Minnesota puts undefeated record on the line at home against New York

SAINT PAUL, MN (January 14, 2024) – The second week of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) regular-season wraps up on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. ET when Minnesota takes on New York for the first time at Xcel Energy Center.




Fans in the United States can tune-in live on Bally Sports North, the Bally Sports app on mobile and tablet devices, when fans authenticate using their pay-TV credentials, and Bally Sports+. The game is also available to U.S. viewers on MSG/MSG2, NESN, and streamed on the league’s YouTube channel. In Canada, fans can watch the game live on Sportsnet East, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet Pacific, and streamed on Sportsnet+. Alexis Pearson will have the play-by-play call alongside analyst Julie Friend.




Minnesota (3-0-0) is the only undefeated team in the PWHL and stand alone atop the overall standings with nine points. They opened the season with a 3-2 road win over Boston on January 3, then rattled off a pair of home victories including a 3-0 shutout against Montréal last Saturday, followed by a 3-1 triumph over Toronto on Wednesday. New York (1-2-0) is tied for fourth place in the standings with three points and enter the contest on a two-game losing streak. After opening the season with a 4-0 shutout victory in Toronto on New Year’s Day, they dropped the next two games on home ice including a 3-2 loss to Toronto on January 5 at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, CT, and most recently a 5-2 setback against Montréal on Wednesday at UBS Arena.




Minnesota remains the only team to win on home ice this season through the league’s first nine games. Their two victories at Xcel Energy Center stack up opposite seven losses accumulated by all other PWHL teams including all five other home openers. Fans in the State of Hockey have shown their passion for the PWHL, with Saturday’s crowd of 13,316 setting a worldwide professional women’s hockey attendance record, followed by a crowd of 4,707 on Wednesday which counts as the third highest attendance of the year across the PWHL.




Eleven different Minnesota players have now recorded PWHL points this season. First overall pick Taylor Heise’s three-point performance with two goals and one assist on Wednesday against Toronto tied a league-high shared by Grace Zumwinkle who recorded the season’s first hat trick on January 6 against Montréal. Three Minnesota players have also produced two-assist games over the homestand including Denisa Křížová on Wednesday, and both Kelly Pannek and Susanna Tapani last Saturday. Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield scored her first PWHL goal on Wednesday. Thirteen different New York players have points on the board including four players who are tied for the team’s scoring lead with three points apiece. Each of them has produced a multi-point game this season including Alex Carpenter (1G 1A) and Chloé Aurard (2A) in the opening win against Toronto, and Jessie Eldridge (1G 1A) and Ella Shelton (1G 1A) in Wednesday’s loss to Montréal.




New York forward Paetyn Levis will play her first professional game in her home state. The 24-year-old from Rogers, MN was selected in the tenth round of the PWHL Draft following a five-year NCAA tenure at Ohio State University. New York also has a trio of players who spent parts of their NCAA careers in Minnesota. Goaltender Abbey Levy spent two seasons with Minnesota State University from 2018-20, forward Elizabeth Giguère played her fifth and final collegiate season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2021-22, and Savannah Norcross played her final two seasons at the University of Minnesota from 2021-23.




Over the last two seasons with the Gophers, New York’s Savannah Norcross played with Minnesota’s Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle, along with reserves Abby Boreen and Lauren Bench. New York’s Elizabeth Giguère and Minnesota’s Maggie Flaherty reunite as former UMD Bulldogs, and New York’s Abbey Levy will see her former Mavericks teammates Brooke Bryant, Claire Butorac, and Brittyn Fleming. There is also a collection of NCAA connections from programs outside Minnesota, including the University of Wisconsin where Minnesota’s Natalie Buchbinder, Mellissa Channell, and Sophia Kunin all played with New York’s Abby Roque. Channell was also a Badger with New York’s Madison Packer. Goaltender Corinne Schroeder (NY) played with defender Abby Cook (MIN) at Boston University, defender Emma Greco (MIN) played with forward Emma Woods (NY) at Quinnipiac University, and defender Johanna Fällman (NY) played with forward Susanna Tapani (MIN) at the University of North Dakota. New York’s Paetyn Levis won a 2022 NCAA National Championship with Minnesota’s Clair DeGeorge and Liz Schepers.




