Minnesota returns to action on a five-game winning streak, Montréal with four straight losses


MONTREAL, QC (April 18, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) schedule resumes following the International Break with two Thursday night games, including Montréal against Minnesota, at Verdun Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. ET.




Fans across Canada can watch the game live on TSN 1/4/5 channels,, and the TSN app. The game is available to viewers in the United States 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 on Bally Sports West and Wisconsin, Sportsnet Pittsburgh Plus, and streamed on the league’s YouTube channel. Daniella Ponticelli will have the play-by-play call alongside analyst Saroya Tinker. French language coverage is available on RDS with studio host André-Anne Barbeau and analyst Karell Emard, with Claudine Douville calling play-by-play alongside analyst Isabelle Leclaire.




Minnesota can clinch tonight with a regulation win against Montréal, or with an overtime/shootout victory combined with two or less points earned by Boston in their game against Toronto, or else an overtime/shootout loss combined with a Boston loss. Toronto needs just one point to officially punch their postseason ticket which they can earn by virtue of a win or an overtime/shootout loss against Boston.




Tonight’s game will be a celebration of Pride at Verdun Auditorium with a number of different activations to highlight the importance of acceptance and equality. Players will have special Pride-themed shirts to wear for walk-ins and warmups. They will also demonstrate their support by using Pride tape during warmup and Sport A Rainbow stickers on their helmets. Fans will be invited to contribute to a large Pride mural behind the DJ booth and Pride-themed thunder sticks will be handed out. The rink will be illuminated in Pride colours throughout the pre-game, and guest artist Samantha Woj will be in attendance to create a unique piece before the game. During the first intermission, super fan Annie Guglia, who is an Olympian and LGBTQ activist, will be interviewed.




A total of 11 players from these two teams represented their countries at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Uitca, NY. Montréal’s Erin Ambrose, Ann-Renée Desbiens, Kristin O’Neill, Marie-Philip Poulin, and Laura Stacey all won gold with Canada. Minnesota’s Kendall Coyne Schofield, Taylor Heise, Nicole Hensley, Kelly Pannek, and Grace Zumwinkle all earned silver medals with the United States, and Denisa Křížová competed for Czechia. A number of staff also had integral roles in the tournament including Montréal head coach Kori Cheverie who served as an assistant coach for Canada, and the team’s strength and conditioning coach Vicki Bendus. Team USA support staff included Minnesota athletic trainer Katie Homan and equipment manager Sis Paulsen.




The last time either of these teams played a PWHL game was 25 days ago, and it was against each other back on Mar. 24. Minnesota (8-4-3-4) improved to 35 points on the season with the 3-2 shootout victory on home ice which extended their winning streak to a season-high five games. Montréal (7-3-4-5) picked up a single point to bring their point total to 31, however suffered a season-high fourth straight loss. All five of Minnesota’s wins in their current streak came in a perfect month of March where they outscored the opposition 18-6. Their wins included two shutouts against New York and Boston, a second shootout win against Ottawa, and a win over New York where the offense exploded for a season-high five goals. Montréal’s offense has been limited to only five goals during their four-game skid. They scored four goals in their last victory on Mar. 6, a 4-3 victory over New York at Bridgeport’s Total Mortgage Arena. This marks the team’s fifth of six scheduled games at Verdun Auditorium where they’ve won twice and recorded eight of a possible 12 points through four appearances. Minnesota is the league’s second most efficient team on the road with five wins and earned 14 points in eight games. They will play four of their last five games outside the State of Hockey. The teams hold second and third place respectively in the overall standings, with Minnesota one point behind Toronto and Montréal four points ahead of Ottawa.




The two teams have split decisions through four games, but Montréal holds the slight edge 7-5 in points over Minnesota heading into the finale of the season series. Minnesota won the first meeting 3-0 during their home opener on Jan. 6, and Montréal won the next two by 2-1 scores including Jan. 24 at Xcel Energy Center and Feb. 18 at Place Bell. In the last meeting on Mar. 24 at Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota erased a 2-0 deficit to prevail 3-2 in a shootout. Kati Tabin and Maureen Murphy both found the back of the net for Montréal, then defenders Natalie Buchbinder and Lee Stecklein tied the game in the middle frame. Minnesota scored three shootout goals, including two by Grace Zumwinkle, to secure their second shootout win of the season. The loss was Montréal’s third in a shootout. Zumwinkle’s three goals in the first game still count as the most in head-to-head competition, followed by a goal and two assists from Murphy. Tonight’s starters, Elaine Chuli and Maddie Rooney, went head-to-head in game three of the series with Chuli earning the win with 21 saves. She also won in game two with a 45-save performance but suffered defeat in game four. Rooney posted a shutout in game one.




