GAME RECAP: MÜLLER SCORES WINNER IN DOUBLE OVERTIME, BOSTON FORCES GAME 5

SAINT PAUL, MN (May 26, 2024) – Alina Müller scored the game-winning-goal at 18:36 of the second overtime to lift Boston to a 1-0 victory over Minnesota at Xcel Energy Arena on Sunday.   

  

With the victory, Boston evens the best-of-five series 2-2. A decisive Game 5 for The Walter Cup will take place on Wednesday at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell at 7:00 p.m. ET.  

  

Müller’s goal came less than a minute after Minnesota had the would-be series winner overturned. At 17:25 of the second overtime, Minnesota defender Sophie Jaques put the puck in the net but after video review, it was deemed there had been goaltender interference on the play.  

  

Shortly after play resumed, Müller won a board battle, which led to a turnover in the offensive zone.  

  

Theresa Schafzahl recovered the puck and found Müller, who was charging towards the high slot. Müller then fired a wrist shot from the hash marks which sailed over Nicole Hensley’s glove to send the series back to Boston for Game 5.  

  

The goal was Müller’s second of the postseason and first game-winner. She also scored Boston’s lone goal in Game 3.  

  

Aerin Frankel made 33 saves to record the shutout, her first of the playoffs. She leads all goaltenders in the postseason in wins (5), shots against (257), saves (245) and minutes played (523:33). The goaltender has started all seven games for her team this postseason. 

  

Boston is now a perfect 4-for-4 in overtime in the playoffs.  

  

Hensley made 32 saves in the loss, her first since Game 1 of Minnesota’s semifinal series against Toronto. After Maddie Rooney took over in Game 2 of the semifinals, Hensley was named starter in Game 2 of the PWHL Finals ––she had won two straight heading into Game 4.  

  

Postgame Quotes: 

 

Boston forward Alina Müller on the victory: “We really started playing and knew this would be a good challenge for us. We tried to stay in the game and once [the goal] got overturned, we had more power, more speed. It was on our side.” 

 

Boston head coach Courtney Kessel on Alina Müller scoring the game-winner: “I’m not surprised. I’m not sure who I spoke to yesterday, two days ago, but they asked me who they should be watching out for, and I said Müller. She’s a tremendous 200-foot hockey player who can put the puck in the back of the net. We’ve been waiting for it all year and we knew it was there. Just so happy to see that happen and just watch her grow.” 

 

Boston goaltender Aerin Frankel on the mindset after Minnesota’s overturned goal: “You just have to force yourself to [stay focused]. You made it this far. At that point you’re playing for everyone in our locker room. It’s for family. Doesn’t matter how tired you are, everyone just competes until the job is finished.” 

 

Minnesota head coach Ken Klee on the overturned goal: “It’s just one of those things that happens, and we had lots of chances to win the game. So, for us, we get to play another game and that’s the way we have to look at it.  It wasn’t a do-or-die for us but obviously it hurt going from a big high, where the confetti is going and the gloves are coming off…and then you have to try to refocus. It hurt but now we go back to work.” 

 

Minnesota captain Kendall Coyne Schofield on re-starting after the overturned goal: “Obviously, it’s a high-of-a-high to having to balance out the situation and get back to work. It’s not easy to come down from by any means in an instant but that’s what we had to do.” 

 

Minnesota forward Kelly Pannek on her line’s opportunities: “Just keeping it simple and moving off the puck, moving for each other–– and try to keep the puck moving. Denisa [Křížová] is really scrappy, and she finds pucks in space and she had a few rushes–– and anytime you get Grace [Zumwinkle] in space, she’s a threat.” 

 

Notes:   

    

  • Attendance: 13,104 – Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN. 
  • Three Stars: 1) Alina Müller 2) Aerin Frankel 3) Nicole Hensley 
  • Shots ended 33-33 – After regulation, shots were 20-19 in favor of Minnesota. 
  • Boston led in the first (9-8) and second (5-3) – Minnesota led in the third (9-5) and first overtime (7-5) – Boston led in double overtime (9-6). 
  • Gigi Marvin (BOS), Jamie Lee Rattray (BOS) and Grace Zumwinkle (MIN) led all players with five shots apiece.  
  • Minnesota was 0/4 on the powerplay — Boston was 0/3. 
  • Minnesota has yet to allow a powerplay goal in the playoffs (19/19) — Boston has yet to score a powerplay in these playoffs (0/15). 
  • Lee Stecklein led all players in ice-time at 41:48 – Susanna Tapani (BOS) led her team with 40:40 TOI. 
  • Frankel is the fourth goaltender to record a shutout in the playoffs, joining Kristen Campbell (2), Maddie Rooney (2) and Hensley (1).  
  • At 523:33 minutes, Frankel has played 201:21 more minutes than any other goaltender in the playoffs –– Rooney is second in the category at 322:12 minutes played.  
  • Boston is now 4-for-4 in overtime games in the postseason –– Minnesota is 1-for-2. 
  • The game was the second 1-0 contest that has gone to double overtime this postseason –– Minnesota defeated Toronto 1-0 in double overtime on May 15.  
  • The game was scoreless for 98:36 which is the longest goalless stretch within a single game of the PWHL Playoffs, surpassing the previous mark set by Boston/Montréal –– They went 89:46 between goals in Game 2 of their triple overtime contest. 
  • Minnesota loses for the first time at home in the playoffs (3-1). 
  • Six of Minnesota’s nine playoff games have ended in a shutout – The team is 3-3 in shutout games. 
  • Tonight’s attendance was the highest of the 2024 PWHL Playoffs.  
  • VIDEO REVIEW: The league’s Central Situation Room initiated a review of a Minnesota scoring play at 17:25 of the second overtime period. The initial call on the ice was a goal but was overturned after review. It was determined by the on-ice officials that Minnesota’s #27 (Heise) went into the Boston goalie (Frankel) on her own volition, resulting in the goalie being unable to play her position and defend the shot by Minnesota #16 (Jaques). This call was made in accordance to rule #38.2 (B) (Scoring Plays Involving Potential “Interference on the Goalkeeper”). 

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