PWHL New York handed PWHL Minnesota its first loss of the season, nabbing a 3-2 overtime win on Sunday evening thanks to a game-winning goal from Emma Woods, her first of the season.
Sunday's game started off fairly even, but as the first period went on, Minnesota began to take control. They couldn't capitalize on a 1:52-long 5-on-3 opportunity, but did open the scoring at 7:16 on a goal from Lee Stecklein. Stecklein's first of the season came off a pass from Michela Cava off the wall; she then took a low shot from the point and beat Corinne Schroeder.
Minnesota doubled the lead a few minutes later on their ninth shot of the game. Kelly Pannek picked up a turnover at center ice, throwing the puck to herself, then beat both New York defenders and went top-shelf on Schroeder's blocker side with multiple players trailing, trying to catch her.
Minnesota held a 2-0 lead after the first, outshooting New York 11-6. New York really started to turn on the jets in the second period, and it finally paid off with 5:37 to play. Abby Roque executed a backhand pass to Ella Shelton near the left wall; she made a quick cross-ice pass to Alex Carpenter in front of the net. Carpenter beat Maddie Rooney on the left side, sliding the puck in to get her team on the board.
As New York tried to rally a comeback, Minnesota continued to pour it on – but Schroeder was there to stop shot after shot. This was key, as it kept the game close before Jessie Eldridge tied it with 9:11 left in regulation. Carpenter got a pass to the front of the net from behind the goal line, and Eldridge got the final touch as Rooney was way out of position and couldn't get back in time.
With the game tied after regulation, the teams headed to overtime. Minnesota had the ultimate opportunity, as Grace Zumwinkle was awarded a penalty shot after she was taken down by Brooke Hobson in front of the net. Zumwinkle shot the puck up and over the net, and overtime continued.
Just 41 seconds later, with less than a minute left in the extra frame, Emma Woods was the hero for New York. The play was end-to-end, with New York gaining control of the puck in the neutral zone. After skating it to the other end, Ella Shelton passed the puck up to Woods from behind the net. Woods then skated it up the ice all the way going 1-on-1 with a Minnesota defender and beating Rooney high on her blocker side for the win.
Final shots on goal were 41-29 Minnesota, including 4-1 in overtime.
Three up, three down
↑ Corinne Schroeder – Corinne Schroeder continues to be stellar in net for New York, and she was really the reason they were able to pull off the win on Sunday evening. Schroeder made 39 saves, including 26 in the final 35:13 of play, to provide that boost on the backend as New York rallied from a 2-0 deficit. As many have already commented, if they don't already, Team Canada needs to have eyes on Schroeder for a potential national team spot.
↓ Soft penalties – It seemed like a few of the penalties called on Sunday were soft calls, including the first two goals on New York's Ella Shelton and Abby Roque. Those calls, about nine seconds apart, gave Minnesota a lengthy 5-on-3 opportunity. Thankfully for New York, they were unable to capitalize.
↑ Three assists - New York defender Ella Shelton leads the PWHL with six points after putting up a three-assist game on Sunday. She's now part of a small group of players to have recorded a three-point game, alongside Grace Zumwinkle & Marie-Philip Poulin (who both had hat tricks), and Taylor Heise. Shelton has a point in three of four games this season.
↓ Blown chances – Minnesota was so close to staying perfect, but didn't capitalize on opportunities to put the game away. They had a 2-0 lead after the first period, but allowed New York to tie it and force overtime. They also had a penalty shot in overtime and couldn't capitalize, and less than a minute later, lost the game – their first loss of the season.
↑ Another great attendance day – Minnesota fans have done a great job of showing up for their team early in the season. Sunday's attendance at Xcel Energy Center: 7,951. That means nearly 26,000 people have attended Minnesota's three home games to date. Through the first 10 games of the PWHL season, total reported attendance across the league is 50,856.
↓ Third goalies? - Something to keep an eye on over the course of the season will be how PWHL teams use their goalies. So far, most teams have stuck to dressing just two of their three goaltenders. Cami Kronish (BOS), Amanda Leveille (MIN), Lauren Bench (MIN), Lindsey Post (NY), Rachel McQuigge (OTT) and Carly Jackson (TOR) have yet to dress in a game. It's still early, so we'll see what happens.
VP's Player of the Game
Corinne Schroeder – Schroeder is 1-1-1 on the season with a 2.31 GAA and .925 save percentage. Her 39 saves in Sunday's game is a single-game season-high for any PWHL netminder, and were it not for several key saves, New York wouldn't have had the opportunity to tie the game or force overtime.