Trio of one-goal games sets up an exciting fourth encounter for familiar foes


SAINT PAUL, MN (March 5, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) schedule for this week begins with a Tuesday night game between Minnesota and Ottawa, with puck drop at 8:00 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center.




Fans in the United States can watch live 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 is also available on NESN+ and will be streamed on the league’s YouTube channel. In Canada, the game is available on TSN5,, and the TSN app. Clay Matvick has the play-by-play call alongside analyst Alexis Pearson.




Tonight’s game theme will be a Women’s History Month celebration at Xcel Energy Center with special guests from the Women’s Hockey Association of Minnesota. WHAM members had access to special ticket packages that included a limited edition co-branded t-shirt. They will assemble for a pre-game photo, ride the Zamboni and Fanboni, and take part in the first intermission’s inflatable musical chairs. Throughout the game, the videoboard will feature PWHL players talking about women they look up to, and display quotes and photos of players highlighting the importance of women in sports day.




Familiar foes meet for the fourth time this season and third time in three weeks. Minnesota (6-2-3-4) enters the action in second place with 25 points, two behind first place Montréal and one ahead of third place Toronto. Ottawa (4-0-4-6) is tied for fifth place with New York with 16 points, two behind fourth place Boston. Minnesota has won all three games against Ottawa this season, including the most recent Feb. 14/17 home-and-home series, both by 2-1 scores. They lost a season-high three straight games immediately after but got back into the win column on Sunday with a 2-0 shutout over New York at UBS Arena. Ottawa won the first of three road games after losing to Minnesota at home, beating Boston 4-2 on Feb. 19, then won its first home game in over a month last Wednesday with a 4-2 victory against New York. The team still has not been able to string consecutive victories and fell in their last outing by a 5-2 score at home on Saturday against Toronto. This is the first of four straight road games for Ottawa who have produced a league-low seven points in six games outside Canada’s capital city. Minnesota is one of the league’s best teams at home with 11 points in seven games. Ottawa and Minnesota are one-two in shots-per-game average and one-two in fewest shots allowed. They have also collectively produced the five highest shot totals in games this season. Ottawa has only been outshot once all season. The teams will play once more in Ottawa on Apr. 20.




Minnesota has collected eight of a possible nine points in the first three games of the season that were all decided by one goal. Minnesota erased a 2-0 first period deficit on Jan. 17 and beat Ottawa 3-2 in overtime at The Arena at TD Place in the first encounter, then scored two unanswered on Feb. 14 in a 2-1 comeback win at Xcel Energy Center. Most recently, Sophia Kunin opened the scoring for Minnesota in the Feb. 17 game in Ottawa. Emily Clark tied the game midway through the second period, and Grace Zumwinkle netted the winner with just 19 seconds remaining in the middle frame for the 2-1 victory. The goal was Zumwinkle’s second of the season series and third point to lead all players head-to-head. Maggie Flaherty scored the winning goal in the second game and assisted on Zumwinkle’s in the third. Abby Boreen scored a goal and an assist in the last meeting in Minnesota, and Kelly Pannek has two assists in the season series. Ottawa’s top offensive producers in the season series are Clark and Amanda Boulier with a goal and an assist each, and Gabbie Hughes with two assists. Nicole Hensley (24/26 & 28/29) started the first and third games, with Maddie Rooney (23/24) starting the last time out in Minnesota. Emerance Maschmeyer has started all three for Ottawa and has a collective save percentage of .899. Two of Minnesota’s three powerplay goals this season have been scored against Ottawa.




Minnesota’s Sophie Jaques was named PWHL Second Star of the Week after recording three points in two games, including her first two professional goals last Tuesday against Toronto. She has four points in six games since joining the team via trade. Grace Zumwinkle (7G 4A) is tied for fourth in league scoring with 11 points, followed by Kelly Pannek (2G 8A) who is in a seven-way tie for sixth in league scoring with 10 points. Both players have contributed a point in back-to-back games. Kendall Coyne Schofield (4G 4A) has eight points, notably recording her first two-assist game last Tuesday, and Abby Boreen (3G 1A) scored her team-leading second powerplay goal of the season on Sunday. Gabbie Hughes (6G 2A) took over Ottawa’s lead in goals on Saturday and has scored in back-to-back games. Her eight points are tied with Lexie Adzija (5G 3A), Kateřina Mrázová (4G 4A), and Emily Clark (2G 6A) for the team lead. Mrázová owns the league’s longest active point streak at four games, amassing two goals and three assists in that stretch. Savannah Harmon (3G 4A) leads the league’s top scoring blue line with seven points. That group includes former UMD star Ashton Bell, who became the team’s fourth defender to find the back of the net when she tallied her first of the season on Saturday. Goaltender Sandra Abstreiter will make just her second start of the season after playing the final 34:05 of Saturday’s loss where she allowed one goal on 11 shots.




Minnesota welcomed back centers Taylor Heise and Liz Schepers to the lineup on Sunday after extended absences due to injury. Heise missed five games, and Schepers three games. While neither contributed a point in their return, their impact up the middle of the ice is significant. In the season’s first nine games with both players dressed, the team averaged 2.33 goals-per-game, compared to a 1.6 average over the next five games. Heise was also the team’s face-off leader before injury with 163 draws, and Schepers was third with 105. Heise logged 17:54 in ice time on Sunday, to Schepers’ 9:29.




