GAME RECAP: SPOONER NETS HAT TRICK, TORONTO DEFEATS BOSTON FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WIN

 

Natalie Spooner scored a hat trick to help Toronto to a 5-3 win against Boston at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell on Wednesday, her team’s third straight regulation victory. The forward now has ten goals on the season, four more than the next best in the category.

 

Spooner’s first two goals of the game came in the middle frame, which gave Toronto 2-0 and 3-0 leads.

 

Her first, a powerplay goal scored at 11:49 of the second period, came after the forward corralled a heads-up stretch pass from defender Lauriane Rougeau. Spooner finished the play with a slick deke on the breakaway, tucking the puck in on the forehand past Boston goaltender Emma Söderberg. Toronto netminder Kristen Campbell also picked up an assist on the play, her first point of the season.

 

Then, at 17:07, Spooner gave her team a 3-0 lead after linemate Sarah Nurse created a 2-on-1 rush to start the play, deftly crossing in front of a Boston defender at the hash marks and dropping the puck back to a trailing Spooner. The Scarborough, ON native then slid the puck in behind a sprawling Söderberg, potting her second goal of the game — her third multi-goal game in a row.

 

At 17:33 of the final frame Spooner completed the hat trick — her first in the PWHL — and solidified the win for Toronto with a goal into the empty net after Söderberg had gone to the bench for the extra attacker. Emma Maltais picked up her third assist of the contest on the marker.

 

Nurse opened the scoring at 14:13 of the first period after Maltais took a pass from defender Renata Fast and carried the puck into the Boston zone. Maltais let a shot go from the middle of the ice, the puck deflecting off a Boston defender and landing on the stick of the driving Nurse, who placed a quick shot over the shoulder of Söderberg for her second goal of the season.

 

Boston finally broke through at 6:04 of the third frame when Theresa Schafzahl rang a shot off the post and linemate Jamie Lee Rattray jumped on the rebound, notching her second tally of the season to make the game 3-1.

 

However, just 1:24 later, Toronto’s Kali Flanagan restored the three-goal lead after she picked up the puck on the boards and walked the blueline before firing a shot that found the back of the net through a heavy screen. Maltais picked up the assist on Flanagan’s first goal of the year.

 

With Rattray in the box for tripping, it was that Boston picked up a short-handed tally when a hard forecheck by forward Taylor Girard created a chance for Megan Keller to slide the puck cross-crease to a waiting Hannah Brandt, who redirected the puck in for her second goal of the season.

 

After Spooner’s empty netter, Girard made things interesting with under 90 seconds to go when she fired a shot over the glove of Campbell, bringing Boston back within two, but the home team ran out of time as Toronto hung on to win 5-3.

 

Up next, Toronto heads home to take on Montréal for Friday night’s ‘Battle on Bay Street’ game at Scotiabank Arena. The next afternoon, on February 17, Boston continues their homestand when they welcome New York to the Tsongas Center.

 

Postgame Quotes:

 

Toronto’s Natalie Spooner on her team’s victory: “I didn’t think it was our best game, but we were able to pull out a win still. I think we can still clean up the D zone. Obviously we haven’t been together for about ten days, so first time back together, mix up the lineups a bit. To be able to pull out a win gives us a bit of confidence going forward that— I think in the beginning we played some pretty good games—but to be able to not maybe play the best hockey we know we can play, we can still get a win, it felt good.”

 

Notes:

 

  • Attendance: 1,791 – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, Lowell, MA
  • Three Stars 1) Natalie Spooner 2) Sarah Nurse 3) Megan Keller
  • Boston won the final shot tally 35-18, outshooting Toronto in every period (11-6/10-6/14-6).
  • Spooner led all players with seven shots on goal —Boston’s Keller and Rattray were second, with five each.
  • Toronto was 1/4 on the powerplay — Boston was 0/5.
  • Toronto goaltender Kristen Campbell made a season-high 32 saves to pick up her fourth straight win and league-leading fifth win of the season.
  • Campbell is the third PWHL goaltender to record a point this season.
  • Spooner is the lone PWHL player to average a goal-per-game, scoring ten goals in ten games played — She’s also tied with New York’s Alex Carpenter for the PWHL scoring lead with 11 points.
  • Spooner’s hat trick is the fourth in the PWHL this season, following Grace Zumwinkle (MIN), Marie-Philip Poulin (MTL), and Jade Downie-Landry (NY).
  • Nurse recorded her first multi-point game of the season.
  • Emma Maltais’ three assists are a season-high for the forward, who entered the game with one goal and two assists.
  • Kali Flanagan of Burlington, MA, scored her first PWHL goal against her hometown team.
  • Lauriane Rougeau’s second period assist was her first-ever PWHL point.
  • Keller and Taylor Girard recorded their first multi-point games of the season.
  • Boston is the first PWHL team to score two shorthanded goals this season.
  • Boston’s three third period goals tied the most by any team in any period.
  • Boston has won one home game this season out of five played.
  • Toronto’s five goals for is a season-high for the team.
  • Toronto (4-1-0-5) now sits alone in third place in the league standings with 14 points.
  • Boston (2-2-1-3) has 11 points on the season, tied with New York for fourth place.
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