Chasing the Championship: Game 1 of the PWHL Finals presented by Scotiabank


LOWELL, MA (May 19, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) Finals, presented by Scotiabank, begin tonight with Game 1 of a best-of-five series for The Walter Cup between Boston and Minnesota at 5:00 p.m. ET at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.




Fans in the United States can watch the game live on MSG2, NESN, Bally Sports North and Bally Sports Wisconsin Extra. The game also is available on Sportsnet Pittsburgh Plus and will stream live on the Women’s Sports Network and the league’s YouTube channel.


Fans across Canada can watch the game live on TSN 1 and TSN3 channels,, and the TSN app. Tessa Bonhomme will host TSN’s on-site panel with analysts Becky Kellar and Alexis Pearson. Kenzie Lalonde will have the play-by-play call alongside analyst Cheryl Pounder and Raegan Subban reporting rinkside.


French coverage is available on RDS2 with studio host Andrée-Anne Barbeau and analyst Karell Emard. Claudine Douville will have the play-by-play call with analyst Isabelle Leclaire and reporter Catherine Savoie.




Boston finished third in the regular-season standings with a record of 8-4-3-9 for 35 points. They earned 13 of a possible 15 points in the five games following the International Break and clinched a playoff berth on May 4, earning the three points needed to do so by way of a regulation win in their final game on home ice. In that game, they defeated Montréal 4-3, with the winning goal scored with 1:20 on the clock. Boston went on to face Montréal in the PWHL Playoffs and swept the best-of-five semifinal series with a trio of overtime victories. They won 2-1 in overtime at Place Bell on May 9, and secured a second straight 2-1 road win on May 11 in triple overtime, a game that set the record for the longest game in PWHL history at 111:44. Boston stamped their ticket to the inaugural PWHL Finals with a 3-2 overtime win on May 14 at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The team has won a season-high five straight games and seven of their last eight. Each of their last 11 games since Mar. 16 has been a one-goal result.




Minnesota finished the regular-season with the same 8-4-3-9 record and 35 points as Boston, but dropped to fourth by virtue of a tiebreak with two overtime wins to Boston’s three. A season-high five-game winning streak before the International Break was followed by a season-high five-game losing streak to close out their schedule. Minnesota clinched its playoff spot when Toronto defeated Ottawa on May 5, the final day of the season. As the first-place team, Toronto earned the opportunity to select its semifinal opponent and chose Minnesota. Toronto looked to be in full control with 4-0 and 2-0 shutout victories at Coca-Cola Coliseum to open the series. Minnesota turned the tide when the series shifted to Xcel Energy Center and posted back-to-back shutout victories of their own, including a 2-0 win on May 13 and the first 1-0 final in PWHL history, secured in double overtime on May 15. Minnesota completed the reverse sweep with a 4-1 road victory on Friday, snapping a streak of 11 straight home wins by the league’s top team.




Boston won three of the five games in the regular-season series against Minnesota, with a narrow 8-7 edge in points. The teams opened the season against each other on Jan. 3 with Minnesota winning 3-2 over Boston in their home opener at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. Boston won 4-3 in overtime in the rematch at home on Jan. 27, and won the first game between the teams at Xcel Energy Center, with a 2-0 shutout on Feb. 25. Minnesota then earned a 4-0 victory at home on Mar. 13, and Boston finished the season series by winning 2-1 on Apr. 27 in Minnesota’s final home game of the season. In that contest, Minnesota had the opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a single point, but Boston’s Hannah Brandt scored the winning goal with less than three seconds left in regulation. Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle (3G, 1A), Kendall Coyne Schofield (2G, 2A), Taylor Heise (2G, 2A), and Boston’s Alina Müller (2G, 2A) share the head-to-head scoring lead with four points apiece. Aerin Frankel started three of the five games for Boston and earned one win with a head-to-head goals-against-average of 2.03 and save percentage of .925. Nicole Hensley started four times for Minnesota and won twice with a 1.26 GAA and .953 SV%. Minnesota outscored Boston 11-10 in five games, outshooting them in each of the last four contests for a series lead of 134-123 overall. Boston was 2/10 on the powerplay in the series, Minnesota was 1/13.




