GAME RECAP: FRANKEL MAKES 53 SAVES, TAPANI SCORES OVERTIME WINNER AS BOSTON TAKES 1-0 SERIES LEAD OVER MONTRÉAL

LAVAL, QC (May 9, 2024) – Aerin Frankel made a season-high 53 saves and Susanna Tapani scored at 14:25 of overtime to lift Boston to a 2-1 victory at Place Bell on Thursday evening.  

  

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

  

Frankel’s 53 saves are the most by any PWHL goaltender this season, as the netminder turned aside a combined 29 in the third period and overtime. 

  

Tapani’s goal, the first overtime marker in PWHL Playoffs history, came on her team’s 26th shot on goal, and was assisted by Theresa Schafzahl and Megan Keller.  

  

Ann-Renée Desbiens made the initial save on the play, stopping Keller’s shot from the point, but both Schafzahl and Tapani crashed the net, with Tapani tapping in the second rebound to secure the victory for Boston.  

  

The home team came out to a hot start, leading the shot category 9-0 in the first 10 minutes of play. They nearly took their first lead of the game with less than two minutes to play in the first, when Laura Stacey one-timed a cross-ice feed from Marie-Philip Poulin during a 2-on-1 rush, but Frankel outstretched to make a toe save, which kept the score 0-0 heading into the first intermission. 

  

Montréal took a 1-0 lead at 1:07 of the second period.  

  

Starting the period on the powerplay, Montréal controlled play in Boston’s zone, cycling the puck, which ended up on the stick of Maureen Murphy in the high slot. Murphy dropped the puck back to Stacey, who one-timed it on goal. Stacey’s shot was initially stopped by Frankel, but the rebound trickled along the goal line, where Kristin O’Neill nudged it into the net. 

  

O’Neill’s goal is the first-ever PWHL Playoff tally in Montréal history and came as her team was outshooting Boston 14-2.  

  

Montréal dominated in the shot category, outshooting Boston 54-26 – they had a 21-5 lead in the category with six minutes remaining in the second period, and a 25-10 lead through two frames.  

  

Boston broke through early in the third period, as Lexie Adzija tied the game 1:48 into the frame. 

  

Adzija entered Montréal’s zone with speed, dropping the puck back to Sophie Shirley along the boards, before heading to the net. Shirley cut towards the face-off dot with the puck before putting a shot on net, which Adzija redirected past Desbiens. Gigi Marvin also assisted on the play. 

  

Montréal continued to apply pressure after Adzija’s game-tying goal— peppering Frankel with a game-high 18 shots in the third period — but the Boston netminder made a number of high-pressure saves, sending the game to overtime. 

  

Game 2 between Montréal and Boston is set to take place on Saturday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. at Place Bell. 

  

Postgame Quotes: 

  

Boston Head Coach Courtney Kessel: “Coming into Montréal, you know you’re going to have to weather the storm because the energy in this rink was tremendous. It was loud from warmups to the end of that game, and we knew that (it would be). Did it go on a little bit longer than we wanted it to? Yeah, for sure, but I think you have to do what you have to do in playoffs.” 

 

Boston goaltender Aerin Frankel on her 53-save performance: “I think Montréal did a good job of putting pucks on the net and obviously it tires you out as the game goes on, but you have to stay mentally focused.” 

 

Montréal Head Coach Kori Cheverie: “We can’t dwell on it too much. We know that it’s going to be a long series. If we can continue to put together a full game like that defensively — we had our opportunities to score [but] obviously need to put a couple of those in. It’s disappointing but, for us, I’m happy as a coach with that effort — aside from the outcome. I know we need outcomes here but, if I look at the game as a whole, I’m happy with what our group did, with what they were able to achieve in this game, and I think that gives us momentum moving forward.” 

 

 Notes:  

   

  • Attendance: 9,135 – Place Bell, Laval, QC. 
  • Three Stars: 1) Aerin Frankel 2) Marie-Philip Poulin 3) Susanna Tapani 
  • Shots ended 54-26 in favour of Montréal – They led the category in every period (12-2/13-8/18-11/11-8) 
  • Montréal’s 18 third period shots are a season-high in any period for the team.
  • Mikyla Grant-Mentis (MTL) led all players with eight shots on goal, a season-high for the forward – Montréal’s Kati Tabin and Laura Stacey had seven and six shots
  • Boston was led in shots by Megan Keller and Alina Müller, who had four apiece. 
  • Montréal’s 54 shots are the most in a PWHL game this season.
  • Boston was 0/2 on the powerplay – Montréal was 1/5. 
  • Keller led all players in ice time at 37:33 – Poulin led all Montréal skaters with 32:59 TOI. 
  • Poulin took a season-high 32 face-offs and had a winning percentage of 68.8%.
  • Tapani’s game-winning goal is her fourth this season – The forward has points in three straight games (1G, 3A), dating back to the regular season. 
  • Both Boston goal scorers, Tapani and Lexie Adzija, were acquired in trades this season.
  • Keller extends her point streak to three games (1G, 2A).
  • Stacey now has points in six straight games (3G, 5A).
  • Keller and Sidney Morin led all players with a plus-2 rating.
  • Montréal’s second period goal was initially credited to Stacey – Upon review, credit was given to Kristin O’Neill – Her team-high fourth powerplay goal of the season.
  • Including tonight’s match, three of five games played between the two teams this season have gone to extra time – Boston is now 2-1 in overtime victories over Montréal.
  • This is the longest game in PWHL history at 74:25.
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