Fourth game of a competitive season series led 5-4 in points by Boston


SAINT PAUL, MN (March 13, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) schedule for this week begins with a Wednesday night game between Minnesota and Boston, at 8:00 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center.




Fans in the United States can watch the game live on Bally Sports North, the Bally Sports app on mobile and tablet devices (including iOS and Android), when authenticated using pay-TV credentials, and on Bally Sports+, the standalone streaming subscription service available from Bally Sports. The game will also be available on NESN+, Sportsnet Pittsburgh, and in Canada on TSN5,, and the TSN app. Streaming of the game is available on the Women’s Sports Network and on the league’s YouTube channel. Clay Matvick will have the play-by-play call alongside analyst Alexis Pearson and with Julie Friend reporting from rinkside.




Tonight’s game at Xcel Energy Center will spotlight a number of community heroes. The ceremonial ‘Let’s Play Hockey’ cheer will be performed by Shane Hudella, President & Founder of the United Heroes League (UHL). The UHL, tonight’s community partner, actively works to ensure that children of military service members are afforded every opportunity to participate in sports. Throughout the game, PWHL Minnesota will recognize its athletic trainers, and show video interviews of players Abby Boreen, Clair DeGeorge, and Nikki Nightengale that detail their experience working in healthcare. Additional videos will show players sharing who their favorite teacher was in school growing up. Invited groups in attendance will include the UHL, veterans, St. Paul public school educators, and the Children’s Hospital.




All three points in every game down the stretch is critical as teams embark into the final third of their regular-season schedules. Minnesota (6-3-3-4) stands alone in third place with 27 points, just three back of both Montréal and Toronto, who share the league-lead with 30 points. Boston (4-3-2-6) is tied for fourth place with 20 points and would like to take advantage of their game in hand over Ottawa to distance themselves in the playoff race. The teams last played each other on Feb. 25 at Xcel Energy Center in a game won 2-0 by Boston. Since then, Minnesota has collected six of a possible nine points, including two straight wins in March. They beat New York 2-0 on Mar. 3 at UBS Arena, then defeated Ottawa 4-3 in a shootout last Tuesday at home. The eight days between games is their longest stretch of inactivity since the league’s International Break in early February. Boston enters the action on the heels of a 3-2 overtime victory against New York on Sunday, which snapped a two-game losing streak. In that game, Boston extended their perfect streak to five wins when scoring the game’s first goal. They are the second most efficient team in the PWHL on the road, however, have played the fewest games, earning four wins and 11 of a possible 18 points in six appearances as the visitor. Minnesota ranks third on home ice with four wins and 13 of a possible 24 points in eight games. They are also effective when scoring the game’s first goal, with seven wins in the eight games they’ve done so. This is the fourth game of the season series, with Boston scheduled to return once more to Xcel Energy Center on Apr. 27.




It’s been a closely contested season series to date, with Boston holding the slight advantage 5-4 in points through three games. Boston picked up a 2-0 regulation win back on Feb. 25 at Xcel Energy Center led by Aerin Frankel’s 41-save shutout performance. Theresa Schafzahl scored for the second time against Minnesota this season, and Warroad native Gigi Marvin added an empty netter against her home-state team. Susanna Tapani picked up an assist against her former team, and Jamie Lee Rattray had an assist and now has one in all three games of the series. Other head-to-head points leaders include Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle with two goals and one assist, and Boston’s Alina Müller with a goal and two assists. Boston captain Hilary Knight scored the overtime winner in game two. Tonight’s goaltending matchup is a rematch of both the first and the third games, with Frankel suiting up against Nicole Hensley, who stopped 33 of 35 shots in the opening game win, and stopped 21 of 22 in the third game. Both goaltenders were also among the six invited to U.S. National Women’s Team Evaluation Camp.




Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle (7G, 6A) is tied for fourth in league scoring with 13 points in 16 games and is riding a three-game streak, with four assists in that span. Kelly Pannek (2G, 9A) is second in team scoring with 11 points and also has an active three-game point streak. Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield (4G, 5A) has nine points, followed by Taylor Heise (3G, 4A) with seven points. Heise recorded an assist last Tuesday in her second game back from injury and added a shootout tally. Denisa Křížová had a breakout performance with her first two goals of the season against Ottawa, plus one in the shootout. Boston’s Alina Müller (2G, 10A) leads the team with 12 points in 15 games, with her 10 assists tied for the league-lead. Megan Keller (3G, 7A) has 10 points and is tied for second in league scoring among defenders. Jamie Lee Rattray (2G, 7A) has nine points and is coming off her second two-assist game of the season. Susanna Tapani (3G, 5A) is fourth in team scoring with eight points. Minnesota native Hannah Brandt scored twice, including the overtime winner, in Sunday’s victory against New York. It was her first multi-goal game of the season and lifted her into a tie for the team-lead with four goals.




