Ottawa’s first U.S. game of the season is in Minnesota


SAINT PAUL, MN (February 14, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season resumes following the IIHF National Team Break with a pair of Valentine’s Day matchups, including Minnesota against Ottawa, at 8:00 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center.




Fans in the United States can watch live on Bally Sports North Extra, the Bally Sports app on mobile and tablet devices (including iOS and Android), when fans authenticate using their pay-TV credentials, and on Bally Sports+, the standalone streaming subscription service available from Bally Sports. The game is also available on the league’s YouTube channel and for Canadian viewers streaming on TSN+. Clay Matvick has the play-by-play call alongside analyst Julie Friend.




Three big points are up for grabs and can alter the league’s standings for two teams that are looking to get back into the win column. Minnesota (3-2-2-2) enters the contest in second place with 15 points, just two behind Montréal, and Ottawa (2-0-4-1) sits in sixth place with 10 points, just one back of Boston, Toronto, and New York. Minnesota returns home after a three-game road trip that managed just three of a possible nine points. They fell 4-3 to Boston in overtime on Jan. 27, beat New York 2-1 in overtime on Jan. 28, then suffered their most lopsided loss of the season on Feb. 3 by a 4-1 score in Toronto. After winning their first two games at Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota has lost their last two at home, including to New York by a 3-2 overtime score on Jan. 14, and to Montréal 2-1 on Jan. 24. Ottawa has lost three straight games and hope that fresh American scenery can help turn the tide. Five of the team’s first seven games were played on home ice and their only two road games have been played in Canada where they’ve collected four of a possible six points. They beat Toronto 5-1 on Jan. 13 at Mattamy Athletic Centre and lost to Montréal 2-1 in overtime on Jan. 27 at Place Bell. Ottawa will make one more trip to Minnesota on Mar. 5. Ottawa enters the game with the league’s best offense, and Minnesota counters with one of the stingiest defenses. Both teams have accounted for the four highest shot totals in the PWHL this season.




Minnesota’s first overtime win of the season was against Ottawa on Jan. 17 by a 3-2 score at The Arena at TD Place. Recently traded Susanna Tapani (BOS) scored twice including the game-winner for Minnesota, and Grace Zumwinkle provided a goal and an assist. Ottawa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the contest with first period goals by Savannah Harmon and Lexie Adzija. Nicole Hensley stopped 24 shots in the victory, and Emerance Maschmeyer turned aside 18 shots in the loss.




Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle is tied for fifth in league scoring with eight points and tied for second with six goals in nine games. When she produces offensively, it’s typically been in bunches with a trio of multi-point games to her credit. She’ll look to find chemistry with new linemates in the absence of Taylor Heise who is day-to-day with an upper body injury. Kelly Pannek (1G 6A) has risen to second in team scoring with seven points and is riding a two-game point streak. Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield has also been hot of late, with points in three straight games including two goals and one assist. For Ottawa, Lexie Adzija leads the team with four goals and six points in seven games, largely driven by a five-game point streak to open the season. Savannah Harmon, who produced a five-point performance during the PWHL 3-on-3 Showcase on NHL All-Star Thursday, ranks second on the team with five points and is on a two-game streak. Hayley Scamurra has recorded points in three straight games after being held off the scoresheet since the season opener, and Emily Clark is fresh off her first two-point performance in addition to representing Team Canada in her home province of Saskatchewan.




Minnesota fans will get their first PWHL look at newly acquired defender Sophie Jaques who will debut with her new team tonight. The 23-year-old from Toronto, ON won the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the top player in NCAA Division I women’s hockey during the 2022-23 season with Ohio State. She reunites with former teammates Clair DeGeorge and Liz Schepers, all members of the 2022 National Champion Buckeyes. Jaques was selected tenth overall by Boston and played in the team’s first seven games.




Ottawa’s Brianne Jenner recorded four points during the final leg of the 2023-24 Rivalry Series, including two assists in Canada’s 6-1 victory over the United States in the seventh and deciding game at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday. Ashton Bell also scored one of her two goals on Sunday, with the lone U.S. goal scored shorthanded by Hayley Scamurra and assisted by Minnesota’s Kelly Pannek. Minnesota was represented by nine players on Team USA, including Panek, Natalie Buchbinder, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Clair DeGeorge, Taylor Heise, Nicole Hensley, Grace Zumwinkle, plus both Maggie Flaherty and Brittyn Fleming who made their U.S. National Women’s Team debuts. Scamurra was one of four Americans from Ottawa along with Becca Gilmore, Savannah Harmon, and Gabbie Hughes. Bell and Jenner were two of four Canadians competing from Ottawa along with Emily Clark and Emerance Maschmeyer who recorded a 27-save shutout in Game Six.




