Toronto returns to action atop the standings, Boston battling for playoff contention


LOWELL, MA (April 18, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) schedule resumes following the International Break with two Thursday night games, including Boston against Toronto, at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell at 7:00 p.m. ET.




Fans in the United States can watch the game live on NESN and Sportsnet Pittsburgh. The game will also be streamed in Canada on TSN+ and available everywhere on the league’s YouTube channel. David Korzeniowski returns to the broadcast booth and will have the play-by-play call alongside Bridgette Proulx.




Toronto needs just one point to officially punch their postseason ticket which they can earn by virtue of a win or an overtime/shootout loss against Boston. Minnesota can also clinch tonight with a regulation win against Montréal, or with an overtime/shootout victory combined with two or less points earned by Boston, or else an overtime/shootout loss combined with a Boston loss to Toronto.




Tonight’s game will be a celebration of Pride at the Tsongas Center with a number of different activations. Boston’s Jamie Lee Rattray will arrive to the rink wearing a custom Pride jacket that is available for auction to raise money for Sport A Rainbow. The online bidding closes at 9:30 p.m. ET. Sport A Rainbow is a reminder to be supportive, respectful and kind to each other in spite of our differences. Boston players also took the Sport A Rainbow pledge as advocates for equity in sport. Sport A Rainbow will have a display on the concourse along with Greater Lowell Pride and the City of Lowell. Other community organizations to be in attendance include Boston Pride Hockey, NESN Pride Group, SpeakOUT Boston, and Gay For Good. Pride flags (first 500 fans) will be among the giveaways available for fans, and special Pride-themed merchandise will be available for sale.




A total of 14 players from these two teams represented their countries at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Uitca, NY. Boston’s Jamie Lee Rattray won gold with Canada alongside Toronto’s Renata Fast, Kristen Campbell, Jocelyne Larocque, Emma Maltais, Sarah Nurse, Natalie Spooner, and Blayre Turnbull. Boston’s Aerin Frankel, Megan Keller, and Hilary Knight return with silver medals earned as members of Team USA. Boston’s Susanna Tapani also comes home with hardware having won bronze with Finland. Boston goaltender Emma Söderberg competed for Sweden, and forward Alina Müller with Switzerland. A number of staff also had integral roles in the tournament including Toronto general manager Gina Kingsbury, head coach Troy Ryan, goaltending consultant Brad Kirkwood, and equipment manager Alana Goulden with Canada. Boston head coach Courtney Kessel also won gold behind the bench for Canada where she served as an assistant coach.




It’s been 24 days since the last PWHL game and both teams are ready to make a statement in their return from the International Break and the home stretch towards the PWHL Playoffs. Toronto (10-3-0-6) hits the ice holding first place in the overall standings with 36 points, one ahead of Minnesota and five up on Montréal. Boston (4-4-2-9) is in fifth place with 22 points, two ahead of New York, and five behind Ottawa for the fourth and final playoff spot. Both teams entered the break with losses, including Toronto who dropped a 5-3 decision to Ottawa on Mar. 23 which counted as their first loss since Jan. 23. In between, they strung together a season-high 11-game wining streak that counted three victories over Boston, including their 11th in a row on Mar. 20 by a 2-1 score. After falling to Toronto, Boston also lost 3-2 to New York on Mar. 25 and have just four points in their last five games. Their last win came on Mar. 16 at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena with a 2-1 shootout triumph over Ottawa. Boston has not had the best fortunes at the Tsongas Center, winning just three times and collecting nine points in nine games, however they did win in their last home appearance on Mar. 10 with a 3-2 overtime victory against New York. Toronto is the league’s best road team with six wins and 16 points in nine games. Toronto is also tied for first in goals scored with 50, while Boston is at the bottom of the pack with only 38 goals. Over the last 10 games, Toronto has scored three or more goals in seven contests, while Boston has scored three or more goals twice.




Toronto leads the season series 9-3 in points against Boston and have won the last three games. After Boston won the first meeting 3-2 on Jan. 17, Toronto rebounded with a 5-3 win at the Tsongas Center on Feb. 14, then two more home wins on Mar. 6 by a 3-1 score, and 2-1 on Mar. 20 at Mattamy Athletic Centre. That game uniquely featured all three goals scored on the power play, including Sidney Morin’s first goal of the season for Boston. Toronto scored twice with the advantage in the third period with tallies from Renata Fast and Natalie Spooner inside a five-minute span. It was the first time in seven games of scoring the first goal that Boston did not win. Spooner leads the season series with five goals and one assist, followed by Sarah Nurse with one goal and four assists. Loren Gabel (2G 1A), Taylor Girard (1G 2A), Megan Keller (1G 2A), and Alina Müller (3A) lead Boston in head-to-head scoring. Tonight’s starters in goal have faced each other just once in game three of the series where Kristen Campbell stopped 22 of 23 shots in the 3-1 win. Aerin Frankel stopped 15/18 and was pulled after two periods. All four games of the season series have been settled in regulation with Toronto being the only team that Boston has not played in overtime.




