April 16th, 2024

Toronto rattles off 11th straight PWHL win, beats Boston 2-1

By Mike Stephens, The Canadian Press on March 20, 2024.

Toronto won its 11th straight PWHL game Wednesday when it extended that streak with a 2-1 win over visiting Boston.

Toronto (10-3-0-5) topped the PWHL standings three points ahead of Minnesota in the new six-team women’s professional hockey league.

Renata Fast scored a goal and teammate Natalie Spooner provided the game-winner in the second period. Sarah Nurse contributed two assists in the victory.

Goalie Eric Howe made 28 saves for her first win of the season and in her first start since January.

“Coming into the game, we wanted to get the win for Howie,” Spooner said.

“The first two periods were not our best two periods of hockey. Going into the third, we knew we had to bring it and kind of switch our game around.

“It showed a lot of character the way we were able to able to come together.”

Toronto’s Nurse and defender Jocelyn Larocque were called for infractions less than one minute apart, which gave Boston a five-on-three advantage 10 minutes into the game.

Boston defender Sydney Morin beat Howe with a shot over the goalie’s shoulder to open the scoring with a power-play goal.

Morin’s goal was her second this season. Boston (4-4-2-8) outshot Toronto 10-3 in the opening period and led 1-0 heading into the second.

Boston continued its dominance for most of the second period when it hemmed Toronto in its own zone, broke up neutral-zone rushes, and kept opposing shooters to the perimeter.

Boston overcome penalty trouble late in the period when Taylor Girard and Kaleigh Fratkin were penalized within seconds of each other. Boston withstood Toronto’s five-on-three advantage.

“Coming into the locker room after 40 minutes, we had some tough conversations,” Nurse said.

“We really had to kind of gut check and figure out how to go back to competing and playing our way. Coming out in the third period, we wanted to be on them quick, and that’s what we did.”

A tripping penalty by Boston’s Sophie Shirley less than three minutes into the third period opened the door for Fast’s goal to tie the game.

The defender walked into the slot from the left boards to wire the puck by Boston netminder Emma Soderberg.

Spooner capitalized on another Shirley power play to score her league-leading 14th goal at 7:05. Spooner’s 18th point tied her with New York’s Alex Carpenter for the most in the league.

Boston pulled Soderberg for a late-game push for the equalizer. Howe withstood a flurry of chances and Toronto held its lead to the final buzzer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2024.

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