The first trade in PWHL history was completed between Boston and Minnesota on Feb. 11 and has proved beneficial for both teams. Boston acquired forward Susanna Tapani and defender Abby Cook, with Minnesota acquiring defender Sophie Jaques in return. In 17 regular-season games in Boston, Tapani recorded eight points, including two game-winning goals, and proceeded to score two of the team’s three overtime winners in the playoffs. Jaques recorded two goals and 10 points in 15 regular-season games for Minnesota and is tied for the lead in playoff scoring with three assists. She also leads Minnesota in average time on ice at 25:52.




All eyes will be on captains Hilary Knight (BOS) and Kendall Coyne Schofield (MIN) who have a longstanding history as teammates on the U.S. National Women’s Team and are among the most decorated athletes in the game. Knight finished the regular-season tied for fourth on her team with 11 points, and entered the playoffs with a three-game point streak (2G, 2A). Coyne Schofield was tied for second on her team with 16 points during the regular season and chipped in two assists in Game 5 of the semifinals. Both teams were led in scoring during the regular season by Rookie of the Year award finalists in Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle (11G, 8A) and Boston’s Alina Müller (5G, 11A). Boston’s Amanda Pelkey (2G, 1A) is tied for the playoff scoring lead with Minnesota’s Sophie Jaques (3A), Liz Schepers (3A), and Lee Stecklein (3A). Boston’s Susanna Tapani, and Minnesota’s Taylor Heise and Denisa Křížová each have two playoff goals. Both of Tapani’s tallies were overtime winners against Montréal, and Heise scored twice in Game 5 against Toronto, the first Minnesota player with a multi-goal game in the series.




Boston’s Aerin Frankel started and won all three of her team’s semifinal games against Montréal, posting a goals-against-average of 0.97 and save percentage of .972. She’s stopped an incredible 141 of the 145 shots faced so far in the playoffs, including a PWHL record 56 saves in Game 2. Minnesota’s Maddie Rooney started the final four games of her team’s semifinal series against Toronto and was spectacular with back-to-back shutouts when facing elimination. She’s stopped 92 of the 94 shots faced and carries a 0.45 GAA and .979 SV% into the finals.




Prior to the launch of the PWHL, Boston and Minnesota were home to professional women’s hockey champions. The Boston Blades captured the CWHL’s Clarkson Cup in 2013 and 2015, and the Boston Pride won the first Isobel Cup title in 2016 and were the only team to win back-to-back in 2021 and 2022. The Minnesota Whitecaps were crowned Clarkson Cup champions in 2010 and Isobel Cup champions in their first PHF season in 2019. Boston’s Hilary Knight and Gigi Marvin were members of both Clarkson Cup titles for the Blades and the first Isobel Cup title for the Pride. Kaleigh Fratkin won with the Blades in 2015 and with the Pride in both 2021 and 2022. Amanda Pelkey won with the Pride in 2016, and Taylor Wenczkowski won in both 2021 and in 2022 where she was named Playoff MVP. Boston’s Hannah Brandt was a member of the 2019 Whitecaps, along with Minnesota’s Kendall Coyne Schofield, Amanda Leveille, and Lee Stecklein who earned MVP honors after scoring the overtime winner in the final. Leveille also won an Isobel Cup title in 2017 as a member of the Buffalo Beauts, and Boston’s Nicole Kosta and Jamie Lee Rattray won the Clarkson Cup in 2018 as members of the Markham Thunder. Minnesota’s Michela Cava and Emma Greco won the 2023 Isobel Cup as members of the PHF’s Toronto Six. Cava was named playoff MVP.