Boston captain Hilary Knight returns from the Women’s World Championship having tied for the tournament lead in scoring with 10 points, including four goals and six assists in seven games. She also became the most decorated player in tournament history with her 14th medal. Megan Keller, who ranks second among PWHL defenders in scoring with 12 points, was named one of Team USA’s Best Players as selected by the coaches. That same recognition was awarded to goaltender Aerin Frankel who set a tournament record with four shutouts, and Alina Müller who led Switzerland in scoring with four points. She currently leads Boston in scoring with 13 points, including 10 assists which is tied for third in the league. Boston’s Susanna Tapani recorded six points in seven games for Finland which tied for the team lead. Toronto’s Natalie Spooner returns from the World Championship first in league scoring with 20 points, including a league-high 15 goals in 19 games. She also has an active six-game point streak (5G 4A) that is tied for the longest in the league this season. Sarah Nurse (5G 10A) and Emma Maltais (3G 9A) rank second and third in Toronto scoring with 15 points and 12 points respectively. Hannah Miller (6G 4A) is next with 10 points and is tied for the second longest active point streak in the PWHL at four games. Renata Fast (2G 7A) has nine points and returns after leading Canada in scoring at Women’s Worlds with six points which helped earn her the Best Defender award and a spot on the tournament’s All-Star team.



“With our team being back together, you can feel this rejuvenated energy. People were able to have a little bit of time off, but I think people are excited to get back together and get going. Hopefully that energy can feed us some wins.” – Hilary Knight, Boston


“The last time we played Toronto at Mattamy, our forecheck was tremendous. Our gap was great, which helped us transition the puck really quickly. We have to find ways to get pucks to the net, find rebounds and put in some goals. I think if we come out with our speed, our intensity and our forecheck is good, we have a good chance to come away with a big win.” – Courtney Kessel, Boston


“I think as a team we feel really prepared, we had a couple weeks in here training together. It’s been a long couple of weeks without a couple of our girls, but I think that we put in the work and obviously we know the girls who were away at Worlds were putting in the work as well, so I think that we’re confident and we’re going to come out strong against Boston.” – Jesse Compher, Toronto


“The staff and athletes have been hard at work in Toronto during the International Break. It was so important for the group to stay sharp so they are prepared for our upcoming games. We are all very excited to have our group back together.” – Troy Ryan, Toronto




Toronto (+9) is first in goal differential and Boston (-10) is tied for fifth…Toronto (2.63) is tied for first in goals-per-game average and Boston (2.00) ranks sixth…Toronto (2.16) allows the second fewest goals-per-game and Boston (2.53) allows the third most on average…Toronto leads the league with 12 first goals and have won 10 of those games, Boston has scored first in seven of their games and have won six of them…Both teams are best offensively in the third period with Toronto scoring 20 goals and Boston scoring 14…Toronto has played the fewest one-goal games with seven but have won six of them, Boston has won six of their 11 one-goal decisions…Toronto (+45) is second in shot differential and Boston (+9) ranks fourth…Boston (28.37) is third in shots-per-game average and Toronto (28.21) ranks fourth…Toronto (25.79) allows the second fewest shots-per-game and Boston (27.79) allows the third most on average…Toronto has outshot its opponents in 12 games and Boston has outshot opponents seven times…Toronto (6.63) is third in penalty minutes per game and Boston (6.32) is fourth…Toronto (7/54) is third in powerplay efficiency at 13.0%…Boston (3/44) ranks sixth on the PP at 6.8%…Toronto (52/56) is first in penalty kill efficiency at 92.9%…Boston (44/54) ranks fifth on the PK at 81.5%…Natalie Spooner (TOR) leads the league in scoring with 20 points…Spooner leads the league with 15 goals which includes a league-high five power play goals…Megan Keller (BOS) is second in scoring among defenders with 12 points…Emma Maltais (TOR) leads the league with two shorthanded goals…Susanna Tapani (BOS) is tied for the league-lead with a plus-12 rating…Hilary Knight leads Boston with 61 shots on goal…Spooner leads Toronto with 76 shots…Hannah Brandt (174/313) leads Boston in face-offs and with a win-rate of 55.6%…Alexa Vasko (65/126) leads Toronto with a face-off percentage of 51.6%…Blayre Turnbull (41.9%) leads the team with 267 draws…Aerin Frankel (BOS) has won five of her 13 starts with one shutout and a 2.08 goals-against-average and a .927 save percentage…Kristen Campbell (TOR) has won a league-high 12 of her 17 starts with a league-high three shutouts and has a 2.06 GAA and .920 SV%…Linesperson Kirsten Welsh was one of 13 PWHL officials assigned to the Women’s World Championship…Boston off-ice official Raice Szott, a senior at Merrimack College, was among five finalists for the 2024 NCAA Hockey Humanitarian Award and will be recognized by the team tonight.





Müller | Tapani | Girard
Rattray | Brandt | Knight
Schafzahl | Adzija | Shirley
Wenczkowski | Marvin | Pelkey


Keller | Brown
DiGirolamo | Fratkin
Healey | Morin

Frankel | Kronish


Scratches: Cook, Gabel, Söderberg




Maltais | Nurse | Spooner
Miller | Turnbull | Bach
Connors | Compher | Leslie
Cogan | Vasko | Howard


Larocque | Fast
Munroe | Flanagan
Rougeau | Knowles


Campbell | Howe


Scratches: Jackson, Poulin-Labelle




Referees: Katie Glover (Seattle, WA) and Alex Lepkowski (West Seneca, NY).
Linespersons: Greg Offerman (Madison, WI) and Kirsten Welsh (Conway, PA).


Follow the league on all social media platforms @thepwhlofficial plus team accounts @pwhl_boston and @pwhl_toronto.