Playoff tournaments continue this week in NCAA Division I women’s hockey conferences, with lots of PWHL players keeping an eye on their alma mater. Hockey East semifinals take place on Wednesday with New Hampshire taking on Northeastern – a team that boasts alumnae in Kendall Coyne Schofield (MIN), Denisa Křížová (MIN), and Hayley Scamurra (OTT). Boston College, where Daryl Watts (OTT) was a Patty Kazmaier Award recipient, takes on Connecticut, where Michela Cava (MIN) and Natalie Snodgrass (OTT) played. ECAC Hockey semifinals will take place on Friday and will feature No. 1 Colgate against No. 4 Cornell, and No. 2 Clarkson against No. 3 St. Lawrence. Ottawa’s Rosalie Demers will be cheering on the Raiders against Brianne Jenner’s former Big Red, and Savannah Harmon will be rooting for the Golden Knights against Amanda Boulier’s former Saints. The WCHA semifinals on Friday feature No. 1 Ohio State against No. 4 Minnesota Duluth, and No. 2 Wisconsin against No. 3 Minnesota. Clair DeGeorge (MIN), Sophie Jaques, and Liz Schepers are all former Buckeyes, and Cava (MIN), Sydney Brodt (MIN), Maggie Flaherty (MIN), Maddie Rooney (MIN), Ashton Bell (OTT), Gabbie Hughes (OTT), and Kateřina Mrázová (OTT), are all Bulldogs alumnae. Former Badgers include Natalie Buchbinder (MIN), Mellissa Channell (MIN), Sophia Kunin (MIN), Watts (OTT), and Emily Clark (OTT), while former Gophers include Lauren Bench (MIN), Abby Boreen (MIN), Taylor Heise (MIN), Amanda Leveille (MIN), Kelly Pannek (MIN), Lee Stecklein (MIN), and Grace Zumwinkle (MIN).




“We’re really happy with where we’re at right now, to come away with three points (on Sunday) was huge. Ottawa is a hard team to play against and we don’t care where anyone is in the standings. They’re very strong, very fast, and very physical so not a team to take lightly.” – Lee Stecklein, Minnesota


“Sunday was a big win for us, picking up three points is huge. Now being home for an extended period gives us a chance to build on that performance and keep improving. Ottawa is another great test, they’ve been tough every time we’ve played and I don’t expect anything different tonight.” – Ken Klee, Minnesota


“I feel like we’re pretty used to road games. It’s always nice to be at home. I love playing at TD Place with our fans. Definitely a different atmosphere when we’re the away team. I feel like our group has done a great job of using the away crowds to work for us and bringing our own energy. Obviously, we have to manage the travel and take care of ourselves. We’re just excited for every opportunity to play. It doesn’t matter what rink we are in.” – Emily Clark, Ottawa


“Not too long ago we played Minnesota. It’s good to be back in their barn and getting ourselves another opportunity. We just try and get better every game. It’s the same old, same old message. Offensively, we are starting to find our opportunities. We are just spending a little extra time here to make sure that when we don’t have the puck, we’re in a good spot collectively to earn it back as quick as we can. Minnesota has been playing really well this whole year. It’s going to be a good opportunity for us to see where we’re at and really go at them.” – Carla MacLeod, Ottawa




Minnesota (+2) is third in goal differential and Ottawa (-5) ranks sixth…Ottawa (2.43) is third in goals-per-game average and Minnesota (2.07) ranks sixth…Minnesota (1.93) allows the fewest goals-per-game and Ottawa (2.79) allows the most on average…Ottawa has scored first in eight of their 14 games, Minnesota in seven of their 15…Scoring by period for Minnesota is (11-12-6) and for Ottawa (13-8-13)…Minnesota has played in a league-high 10 one-goal games…Ottawa (+62) is first in shot differential and Minnesota (+38) ranks second…Ottawa (30.5) is first in shots-per-game and Minnesota (29.07) ranks second…Ottawa (26.07) allows the fewest shots-per-game on average and Minnesota (26.53) allows the second fewest…Ottawa has outshot its opponent a league-high 11 times, Minnesota has outshot its opponent eight times…Ottawa (4.86) averages the fewest penalty minutes per game and Minnesota (5.47) averages the second fewest…Ottawa (9/38) is first in powerplay efficiency at 23.7%…Minnesota (3/37) is fifth on the PP at 8.1%…Minnesota (29/37) is fifth in penalty kill efficiency at 78.4%…Ottawa (25/32) is sixth on the PK at 78.1%…Ottawa leads the league with three shorthanded goals…Gabbie Hughes (OTT) and Grace Zumwinkle (MIN) are tied for the league-lead with three game-winning goals…Lee Stecklein (MIN) is tied for the league-lead with seven minor penalties…Zumwinkle and Hayley Scamurra (OTT) lead their teams with 53 shots on goal…Kelly Pannek (152/273) leads Minnesota in face-offs and win rate at 55.7%…Brianne Jenner (81/148) leads Ottawa in face-off percentage at 54.7%…Hughes (45.3%) leads the team with 236 draws…Maddie Rooney (MIN) has won three of her six starts with two shutouts and a goals-against-average of 1.65 that ranks second and a save percentage of .929 that ranks fifth…Sandra Abstreiter (OTT) has made just two appearances with one start and carries a 3.48 GAA and .870 SV%…Emma Greco (MIN) will turn 29 on Wednesday…Akane Shiga (OTT) turned 23 on Sunday…Minnesota is dressing the same lineup as they did for Sunday’s win.






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

Stecklein | Jaques
Greco | Flaherty
Channell | Buchbinder


Rooney | Hensley


Scratches: Brodt, Kremer, Leveille




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


Tejralová | Harmon
Roese | Boulier
Buckles | Bell


Abstreiter | Maschmeyer


Scratches: Boyd, Davis, Della Rovere, McQuigge




Referees: Chad Ingalls (Woodstock, ON) and Bobby Jo Love (Kamloops, BC).
Linespersons: Ali Beres (Brant, ON) and Dustin McCrank (Guelph, ON).

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