From Detroit, With Love: Boston 2, Ottawa 1 (SO)
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From Detroit, With Love: Boston 2, Ottawa 1 (SO)

From Detroit, With Love: Boston 2, Ottawa 1 (SO) by Melissa Burgess

Hilary Knight scored in both regulation and the shootout to push PWHL Boston to a 2-1 win over PWHL Ottawa in the first league game played in Detroit, Michigan on Saturday evening. A new attendance record for professional women's hockey in the United States was also set, with 13,736 in attendance as part of PWHL Takeover Weekend.

What happened?

Boston came out of the gate on a strong footing, with Knight opening the scoring on the third shot of the game just 3:05 in. Hannah Brandt fired a pass from behind the net to Megan Keller in the faceoff dot; Keller's shot slid into the crease, and Knight was able to tap it in.

Boston continued to dominate the first period; between puck possession and zone time, they limited Ottawa's chances and held their opponent without a shot on goal for the first 12:47 of the game. Ottawa finally built up some momentum in the second half of the frame, with Savannah Harmon and Daryl Watts both with quality scoring chances. Watts' opportunity did draw a penalty, which gave Ottawa its first power play of the night.

Emily Clark was a one-woman powerhouse on the advantage, first with a big physical push on Keller down low to strip her of the puck. Clark capitalized on the turnover, quickly spinning around, carrying the puck to the faceoff dot to the right of Aerin Frankel, and scoring on a high shot to tie the game.

Though the next 40 minutes of the game were certainly physical, there were no more goals to be found. Several players, including Watts at one end, Gigi Marvin at the other and Brianne Jenner on a wide-open net, had fantastic chances, but nothing doing.

The teams remained tied through overtime, though Ottawa outshot Boston 4-1 in the extra five minutes. Finally, a shootout resulted in the Boston win. For Ottawa, Hayley Scamurra (save), Kateřina Mrázová (goal, five-hole), Savannah Harmon (save, poke-check), Brianne Jenner (fanned on the shot) and Natalie Snodgrass (save) were the shooters.

Hannah Brandt scored a top-shelf goal, while Knight put a powerful shot straight in. Alina Müller (save) and Jamie Lee Rattray (save) also shot for Boston. Knight's goal stood as the game-winning shot.

Three up, three down

↑ A new attendance record – The crowd in Detroit set a new American record for attendance for professional women's hockey, beating the record set earlier this year by PWHL Minnesota. There were 13,736 fans in attendance at Little Caesars Arena, and the crowd was engaged, energized and enthusiastic!

↓ Gabel's status – Boston forward Loren Gabel was injured in the second period, after turning just before a hit from Aneta Tejralová. Gabel went down and was very obviously in a lot of pain; she was eventually helped off the ice by a pair of trainers/staff, but remained hunched over the entire time. Unsurprisingly, it marked the end of her night, having played just 3:26 of ice time.

↑ Goaltending – Both goaltenders put up a strong performance, each registering 25 saves on 26 shots faced between regulation and overtime.

↓ Ottawa struggles in extra time – While Ottawa is not a bad team, they continue to squander valuable opportunities to earn points when a game goes to overtime or a shootout. Ottawa is now 0-6 in games that went beyond 60 minutes this season. Those points will only become more important as teams hit the home stretch of the season, with eyes on the fourth and final playoff spot.

↑ Watts was electric – Daryl Watts had a good game for Ottawa, even though she didn't end up getting on the scoresheet. She finished the game with a team-high five shots on goal in 17:58. Her late penalty in overtime unfortunately made her ineligible for the shootout.

 Boston's powerless play. Boston has really struggled to take advantage of their power plays this season. They entered Saturday's game with a league-worst power play (5.0%) and proceeded to go 0-for-3 on the PP in the win against Ottawa.

VP's Player of the Game

Emerance Maschmeyer – Although Maschmeyer didn't get the win, she was Frankel's equal almost entirely throughout the game, with 25 saves on 26 shots. She played a strong game and came just one save shy of the victory.

  • Game replay link (YouTube) – The PWHL has started posting "condensed game archive" video, after taking their videos private after broadcast as of late. Check their video uploads page for the game archive content as it becomes available. (This game is not yet as of press time.)
  • Game data

(Photo: PWHL)