Players on both sides of the ice have a chance to win championships for the second straight season. In the PHF, Minnesota’s Michela Cava and Emma Greco were members of the Toronto Six that hoisted the Isobel Cup at the end of the 2022-23 campaign. In the PWHPA, Team Harvey’s captured the Secret Cup with a group that included Boston’s Jamie Lee Rattray, and Minnesota’s Mellissa Channell, Clair DeGeorge, Sophia Kunin, and Lee Stecklein. In NCAA, the University of Wisconsin Badgers were crowned 2023 National Champions and included Boston’s Cami Kronish and Sophie Shirley, and Minnesota’s Natalie Buchbinder. Rattray is the only player on either team who can potentially win both a PWHL championship and IIHF Women’s World Championship in the same season after helping Canada claim gold at the 2024 tournament in Utica.




Players from seven different nationalities are competing for the Walter Cup. Boston’s full roster of 26 players consists of 12 Americans, 10 Canadians, along with four international players in Alina Müller (Switzerland), Theresa Schafzahl (Austria), Susanna Tapani (Finland), and Emma Söderberg (Sweden). Minnesota’s full roster of 26 players consists of 21 Americans, four Canadians, and one international player in Denisa Křížová (Czechia).




The winner of the PWHL Finals will be the first to hoist The Walter Cup, the league’s championship trophy, created in partnership with global luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. The Walter family is a leader in philanthropy and business, and provided the foundational support that launched the PWHL. The angular design of the Walter Cup is inspired by ice, with a nod to the six original teams in the league. The Walter Cup is made of sterling silver and weighs approximately 35 pounds, standing 24 inches tall and over 13 inches wide.




The two most prestigious player awards are named in honor of the league’s founding Advisory Board members, trailblazers and long-time women’s sports advocates Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, who championed the launch of the PWHL. The Billie Jean King MVP Award is awarded to the player considered most valuable to their team’s success throughout the regular season. The three finalists, as voted by an awards selection committee, will be announced on Thursday, May 23. The Ilana Kloss Playoff MVP Award is for the player considered most valuable to their team’s success throughout the playoffs and will be presented on the ice at the conclusion of the deciding game of the finals.




The first eight games of the PWHL Playoffs generated a total attendance of 53,753 for an average of 6,719 fans per game. Most recently, Friday’s Game 5 between Toronto and Minnesota at Coca-Cola Coliseum featured a sold-out crowd of 8,501. The league’s total attendance in 72 regular-season games was 392,259 with an average of 5,448 per game. Including the first eight playoff games, PWHL attendance stands through 80 total games stands at 446,012 – an average of 5,575 per game.



  • The PWHL made history on Apr. 20 with a sold-out crowd of 21,105 at the Bell Centre for the Duel at the Top between Toronto and Montréal, making it the largest attendance ever recorded for a women’s hockey game worldwide. The record for a professional women’s hockey game in the United States is 13,736, set by the PWHL on Mar. 16 when Boston played Ottawa at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI.
  • Boosted by the implementation of the three-point victory and The Gold Plan, all 72 regular-season games in the PWHL were meaningful between Jan. 1 and May 5.
  • The “Jailbreak goal” was a game-changer for shorthanded strategy, and physical play brought a new dimension to the women’s game.
  • 40+ corporate partners, many of them national, best-in-class brands, and a robust broadcast package with national partners CBC / Radio Canada, TSN and RDS, and Sportsnet in Canada, regional partners MSG Networks, NESN and Bally Sports North in the U.S.
  • Over 1 million followers on social media platforms and over 100k subscribers to the league’s YouTube channel where all PWHL games are streamed live.




