GAME RECAP: BOSTON TOPS MINNESOTA IN GAME 1 OF PWHL FINALS 

LOWELL, MA (May 19, 2024) – Aerin Frankel made 30 saves to backstop Boston to a 4-3 win in Game 1 of the PWHL Finals, presented by Scotiabank, at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell on Sunday evening.  

  

Boston leads the best-of-five series 1-0.  

  

Taylor Heise had two goals and an assist for Minnesota, while Jess Healey got the eventual game-winner for Boston in the second period. 

  

The middle frame featured five goals, four of which were scored in 4:35, including Healey’s winner, scored at 17:25. 

  

After a battle on the boards, the puck found its way to Healey’s stick at the point. The defender took a shot, which deflected off a Minnesota player before sailing over Maddie Rooney’s shoulder to make the game 4-3.  

  

Heise started the high-scoring frame at 8:04 by tallying her first of two in the period. She now has four goals in her last two playoff games and leads the PWHL Playoffs in scoring with five points in six games.  

  

After Heise’s first of the second period, Boston’s Taylor Wenczkowski scored at 12:50 to even the score 2-2. Hannah Brandt gave Boston their first lead less than three minutes later, recording her first of the playoffs to make the game 3-2. Megan Keller got her fourth assist of the playoffs on the play. The defender now sits first in assists and second in points (4) in the postseason.  

  

Heise tallied her second goal of the period just 1:59 later to once again tie the game.  

  

Healey’s winner was scored just 15 seconds after Heise tied the game 3-3.  

  

Michela Cava opened the scoring for Minnesota – her first tally of the playoffs—just 4:38 into the game. In contrast, Minnesota went scoreless through their first 142:12 against Toronto in their semi-final matchup. 

  

Susanna Tapani, the two-time overtime hero for Boston, got her third goal of the playoffs at 7:38 of the first period, which tied the game 1-1. 

  

Boston remains undefeated in the playoffs after defeating Montréal 3-0 in their semi-final series.  

 

Rooney made 19 saves in the loss.  

  

Game 2 is set to take place at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET. 

 

Postgame Quotes: 

 

Boston forward Hannah Brandt on the high-scoring second period: “I think each team did a good job responding from goals against…they got that tying goal and then for [Healey] to score right after and put us back on top was huge. So, I think just try to ride the waves and momentum. Not getting too high and too low after getting scored on.” 

 

Boston Head Coach Courtney Kessel on finding ways to score in the playoffs: “I think we’ve seen all year across the league that these are tremendous goalies and you’re going to have to battle and find those rebounds, and it’s not going to be pretty. So, luckily, we did that tonight.” 

 

Taylor Heise on re-gaining momentum after losing Game 1: “I think, during the year, we took every opportunity we had to just take momentum [ourselves]. Whether or not we did it, it’s realizing that you can take it at any moment. For us, obviously, we got down 2-0 against Toronto and never lost hope. So, here [in Game 1], we did a lot of really good things. I think we had some lapses in judgement and defensive shifts that we can just take a look at and be better [in Game 2].” 

 

Minnesota Head Coach Ken Klee on the high-scoring game: “It was definitely a different feel for us. We were playing a lot of 1-0 games [against Toronto]. But we had a lot of looks—a lot of chances—these [players] played tremendously and had some unbelievable goals. Hockey games, and series, are always going to take on their own identity and now we know what this [series] is going to be like. I liked our effort tonight— I liked our compete.” 

 

Notes:   

  • Attendance: 4,508 – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, Lowell, MA. 
  • Three Stars: 1) Jess Healey 2) Taylor Heise 3) Megan Keller 
  • Shots ended 33-22 in favor of Minnesota – They outshot Boston in each period (10-8/10-7/13-7). 
  • Heise led all players with five shots on goal – Teammates Kendall Coyne Schofield and Sophia Kunin had four shots each – Sidney Morin led Boston with four shots. 
  • Minnesota was 0/3 on the powerplay – Boston did not have a powerplay opportunity for the first time all season – This was the first penalty-free game Minnesota has played all season. 
  • Megan Keller’s interference penalty at 0:10 of the first period was the earliest penalty call in the PWHL this season – There was only one penalty assessed in the first minute during the entire regular-season. 
  • Lee Stecklein (MIN) led all players in time on ice at 26:47 – Emily Brown (BOS) led her team with 26:30 TOI. 
  • Healey scored for the first time since her first PWHL goal on Mar. 6. 
  • Heise (2G, 1A) matched a career high for points set on Jan. 10 – She now leads the PWHL Playoffs in scoring with five points (4G, 1A), all recorded in her last two games. 
  • Keller (2A) is second in playoff scoring with four points – all assists. 
  • Michela Cava (1G, 2A) recorded a career-high three-point performance. 
  • Susanna Tapani has scored in back-to-back games and in three of four playoff games. 
  • Taylor Wenczkowski has two goals in her last three games after being held without a goal during the regular-season. 
  • Brown (2A) recorded her first multi-point game of the season. 
  • Aerin Frankel hit the 30 save mark for the fourth straight game. 
  • Minnesota’s top line of Heise, Cava, and Coyne Schofield each had plus-3 ratings. 
  • Boston scored four goals in a game for just the third time all season – All three of their four-goal games have come on home ice. 
  • Boston’s three-goal second period equals their best offensive period of the season – They also scored three first period goals against Minnesota at home on Jan. 27 and three goals in the third period against Toronto at home on Feb. 14. 
  • Boston has played in 12 straight one-goal games. 
  • Boston has won six straight games at the Tsongas Center. 
  • Minnesota opened the scoring for the fourth straight game––Their opening goal was the first time they’ve scored in the first period in the playoffs. 
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