Hughes Comes Up Huge: Ottawa 4, New York 2
- 4 min read

Hughes Comes Up Huge: Ottawa 4, New York 2

Hughes Comes Up Huge: Ottawa 4, New York 2 by Melissa Burgess

Gabbie Hughes and Lexie Adzija scored their team-leading fifth goals of the season to lead PWHL Ottawa to a 4-2 win over PWHL New York on Wednesday. Fanni Garát-Gasparics and Chloé Aurard also scored their first PWHL goals for their respective teams.

What happened?

Wednesday's game was just the second meeting of the season between these two teams, both of whom find themselves at the bottom of the league standings (now with 16 points each). Ottawa snapped a two-game losing streak, while New York has now lost two straight.

It didn't take long for Ottawa to get on the board, as Savannah Harmon snuck the puck in between goaltender Abbey Levy and post. The initial call on the ice was overturned upon review, and Harmon's third goal of the season put her team up 1-0 very early in.

As the period continued, Ottawa continued to put the pressure on, with chance after chance – including some on a wide open net – but couldn't bury it. They continued to look like the stronger team, with opportunities and the bulk of sustained zone time, but the score remained 1-0.

Ottawa seemed to be in a little bit of trouble midway through the game, with a few turnovers, including a dangerous one at the blue line, followed by a penalty kill. Instead, Garát-Gasparics scored a "jailbreak" goal, and her first of the season, to double the lead. Ottawa had a 3-on-1 rush; Garát-Gasparics' first shot was saved, but she picked up her own rebound for the goal.

New York stepped up to respond, scoring just 38 seconds later. After Zoe Boyd's stick broke in front of the net while she was trying to pass forward, the puck came right to Aurard and she was able to slide it up and over Emerance Maschmeyer's left pad.

Midway through the third, New York tied it on Jaime Bourbonnais' second goal of the season, on the power play. Bourbonnais scored on a snapshot after dragging the puck around an Ottawa player, beating Maschmeyer for the equalizer.

Hughes played the hero, tallying the game-winning goal with 4:06 to play in regulation. New York's failed breakout led to a turnover, and Hughes got the puck in front of the net before sending a backhand shot over Levy, who went down early. Adzija added an empty-netter with four seconds left to seal the win.

Three up, three down

↑ Savannah Harmon – Harmon has been Ottawa's best defender, and one of their best players overall this season. She opened the scoring on Wednesday and finished the game a plus-2.

↓ She Roque'd her – The first major penalty was handed out on Wednesday, a five-minute call to New York's Abby Roque for checking from behind. Roque pushed Ottawa's Amanda Boulier into the boards from a distance. Although Roque seemed to be in disbelief about the penalty, it certainly didn't look like a good play; she also got a game misconduct and was ejected. We'll see what supplemental discipline, if any, the PWHL assigns:

↑ Live ref cams! The PWHL has really been testing some new, fun and innovative things this season, and a live referee cam on Wednesday's broadcast was the latest example. Getting to see an up-close POV of the officials huddling together to discuss a reviewed goal call or penalty takes things to another level. It's fun, it's different, and it also provides a bit of transparency when you get that behind-the-scenes look at how things are happening.

↓ Ottawa's power play – Ottawa has the best power play in the PWHL (23.7%), but they really failed to capitalize Wednesday. Their only advantage came on Abby Roque's major penalty, but with a five-minute power play, they should've been able to muster more than just a single shot on goal. It really was a chance for them to command control of the game (they were leading 2-1 at that point), but didn't end up turning into anything valuable.

↑ Time on ice data! Earlier this week, the PWHL officially began publicly releasing time on ice (TOI) data for games. It's great to see more publicly-accessible data, and TOI can really help to tell the story of how players are being utilized, what lines are working well together, and who's not playing as much. Savannah Harmon led all skaters with 27:16 played Wednesday, while Ella Shelton played 26:16. Garát-Gasparics skated just 6:50, but had a goal and two shots and finished the game a plus-1.

 New York's top line – It was a rough game for New York's top line of Abby Roque, Alex Carpenter and Jessie Eldridge. Roque, who was tossed from the game early, played 13:02 and was a minus-1, but Carpenter was a minus-2 and Eldridge a minus-3.

VP's Player of the Game

Emerance Maschmeyer – Maschmeyer stopped 24 of 26 shots faced in Wednesday's win. She has really carried the workload for Ottawa this season, having played in 13 games and facing 327 shots – more than any other PWHL goaltender. Ottawa is leaning on her hard, and she's stepping up to the task.

(Photo: Andrea Cardin/Freestyle Photography/PWHL)