February 26th, 2024

Ottawa finally wins PWHL game at home, trims Toronto 3-1

By Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press on January 23, 2024.

Ottawa's Hayley Scamurra (14) hits Toronto's Sarah Nurse (20) during second period PWHL hockey action in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Ottawa’s Professional Women’s Hockey League players practised their victory celebration a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t until Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Toronto that they could finally put it in action.

The “Ottawa thunderclap” was unveiled to the delight of the 6,316 on hand at TD Place.

“That celebration at the end, just to be in that moment with the fans was incredible,” said Emerance Maschmeyer, who made 30 saves.

“We just feel so much passion from (the fans) and we wanted to get our first win for the fans.”

Ottawa held a one-goal lead with 2:16 remaining in regulation when Emily Clark, who scored the first goal, was called for slashing. Toronto pulled goalie Erica Howe for a two-player advantage, but Maschmeyer was solid and Lexie Adzija sealed the win with an empty-net goal.

“It’s a challenging game when it’s six-on-four but I thought, you know, we managed it well,” said Ottawa coach Carla MacLeod. “We stayed in lanes. We played a strong sort of final couple minutes there to earn that opportunity.”

Captain Brianne Jenner also scored for Ottawa (2-0-2-0) with her first of the season. Brittany Howard scored the lone goal for PWHL Toronto (1-2-0-4).

Erica Howe, who played part of her minor hockey with the Ottawa Lady Senators, stopped 17 shots for her first hometown appearance.

“I feel bad for her to be honest,” said Toronto coach Troy Ryan. “I think a team needs a much greater effort when someone is playing their first start in their hometown.”

This marked the second of five meetings between the two teams. Ottawa took the first game 5-1 on Jan. 13. Despite the game being close and his team having the edge in shots, Ryan was critical of his team.

When asked what he liked about its performance he was blunt.

“Not a lot to be honest,” he said. “I liked at times our penalty kill. I thought we executed a little bit on some faceoffs, some sub plays on faceoffs, but five-on-five play I thought we gave up the middle of the ice too much.”

Trailing 2-1 in the second Toronto failed to capitalize on its two power-play chances. Ottawa had two great chances but Howe was solid keeping the game within reach for her teammates.

“Obviously we’ve got to find the back of the net, we had a ton of chances,” said Howard. “We’ve got to make sure we capitalize. We had a couple (power plays) thrown in there and we definitely want to capitalize on those.”

This wasn’t Ottawa’s best effort, but in the end the squad found a way to win.

“I think it was an ugly win for sure,” admitted Jenner. “Not our prettiest game. I think we’ve had probably better games moving the puck, but you know you have to find a way to win those and I thought we fought hard in the third.”

Ottawa opened the scoring, for the fourth straight time, at the five-minute mark when Clark beat Howe with a shot along the goal line. Toronto tied the game at 11:08 when Howard came across the blue line and wristed a shot past Maschmeyer.

Before Tuesday’s game, Ottawa was the only team that had not given up a first-period goal.

Jenner regained the lead less than a minute later taking a drop pass from Amanda Boulier for her first of the season.


Toronto boasts three Ottawa players in Samantha Cogan, Rebecca Leslie and Erica Howe. Coming into the game Ottawa leads the league in goals-per-game (3.0), while Toronto has the highest goals-against average (3.3).


Ottawa: Hosts Boston on Wednesday.

Toronto: Hosts New York on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2024.

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