PWHL New York

PWHL New York fall in heartbreaker at Prudential Center

On Saturday afternoon, PWHL New York hosted PWHL Boston for the first time at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Boston came into this game two points behind Ottawa for the final playoff spot, while New York was seven points out of the final playoff spot and desperately looking for points to keep their postseason hopes alive.

First Period

Both teams started the game off a little slow, however, Boston got the first scoring chance, a shot from the slot that was saved by PWHL New York goaltender, Corinne Schroeder. Just minutes after that, a Boston player skated down the wing and took a shot that deflected off a New York defenseman's stick and on net, but, again, Schroeder was alert and made the save. At 1:24, PWHL New York forward Jill Saulnier made a pass in front that was stopped by the goalie and frozen, but Abby Roque took an extra swipe at the goalie, which started a scrum.  That ended a scoreless first period.

Second period

Both teams picked up the pace to start the second period. There were more scoring chances because both teams started to skate the puck through the neutral zone with more speed. 

Because Boston was controlling the puck better in the offensive zone, they scored the first goal of the game. Six minutes into the period, a shot from the left faceoff dot was saved by Schroeder, but the rebound was left lying inside the crease, where it was poked in by Nicole Kosta.

Near the end of the second period, New York finally broke through Boston’s defense. Alex Carpenter made a stickhandling move from left to right around a defender and passed the puck towards the front of the net. The loose puck came to Jessie Eldridge, who scored her seventh goal of the season.

The game was a 1-1 tie heading into the third period because New York’s top line came up with a big goal, but for most of that second period, they were outplayed. The shot totals were pretty close for both teams, with New York with 19 and Boston with 24 at the end of the period.

Third Period

Five minutes into the third period, New York had a golden opportunity to go ahead when a loose puck came to Alexandra Labelle in the slot but her shot went over the net. At 14:18 of the period, the first penalty of the game was called against New York's Jaime Bourbonnais. Boston’s league-worst power play went to work and couldn’t produce the go-ahead goal, thanks to New York’s stubborn defensive play.

However, with three minutes left in regulation, Boston did get the go-ahead goal, and it came off the stick of Lexie Adzija. The play involved a Boston player wheeling with the puck around the top of the circles and making a pass toward the slot. Adzija got to the puck and managed to shoot it while getting poke checked, and the puck beat Schroeder to the far side.

New York pulled their goalie with 1:16 remaining in the game, but Howie Draper's New Yorkers were unable to control the puck with the extra attacker long enough to create many meaningful chances and lost the game by a final score of 2-1.

What’s Next for PWHL New York

Boston took exactly what they needed from this game: three points. This allows Boston to take over fourth place and the final playoff spot. New York needed the points more and, despite putting in a solid effort, got nothing. That's just how professional sports go.

Looking ahead, New York has just four more games from which they will need at least nine points (three wins) to leapfrog Boston, who currently have fourth place nailed down. Will it be easy? No. But if a comeback is going to start, it will have to start next week on the road against PWHL Montreal, who currently sit in third place in the PWHL standings.

Be sure to check out all season long for more coverage.

Anthony Paradiso
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