Emily Clark and Brianne Jenner recorded their first PWHL goals, and Lexie Adzija notched a jailbreak empty-netter to seal a 3-1 victory for PWHL Ottawa over Toronto on Tuesday night at TD Place. Toronto has now lost four of its last five games.
The Battle of Ontario opened with some great back-and-forths in the first period Tuesday, as the teams exchanged chances in end-to-end action. Ottawa's Emily Clark opened the scoring exactly five minutes in, picking up a loose puck along the goal line and banking in the shot off Toronto goaltender Erica Howe.
Ottawa's lead lasted only a few minutes, as Brittany Howard showed off her incredible shot on the tying goal for her first tally of the season. In true back-and-forth action, though, Brianne Jenner regained the lead for Ottawa just 52 seconds later. Amanda Boulier carried the puck into the slot while being followed closely by two Toronto players; she backhanded the pass to Jenner, who came in at just the right moment to beat Howe on the left side.
The game seemed to settle down a bit in the second period, which felt much more even-keeled and less frantic than the first. Toronto had a pair of power play chances, but it was all for naught, and the teams each registered nine shots on goal.
Toronto dominated the third period as the team scrambled to tie the game. Ottawa was held without a shot on goal for at least the first 11 minutes of the period, and Toronto's efforts only seemed to grow stronger as the period went on, but they were unable to solve Emerance Maschmeyer.
With 2:16 left in regulation, Toronto found itself with a 6-on-4 opportunity, with Clark in the box on a slashing call & after pulling Howe for the extra attacker. They couldn't find the tying goal, however, and Lexie Adzija scored the jailbreak empty-netter to end the penalty and (effectively) seal the win. It was a simple clearing attempt around the boards, but the puck ended up on edge and just rolled into the empty net.
Ottawa will get very little time to rest, as the team is right back in action at home again on Wednesday. This will be the first instance of a PWHL team playing in consecutive nights in league history. Can they build off this win to grab another victory against a Boston team that's won two of its last three?
Three up, three down
↑ Brittany Howard's shot – Does Brittany Howard have one of the most dangerous shots in professional women's hockey? Many are saying... I mean, just look at this goal:
↓ Shaky start to the third – Despite holding the lead, Ottawa came out shaky to start the third period & didn't register a shot on goal for at least the first 11 minutes. As Toronto started to up their game, Ottawa's seemed to falter. This time, it still worked out all right for Ottawa, but that won't always be the case.
↑ Adzija's point streak – Ottawa forward Lexie Adzija extended her point streak to four games when she scored the empty-netter to seal the win. Adzija has now recorded a point in every game this season, which is her first pro season.
↓ Getting shots, but still losing – Toronto has outshot its opponent in six of seven games this season, but they've still lost four of those six. It's good that they're getting shots on net, but they've got to get more creative and find ways to score. They've managed 13 goals-for in seven games; only Boston, who has played two fewer games, has produced less offense.
↑ Firsts – Nice to see some different players get on the board Tuesday night! Emily Clark, Brittany Howard, and Brianne Jenner all recorded their first goals of the season, while Blayre Turnbull notched her first assist. As an aside, it's nice to see just how much depth Ottawa has. Only five players on the team (who have appeared in a game so far) have yet to record a point this season!
↓ Powerless – The two teams combined to go 0-for-6 on the power play Tuesday night. It's not terribly surprising, given that Ottawa is 90.9% on the penalty kill this season and Toronto has a 5.3% effective power play, but at the same time, Ottawa has the best power play in the PWHL (tied with New York) and couldn't muster anything, including on an advantage in the third period when the game seemed tenuous.
VP's Player of the Game
Emily Clark – Clark's opening goal provided a boost for a surging Ottawa team early on in a frantic, back-and-forth game, and powered them through the first period, even as Toronto rallied back to tie it. She finished the game with three shots on goal and was a plus-1.
(Photo: Andrea Cardin/PWHL)