Minnesota Director of Game Operations, Claire Bjerke, was recently awarded Class A Assistant Coach of the Year honors at Minnesota’s Ms. Hockey Banquet. She helped lead the Orono High School Spartans to a third-place finish at the Class A State Tournament. The Edina native played hockey at the College of Saint Benedict and has been coaching girls high school hockey since graduating in 2015 as a way of giving back and remaining part of the community. This was her second season with the Spartans as an assistant varsity coach.




The 2024 NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship Bracket is officially set with 11 teams in the hunt for the national title. Three first-round regional games will be played on Thursday night and several PWHL players will surely be keeping an eye on their alma mater. Among the matchups is the University of Connecticut against the University of Minnesota Duluth. Former Bulldogs on tonight’s two PWHL teams include Minnesota’s Sydney Brodt, Maggie Flaherty, and Maddie Rooney, and Boston’s Sidney Morin, Jess Healey, and Emma Söderberg. Minnesota’s Michela Cava could be torn as she played for both the Bulldogs and Huskies during her NCAA tenure. Thursday’s other two games feature Stonehill against Cornell, and Penn State against St. Lawrence.




“You really have to focus on that first shift (to get a fast start). Every group that goes out there needs to be ready to start with your feet and your compete level. And then you have to keep it simple, let the game dictate the first few shifts versus trying to overcomplicate things. And for me as center I try to win that first face off!” – Kelly Pannek, Minnesota

“The most important thing we can do after being off for so long is to focus on getting a fast start. The challenge for the players is to be at game speed as soon as the puck drops. There aren’t many games left in the regular season, so every point is important, and the best way to earn points is to play three periods. That’s what we intend to do tonight.” – Ken Klee, Minnesota


“We have to keep going. Our team is looking at this last stretch here as every game is do or die for us, because if you look at the standings, it kind of is. We’re looking to try to get on a roll here.” – Hannah Brandt, Boston


“We have to manage their speed. Minnesota is such a fast team, and they generate so many odd man rushes against. We’re focused on managing that speed, having a great forecheck, getting in there hard and playing below the goal line.” – Courtney Kessel, Boston




Minnesota (+3) is second in goal differential and Boston (-5) is sixth…Boston (2.20) is fourth in goals-per-game average and Minnesota (2.19) is tied for fifth…Minnesota (2.00) allows the fewest goals-per-game on average and Boston (2.53) allows the second most…Minnesota has scored the game’s first goal in eight of their 16 games and have won seven of them, while Boston has scored first in five games and won them all…Minnesota (13) scores its most goals in the first period, while Boston (13) scores its most goals in the third period…Minnesota has won six of its 11 one-goal games and Boston five of its eight…Minnesota (+60) is first in shot differential and Boston (+9) ranks fourth…Minnesota (30.19) is second in shots-per-game average and Boston (28.80) ranks fourth…Minnesota (26.44) allows the second fewest shots-per-game and Boston (28.20) allows the third most on average…Boston (6.13) is fourth in penalty minutes per game and Minnesota (5.63) is fifth…Minnesota (3/39) is fifth in powerplay efficiency at 7.7%…Boston (2/36) ranks sixth on the PP at 5.6%…Boston (37/40) is second in penalty kill efficiency at 92.5%…Minnesota (31/41) ranks sixth on the PK at 75.6%…Alina Müller (BOS) is tied for the league-lead with 10 assists…Grace Zumwinkle (MIN) is tied for the league-lead with three game winning goals…Taylor Girard (BOS) is tied for the league-lead with two shorthanded points…Zumwinkle leads Minnesota with 61 shots on goal…Hilary Knight leads Boston with 47 shots…Kelly Pannek (160/289) leads Minnesota in face-offs taken with a win-rate of 55.4%…Hannah Brandt (117/219) leads Boston in face-offs taken with a win-rate of 53.4%…Nicole Hensley (MIN) has won five of her nine starts with a goals-against-average of 1.98 and save percentage of .930…Aerin Frankel (BOS) has won four of her 10 starts with a 2.02 GAA and .931 SV%…Müller celebrated her 26th birthday yesterday…Boston is dressing the same forward lines and defensive pairings as in Sunday’s win.





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

Stecklein | Jaques
Flaherty | Buchbinder
Greco | Channell


Hensley | Rooney


Scratches: Brodt, Leveille




Müller | Tapani | Knight
Schafzahl | Brandt | Rattray
Gabel | Darkangelo | Shirley
Girard | Marvin | Pelkey

Keller | Fratkin
Brown | Morin
DiGirolamo | Healey


Frankel | Söderberg


Scratches: Cook, Kronish




Referees: Jared Cummins (Norwalk, IA) and Tatu Kunto (San Diego, CA).

Linespersons: TJ Dockery (Buffalo, NY) and Justine Todd (Kawartha Lakes, ON).


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