Marie-Philip Poulin recorded a hat trick as she led PWHL Montreal to a 5-2 win over PWHL New York at UBS Arena on Wednesday night. Elaine Chuli, making her PWHL debut, stopped 28 saves in the win.
Montreal and New York both came into Wednesday's game coming off losses, with New York hoping to capitalize on their "home ice" advantage in front of a small-ish but loud crowd (2,201) at UBS Arena. Jessie Eldridge scored off an incredible effort to open the scoring for New York early in the first period, but Montreal quickly took more control of the game.
It was only fitting that Poulin would tie the game for Montreal, her first of three goals on the night, and that began the surge for her team. Catherine Dubois then scored on the power play in the second period, poking the puck through the five-hole of Corinne Schroeder amid chaos in front of the net. Dubois was relentless on the play, hacking away at the loose puck until it finally went in.
Ella Shelton tied the game at two, but it didn't last long. Montreal went on to score twice in 1:05 on goals by Kennedy Marchment and Poulin. Marchment's goal came off a nifty tic-tac-toe play with Gabrielle David and Sarah Lefort. Poulin also added an empty-netter with 1:07 left in regulation to complete the hat trick.
Poulin's hat trick was the second in PWHL history. Schroeder had 32 saves in the loss. Poulin and Eldridge were each credited with six shots on goal, while Montreal's Sarah Bujold had five. Eldridge, Shelton, Maureen Murphy and Tereza Vanišová each had two points.
Alex Carpenter went 19-5 in the face-off circle, while Marie-Philip Poulin went 9-14. (Yay, face-off data!)
Three up, three down
↑ Unstoppable force meets immovable object – What happens when one of the best women's hockey players in the world (Marie-Philip Poulin) meets one of the hottest goaltenders (Corinne Schroeder)? In this case: the unstoppable force wins, as Poulin recorded her first PWHL goal and her first goal since April to open the scoring for Montreal. Schroeder's shutout streak ended at 68:14. You had to know she'd allow a goal eventually, but for it to be from Poulin was just chef's kiss. She'd add two more goals, including an empty-netter, to complete the hat trick.
↓ Missing players – Ann-Sophie Bettez was out of the lineup for Montreal for the second consecutive game. Laura Stacey also missed Wednesday's game. Per the team, they missed the game due to "preventive measures." It's unclear if they're nursing injuries, and if so, what their respective timelines are, but that's two big pieces for Montreal that were out on Wednesday night.
↑ First reserve player – Catherine Dubois became the first reserve player to appear in a game, skating Wednesday night for PWHL Montreal. Per Jared Book, Dubois has been signed to a 10-day contract from the reserve roster. She scored Montreal's second goal of the game, relentlessly staying on top of the puck amid chaos in front of the net & eventually poking it through the five-hole.
↓ Online scoring – The online live scoring on the PWHL's website left something to be desired. It went without updates, aside from the time clock ticking down, for the first 10 minutes of play, even as it became a 1-1 game. It was finally updated, but then randomly gave Erin Ambrose a second-period goal instead of Dubois. Dubois' goal was added - then removed - but the score was listed completely incorrectly several times. The PWHL sent a note out to media members stating that this was a software bug that they are working on fixing as soon as possible. While the situation is frustrating and confusing, the level of communication has been good.
↑ Women's hockey on TV! – Living in Buffalo, I have the distinct pleasure of getting both CBC and MSG on my cable subscription, which means I've already had the chance to watch several PWHL games on television... and I've got to be honest, it's ridiculously neat to just be able to watch women's hockey like this. It's not the Olympics, or the Rivalry Series. It's just a regular game, but it's on TV and with a great broadcast just like I'd expect for a men's pro game. The quality of the broadcasts, whether on TV or just YouTube, has generally been great, too. Multiple camera angles, sharp video & audio, in-game interviews, replays. It sounds simple, but these are things we haven't always had in women's hockey!
↓ Please stop. – Look, I get it. I know who Alex Carpenter's dad is. Can't we just talk about how good she is at hockey without mentioning her dad, or saying how it must "run in the family?" She's a great player, in her own right. Full stop. The broadcast multiple times mentioned how strong of a player she is, and brought her dad into it. This isn't a new battle by any means, but come on. It's 2024. Give these women their stars without bringing their male relatives into it. Color commentator Dave Starman will hopefully know after last night that the "Bobby Carpenter" comments are practically a drinking game among women's hockey fans and media.
VP's Player of the Game
Jessie Eldridge – Eldridge recorded a goal and an assist and had a team-high (and game-high) six shots on goal. Here's a look at her goal, a nice effort to get away from Poulin's backcheck just enough to get the shot off:
- Game replay link (YouTube)
- Game data
- In other PWHL action, Minnesota defeated Toronto by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday, maintaining their status as the only undefeated team in the PWHL. Taylor Heise scored two goals, both highlight-reel quality, while Kendall Coyne Schofield added her first of the season (assisted by Heise). Nicole Hensley made 31 saves in the victory.