals, Spooner extends her point streak to three games and adds to her league lead in goals (18) and points (25) — She now sits three points ahead of Marie-Philip Poulin (MTL) and Alex Carpenter (NY), who are tied for second with 22 points.
  • Spooner scores her fourth game-winning goal of the season and moves into a tie with Grace Zumwinkle (MIN) for first in the PWHL in game-winners — All four of Spooner’s game-winning-goals have come at home.
  • Maltais (TOR) extends her point streak to five games (1G, 7A) — She moves into sole possession of first place in the PWHL in the assist category with 15 on the season.
  • Maltais now leads all PWHL rookies in scoring with 19 points (4G, 15A) and moves into a tie for fifth in scoring among all players.
  • Renata Fast (TOR) extends her point streak to four games (1G, 3A).
  • Nurse extends her point streak to three games (5G, 1A).
  • Toronto extends their winning streak on home ice to eight games.
  • Minnesota has now lost a season-high four straight games in regulation – Their losing streak immediately follows a season-high five game winning streak.
  • Toronto wins the season series between the two teams, winning three of four games, and finishing with an 8-4 advantage in points.
  • The game was Toronto’s Pride Night celebration.
  • Toronto (12-4-0-7) has 44 points and secures home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
  • Minnesota (8-4-3-8) remains in third place with 35 points— They can clinch third place with just one point on Saturday against New York.
  • The crowd of 2,571 is the highest attendance in 10 games at Mattamy Athletic Centre this season.
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