PWHL New York

PWHL New York return to UBS Arena to face Minnesota

After suffering a 4-2 defeat on Feb. 28 to PWHL Ottawa, PWHL New York will look to turn things around when they come home to UBS Arena to face PWHL Minnesota on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

New York had a solid month of February, winning three out of the five games they played. This included a three-game winning streak from Feb. 4-21 which culminated with a 3-2 shootout victory over PWHL Montreal, who still occupy first place.

Despite this PWHL New York find themselves tied for last place on points (16) with PWHL Ottawa with 11 games left to play in the season. Meanwhile, PWHL Minnesota are sitting pretty in second place with 22 points and ten games left to play in the season. It's a pretty big difference despite the fact that the two games that New York have played against Minnesota were very close. The first a 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 14 for New York and the second, a 2-1 overtime win for Minnesota on Jan. 28.

That was the last time these two teams have played. In two meetings this season, New York have a 1-0-1-0 record against the second-place team in the PWHL. This shows that if New York play their cards right on Sunday, they can come up with a much-needed win. 

Looking at the special teams for both of these teams is interesting as well. Over their last five games, New York has converted just 3/16 power plays into goals. Minnesota have converted just 1/11 power play opportunities. For the entire season, New York have the second-best power play coming in at 20.0 percent. On the other hand, PWHL Minnesota have had the league's worst power play this season because they have converted at just 5.7 percent. Minnesota also has the worst penalty killing success rate (77.1 percent) in the league. New York will have a chance to exploit this by taking advantage of power play opportunities.

On the season, New York have eight power play goals and New York defenseman Ella Shelton and forward Alex Carpenter account for five of them. Carpenter leads the league in points with 16 on the season, while Minnesota's leading scorer Grace Zumwinkle ranks fourth with 10 points on the year. Zumwinkle missed her team's first game of the season against New York but was held off the scoresheet in the second game. Regardless she will be a player that New York will have to keep their eyes on, on Sunday.

Zumwinkle is not the only offensive player on Minnesota that Shelton and the Big Apple defense will need to keep an eye on. Kelly Pannek and Kendall Coyne Schofield have produced nine and eight points this season, as well.

In terms of the goaltending matchup, this writer sees New York's Corinne Schroeder going up against Minnesota's Maddie Rooney. In terms of the stats, Schroeder ranks second among PWHL goalies with a a 1.71 goals-against-average while her counterpart on Minnesota ranks fourth in the league among goalies with a 1.98 GAA. This means it could be another low scoring game if these two goaltenders start.

The situation is almost desperate for New York; lose and remain at 16 points and in the bottom of the standings; win and possibly move ahead of PWHL Ottawa and into fifth place. The bottom line is, New York have played better against Minnesota than they have several other opponents, and they won't want to let this game go without them earning all the points they can.

The game is scheduled for an early 12:30 p.m. start at UBS Arena on Long Island and can be viewed on MSG SN2 or Bally Sports.

Anthony Paradiso
Follow me