“I think when we started this year, our team set out for the goal to put ourselves in a successful position to be in the finals. And now to actually be in the finals – and to represent this city and create a legacy here in Boston – is super significant and we’re just really excited for the puck to drop to get going.” – Captain Hilary Knight, Boston


“I think when you look at this leadership group we have here, I think it’s inevitable that we were going to create a culture where everyone feels valued and loved. Having fun, really, at the end of the day is the biggest thing. I think we’re having lots of fun here in Boston— and winning helps.” – Head Coach Courtney Kessel, Boston


“Our group never lost faith. I think it’s easy to lose faith when things aren’t going well, but I think the energy in the room, the energy at practice, was never lost based on the results we had towards the end of the season. So, I think we all know what we’re capable of as individuals and as a collective, and I think we proved that last series.” – Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield, Minnesota


“We expect a physical series from Boston. We played multiple times, had some overtime games with them – tight games – we expect another really good series. And we’ll make sure that we’re ready to play the way that we can play. Obviously, we know they have a good team over there. But, right now, we’re just focused on us and the way we need to play and get ourselves prepared.” – Head Coach Ken Klee, Minnesota




Semifinal goal differentials: Boston (+3) and Minnesota (even)…Shot differentials: Minnesota (+18) and Boston (-43)…Minnesota scored the first goal in all three of their playoff wins…Boston scored first just once with two comeback wins…Boston scored one goal in the first period and three goals in the third period…Minnesota scored three goals in the second period and three goals in the third period…Boston averaged 7.0 penalty minutes per game and Minnesota averaged 4.0…Minnesota was 2/15 (13.3%) on the powerplay against Toronto…Boston was 0/6 (0%) on the powerplay against Montréal…Minnesota was 10/10 (100%) on the penalty kill against Toronto…Boston was 9/12 (75%) on the penalty kill against Montréal…There’s a seven-way tie for the playoff scoring lead: Amanda Pelkey (BOS) with two goals and one assist; Maureen Murphy (MTL) and Hannah Miller (TOR) with one goal and two assists each; Renata Fast (TOR), Sophie Jaques (MIN), Liz Schepers (MIN), and Lee Stecklein (MIN) with three assists each…Susanna Tapani (BOS) leads the playoffs with two game-winning goals…Kristin O’Neill (MTL) leads the playoffs with two powerplay goals…Pelkey leads the playoffs with one shorthanded goal…Megan Keller (BOS) leads the playoffs with eight penalty minutes…Keller leads the playoffs with a plus-5 rating…Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle lead Minnesota with 16 shots on goal…Hilary Knight leads Boston with 15 shots on goal…Lexie Adzija (13/23) leads Boston in face-off percentage at 56.5%…Tapani (46.8%) leads the team with 77 draws taken…Kelly Pannek (54/92) leads Minnesota in face-offs and with a win-rate of 58.7%…Aerin Frankel (BOS) is 3-0 with a 0.97 goals-against-average and a .972 save percentage…Maddie Rooney (MIN) is 3-1 with two shutouts and 0.45 GAA and a .979 SV%…Boston’s lineup changes for Game 1 consist of Pelkey moved up to the second line, Jamie Lee Rattray on the third line, and Loren Gabel on the fourth line…For Minnesota, the top line now features Heise between Kendall Coyne Schofield and Michela Cava…Per the specific conditions of her Reserve Player contract, Abby Boreen was only eligible for the semifinals…Brooke Bryant returns to the Minnesota lineup at forward…Both teams will sport PWHL Finals patches on their jerseys and stickers on helmets throughout the series.






Müller | Tapani | Schafzahl
Pelkey | Brandt | Knight
Rattray | Adzija | Shirley
Wenczkowski | Marvin | Gabel

Keller | Brown
DiGirolamo | Fratkin
Healey | Morin

Frankel | Söderberg


Scratches: Cook, Girard, Kosta




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


Stecklein | Buchbinder
Channell | Jaques
Greco | Flaherty


Rooney | Hensley


Scratches: Kremer




Referees: Jack Hennigan (Halton Hills, ON) – #44 and Alex Lepkowski (West Seneca, NY) – #14.
Linespersons: Antoine Bujold-Roux (Ottawa, ON) – #72 and Greg Offerman (Madison, WI) – #95.


Standby Officials: David Elford (Kitchener, ON) – #11 (R) and Laura Gutauskas (Woolwich, ON) – #68 (L).


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