Ottawa lost in OT again and honestly there aren't really words to describe what I just watched. Did I plan to give you all a real recap of this game? Absolutely. Ottawa decided that was not to be. Sarcasm is all I have in this moment. New York scored three goals in 1:39 late in the third period and of course Alex Carpenter scored in overtime to defeat Ottawa. It was Ottawa's third overtime loss in six games thus far this season.
(Not so) Confidential to Ottawa:
I would say that I'm not mad, Ottawa, I'm just disappointed, but that would be a lie because I'm Big Mad. It's infuriating to watch your pattern of stellar defensive and neutral zone play and offensive zone entry that doesn't turn into grade-A chances on offense. How do you toe drag the likes of Jaime Bourbonnais and Ella Shelton and then for all intents and purposes pass the puck to the goalie? We know you're incredibly talented, but it's honestly difficult to believe at this point when you send duck after duck waffling slowly toward the net.
A goalie like Schroeder doesn't give up much in the way of rebounds, so good job getting one and burying it on Lexie Adzija's goal, but maybe you should have learned something from Aneta Tejralová's goal and started taking more shots from distance because at least that puck had some heat. Plus you have big, physical forwards like Gabbie Hughes, Kateřina Mrázová and Adzija that can hold ice in front of the net and create a screen.
This game was fast-paced and chaotic at pretty much every turn. Ottawa dominated in shots on goal 42-27 in regulation, but did not put the game away when they had the chance and it once again came back to bite them. For more than 50 minutes of this game, Ottawa kept New York in check, mostly by controlling possession. They were consistently breaking up the breakout, picking off the puck and putting on pressure such that it felt like New York never got into a rhythm. Their forecheck was relentless and consistently successful at creating turnovers that then did not result in goals.
New York had just six shots on goal in the second period. They were on their heels and pushed off their game. But they seemed to wake up a bit in the third and Ottawa, apparently, didn't remember the other times they've let games slip away and forgot that games go 60 minutes (or more).
New York's best opportunities came from quick transitions where a miss on one end would turn into a fast break and shot the other way. Kind of like this:
Roque puts away the rebound and gets the goal, but her more impressive contribution here is the 360 pass.
It should be unsurprising that all of New York's goals materialized this way, on the move and without pause.
Jessie Eldridge fed a perfect pass through the middle to the back post that Jade Downie-Landry poked in right at the goal line to make it a 3-2 game.
Alex Carpenter tied the game on the power play a rush where Roque looked like she'd shoot as it was just her against Emerance Maschmeyer. But she put on the brakes, pulled the puck back to elude Maschmeyer's stick as she dove and fed Carpenter across the slot.
Predictably, New York was hyped and controlled the overtime, getting the only four shots and then the league's points leader, Alex Carpenter, won it all on a sick snap from the far faceoff dot.
Three up, three down
↑ Pace and chaos – With the way this ended, I'd forgive you if you wanted to forget the whole thing, but the first half of this game was a delightful mess of turnovers, pace, pressure, up and down play and fun. It was frenetic and had the feeling of a playoff match. It was honestly stressful in the way only sports you care about can be.
↓ Ottawa blueliners remembering they play defense – Part of what makes Ottawa so good on offense is how active their defenders are in that part of the game. They are looking up ice before they even have the puck on their stick and are very involved in the offensive zone. But they were really easily beat in transition throughout the game, but in particular in the final 10 minutes of the third. Once New York woke up, there wasn't a lot to slow down Carpenter and friends.
↑ New York's decisiveness – Part of the reason they were able to make this comeback is that they did not dither around with the puck or look to get settled in the zone. They took off and went straight to net, even on the power play. It was a great reaction to the way that Ottawa was pressuring them and ensured that they didn't have an opportunity to lose the puck before they could even get it to net.
↓ Quick whistles – It's honestly been a problem across women's hockey as a whole this year. In the PWHL, it's a small part of a larger conversation about inconsistent officiating. In this specific case, it's about officials not being in a good position to see where the puck is if they're calling a play dead while the puck is still free. A Daryl Watts goal was taken off the board as it came after a whistle, despite the fact that the puck very clearly (based on the fact that it was, you know, on Daryl's stick) was not frozen and New York had not gained possession on the delayed penalty.
↑ Corinne Schroeder – New York's goalie made 39 saves and while Ottawa didn't challenge her much in terms of difficult shots, there was basically traffic in front of her net at all times and she was called upon to make repeat saves multiple times. While I maintain that Ottawa beat themselves here, Schroeder has to get credit for keeping her team in a position to make that comeback.
↓ Your PWHL hockey fix – I'm keeping this one from Zoë's last recap because after today, we go 10 more days with no PWHL game as the league takes a break for the last set of Rivalry Series games and other international play.
VP's Player of the Game
Abby Roque – Roque had two shots in this game and one of them went in the back of the net. It was her vision of the ice and control that led to the game-tying goal. Tons of players would have just put a shot on net when they have the puck that close with no one between them and the goalie and it's actually a little nuts that she saw/knew Alex Carpenter was behind her and in a better position. After the 360 pass on the first goal, she showed off more great control in eluding Maschmeyer and putting the perfect pass on Carp's stick. The highlights for New York were packed into a few short minutes over, but most of them came from Roque. I couldn't give this to an Ottawa player after that mess, but I have to give honorable mention to Lexie Adzija.