Montréal captain Marie-Philip Poulin returns to PWHL action for the first time since Mar. 8 having missed three games due to injury. She still ranks tied for third in league scoring with 17 points and earned Player of the Game honours in the gold medal final at the Women’s World Championship with a two-goal performance for Canada. Kristin O’Neill also returns from Worlds with offensive confidence having tied for second in team scoring with five points. She was named one of Canada’s Best Players as selected by the coaches. She’ll line up on Montréal’s second line with Laura Stacey who also recorded five points in Utica and ranks third on Montréal with 11 points including seven goals. Maureen Murphy (4G 9A) recorded a two-point performance last game against Minnesota and ranks second on Montréal with 13 points. Erin Ambrose (3G 7A) is fourth on the team with 10 points and picked up two points at Worlds. Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle is fifth in league scoring with 16 points, including nine goals and seven assists in 18 games. She was a member of Team USA’s reserves at Women’s Worlds. Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield (6G 8A) is second on the team with 14 points and riding a four-game point streak. She was named one of Team USA’s Best Players having produced nine points in seven games. Fellow Team USA forwards Kelly Pannek (2G 10A) and Taylor Heise (4G 7A) are third and fourth in team scoring with 12 and 11 points respectively. Heise produced five points in five March games for Minnesota after missing time due to injury. Defender Natalie Buchbinder has a four-game point streak and was named one of the league’s SupraStars of the Month alongside teammate Sophie Jaques.




“We are fighting to stay in the playoff hunt right now, we have a huge game against Minnesota. For us it’s about Thursday right now, and making sure we are ready to go against Minnesota. Minnesota is right there competing for the top spot in the league and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to get the three points.” – Erin Ambrose, Montréal


“I’m so excited to be back. It felt like forever since we’ve been together as a group so just to be back is so refreshing and exciting. Knowing that we play each team one more time you have to look at each game as your season and take it one game at a time. Three points is a lot of points, and when you add up five games and three points per game – a lot can change between now and the end of the regular season so we have to approach each game with that mindset.” – Kendall Coyne Schofield, Minnesota


“It’s good to get everyone back together and back on the ice. Our players have been working hard in Minnesota and in Utica so we feel ready to jump back in. We need a fast start tonight against a good team and a strong push the rest of the regular season.” – Ken Klee, Minnesota




Minnesota (+12) is first in goal differential and Montréal (-1) is fourth…Minnesota (2.47) is third in goals-per-game average and Montréal (2.32) ranks fourth…Minnesota (1.84) allows the fewest goals-per-game and Montréal (2.37) allows the third fewest on average…Montréal has scored first in 11 games and won eight of them, Minnesota has scored first in 10 games and won nine…Minnesota’s best offensive periods are the first and second where they’ve scored 16 times, Montréal’s best is the first and third period where they’ve scored 16 goals…Both teams lead the league with 12 one-goal games and have both won seven of those decisions…Minnesota (+96) is first in shot differential and Montréal (-62) ranks fifth…Minnesota (30.68) is first in shots-per-game average and Montréal (27.05) ranks sixth…Minnesota (25.63) allows the fewest shots-per-game and Montréal (30.42) allows the second most on average…Minnesota has outshot its opponents in 12 games, Montréal has outshot its opponents nine times…Montréal (7.05) is second in average penalty minutes per game and Minnesota (5.37) averages the least…Minnesota (4/46) is fourth in powerplay efficiency at 8.7%…Montréal (5/62) ranks fifth on the PP at 8.1%…Montréal (51/62) is fourth in penalty kill efficiency at 82.3%…Minnesota (36/47) ranks sixth on the PK at 76.6%…Grace Zumwinkle (MIN) is second in the league with nine goals…Marie-Philip Poulin (MTL) is tied for third with 17 points…Erin Ambrose (MTL) is tied for third in scoring among defenders with 10 points…Zumwinkle leads the league with four game winning goals…Claire Dalton (MTL) leads the league with a 29.4% shooting percentage…Kendall Coyne Schofield (MIN) is tied for the league-lead with a plus-12 rating…Zumwinkle leads the league with 79 shots on goal…Laura Stacey (MTL) is third in the league with 75 shots…Poulin (212/370) leads Montréal in face-offs and with a win-rate of 57.3%…Kelly Pannek (191/350) leads Minnesota in face-offs and with a win-rate of 54.6%….. Elaine Chuli (MTL) has won five of her seven starts and leads the league with a 1.41 goals-against-average and a .956 save percentage…Maddie Rooney (MIN) has won five of her eight starts with a 1.72 GAA that ranks second and a .925 SV%…Sophie Jaques (MIN) will be wearing jersey No. 5 tonight.





Dalton | Poulin | Murphy
Grant-Mentis | O’Neill | Stacey
Lefort | Bujold | David
Dubois | Dempsey | Poznikoff


Tabin | Ambrose
Keopple | Boulier
Bizal | Daoust


Chuli | Desbiens


Scratches: Bettez, Boissonnault, Laganière, Lásková, Marchment



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

Stecklein | Jaques
Flaherty | Buchbinder
Greco | Channell


Rooney | Hensley


Scratches: Leveille, Schepers




Referees: Tatu Kunto (San Diego, CA) and Laura Schmidlein (Quincy, MA).
Linespersons: Adam Burnett (Toronto, ON) and Shawn Oliver (Ottawa, ON).


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