The 2024 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship wraps up Sunday in Switzerland and is an event that helped the development of many PWHL players. In 15 tournaments since its debut in 2008, the United States has won eight gold medals to Canada’s seven. A total of 15 players on today’s rosters have won U18 gold. Nine of them are on Minnesota and were championship members of Team USA including Maggie Flaherty (2018), Taylor Heise (2018, 2017, 2016), Natalie Buchbinder (2017), Clair DeGeorge (2017), Grace Zumwinkle (2017, 2016), Sydney Brodt (2016), Sophia Kunin (2015), Lee Stecklein (2011), and Kendall Coyne Schofield (2009, 2008). The six U18 gold medalists on New York include Americans Abby Roque (2015), Alex Carpenter (2011), and Madison Packer (2009, 2008). Canadian winners include Alexandra Labelle (2014), Micah Zandee-Hart (2014), and Jill Saulnier (2010). Head coach Howie Draper led the 2019 squad to victory. Heading into the 2024 event, Coyne Schofield held the record for all-time tournament points with 33, and Carpenter ranks third with 28.




New York has signed forward Alexa Gruschow to a Standard Player Agreement ahead of Sunday’s game. The 29-year-old from Mechanicsburg, PA was originally named to the team as a reserve. Since graduating from RPI in 2016, her professional career has included three PHF seasons with the Metropolitan Riveters where she won a 2018 Isobel Cup and earned league MVP honors. She spent the last four seasons with the PWHPA and won a 2023 title. Her signing corresponds with the team’s placement of Jill Saulnier on long term injured reserve.




Minnesota ranks second with nine goals for, and first with only three goals against…New York’s even goal differential is tied for third in the PWHL with Boston and Montréal…Both Minnesota and New York have scored the first goal in all three of their games this season…Minnesota has scored four goals and allowed zero against in first period action…New York has scored three times in the opening frame and allowed one goal…Minnesota (-24) and New York (-10) are the only two PWHL teams with negative shot differentials…Minnesota (22.33) has recorded the lowest shots on goal per game average…New York (33.67) averages the most shots on goal allowed per game…Minnesota (0/5) is the only PWHL team without a powerplay goal…New York (1/10) ranks fourth on the PP…Minnesota (6/7) and New York (9/11) rank fourth and fifth in penalty kill efficiency…Minnesota goaltenders Maddie Rooney (1-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%) and Nicole Hensley (2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .955 SV%) lead all statistical categories…Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle leads the PWHL with four goals…New York’s Chloé Aurard is tied for second in the PWHL with three assists…New York’s Ella Shelton is tied for the scoring lead among defenders with three points…Minnesota’s Lee Stecklein leads the PWHL with 8 PIM…Minnesota’s Susanna Tapani (+5) leads all players in plus-minus rating followed by teammates Natalie Buchbinder (+4) and Zumwinkle (+4) and New York’s Paetyn Levis (+4)…New York’s Jessie Eldridge ranks second with 15 shots on goal…Zumwinkle leads Minnesota with 12 shots…Minnesota’s best on face-offs includes Liz Schepers (55.8%), Kelly Pannek (55.3%), and Taylor Heise (41.7%)…New York face-off leaders are Alex Carpenter (66.7%), Abby Roque (63.6%), and Jade Downie-Landry (60.5%).






Coyne Schofield | Heise | Křížová
Tapani | Pannek | Zumwinkle
Fleming | Schepers | Kunin
DeGeorge | Cava | Bryant

Stecklein | Flaherty
Channell | Buchbinder
Kremer | Cook


Rooney | Hensley




Roque | Carpenter | Eldridge
Aurard | Woods | Levis
Vespa | Downie-Landry | Giguère
Packer | Labelle | Norcross


Hobson | Bourbonnais
Shelton | Fällman
Zafuto | Baker


Schroeder | Levy




Referees: Jake Kamrass (Atlanta, GA) and Amanda Tassoni (Bradford, RI).
Linespersons: Sarah Buckner (Plymouth, MN) and Erin Zach (Cambridge, ON).


Follow the league on all social media platforms @thepwhlofficial plus team accounts @pwhl_minnesota and @pwhl_newyork.