It’s a Minnesota homecoming for two Ottawa players including Gabbie Hughes (Lino Lakes) and Natalie Snodgrass (Eagan). Hughes and her family started an organization called Sophie’s Squad back in 2021 in response to a death by suicide of a young hockey player named Sophie Weiland. Sophie played for Gabbie’s Dad, Terry. Sophie’s Squad travels to games across Minnesota spreading positive messages about mental health awareness and will be at tonight’s game. Hughes played her NCAA at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, along with fellow Ottawa teammates Ashton Bell and Kateřina Mrázová. Snodgrass competed last season as a member of the PHF’s Minnesota Whitecaps where she recorded 20 points including 10 goals in 22 games. Ottawa defender Amanda Boulier was among her teammates and spent four seasons as a Whitecap, winning an Isobel Cup title in 2019.




“Definitely I’m excited to play a game. There’s a lot going on outside, but on the ice will help me forget all of that and I’m excited to get out there with this new group. Lee (Stecklein) has been amazing explaining things to me and helping me get settled in. She’s the best.” – Sophie Jaques, Minnesota


“I think it’s going to be important for us to get a good start in the game and see where we’re at…who’s tired from the break, who’s not and who’s going, and we’ll need to adjust accordingly…and I would say Maddie Rooney is going to be huge for us…We’re trying to put (Sophie Jaques) in the best position we can to help her succeed. She was a tremendous college player but it’s a big jump to the pro game, so having Lee (Stecklein) as her partner will help her out.” – Ken Klee, Minnesota


“I think they’re a very skilled team, but I guess you could say that about every team in this league. Still, you want to be responsible with them. They’ve got a lot of great goal scorers and offensive players. Certainly, that is something that we are aware of. They also have really strong goaltending, so we have to figure out a way to get either Nic or Maddie back in their net and not seeing as many pucks.” – Brianne Jenner, Ottawa


“We actually haven’t had a full team practice yet in two weeks. Some of our girls flew back from Europe (Monday) so they needed to take (Tuesday) off. We’re slowly getting back to a full team practice. At the end of the day, you never worry about that stuff. You just make the most of the opportunity that is ahead of you. Our group has that general energy about it. We try and make the rink a positive place to be. There is always an excitement when we have been off for as long as we have. It’s like Christmas Eve here. Game day is coming and we know it.” – Carla MacLeod, Ottawa



Minnesota (+2) is second in goal differential and Ottawa (+1) is tied for third…Ottawa (2.57) is first in goals-per-game average and Minnesota (2.33) ranks fifth…Minnesota (2.11) allows the fewest goals-per-game and Ottawa (2.43) allows the third most on average…Both Minnesota and Ottawa have scored the game’s first goal five times and lead the league with eight first period goals…Ottawa has lost all five of its one-goal games this season…Ottawa (+39) is second in shot differential and Minnesota (+9) ranks third…Ottawa (32.14) is first in shots-per-game average and Minnesota (28.67) ranks third…Ottawa (26.57) allows the second fewest shots-per-game on average and Minnesota (27.67) allows the third most…Ottawa (7/24) is first in powerplay efficiency at 29.2%…Minnesota (1/24) ranks fifth on the PP at 4.2%…Ottawa (13/16) is fifth on the penalty kill at 81.3%…Minnesota (22/28) ranks sixth on the PK at 78.6%…Grace Zumwinkle (MIN) is tied for second in the league with six goals…Lexie Adzija (OTT) leads the league in shooting percentage at 36.4%….Ottawa’s Adzija and Hayley Scamurra are tied for the league-lead with two powerplay goals…Adzija and Zumwinkle are tied for the league-lead with one shorthanded goal…Lee Stecklein (MIN) is tied for second in scoring among defenders with six points…Stecklein leads the league with 12 penalty minutes…Zumwinkle leads Minnesota with 35 shots on goal…Scamurra leads Ottawa with 24 shots on goal…Taylor Heise (87/163) leads Minnesota in face-off percentage at 53.4% and has also taken the most draws…Brianne Jenner (58/108) leads Ottawa in face-off percentage at 53.7% and has also taken the most draws…Maddie Rooney (MIN) has one win in three starts with a goals-against-average of 2.28 and save percentage of .897…Emerance Maschmeyer (OTT) has two wins in seven games with a 2.19 GAA and .914 SV%…Minnesota’s Liz Schepers celebrated her 25th birthday on Tuesday…Ottawa’s Becca Gilmore will celebrate her 26th birthday on Thursday.






Coyne Schofield | Pannek | Boreen
Křížová | Cava | Zumwinkle

Fleming | Schepers | Kunin
Bryant | DeGeorge | Butorac

Stecklein | Jaques
Flaherty | Buchbinder
Greco | Channell


Rooney | Hensley


Scratches: Bench, Brodt, Heise, Leveille




Scamurra | Jenner | Adzija
Clark | Hughes | Watts
Shiga | Mrázová | Snodgrass
Gasparics | Della Rovere | Gilmore


Harmon | Bell
Tejralová | Boulier
Boyd | Roese


Maschmeyer | Abstreiter


Scratches: Buckles, Grant-Mentis, McQuigge




Referees: Kyle Bauman (Fall River, WI) and Cianna Lieffers (Saskatoon SK).
Linespersons: Greg Offerman (Madison, WI) and Erin Zach (Cambridge ON).


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