Frankel's Net: Boston 2, Toronto 1
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Frankel's Net: Boston 2, Toronto 1

Frankel's Net: Boston 2, Toronto 1 by Melissa Burgess

PWHL Boston scored twice in the second period, then held on for a 2-1 win to hand PWHL Toronto its second straight loss as teams returned to the ice following the international break.

What happened?

Thursday's game was a relatively quiet one early on, with Boston coming out of the gate as the stronger team. As the first period went on, Toronto started to pick up its pace, but still couldn't find the back of the net.

Emily Brown scored her first pro goal, opening the scoring at 14:28 of the second period on her own rebound in front of the net. It was also her first pro point.

Less than four minutes later, Susanna Tapani scored the eventual game-winner with her fourth of the season at 17:45. Tapani won the faceoff to the right of Toronto netminder Kristen Campbell, then sent the puck back to Jess Healey at the point. Healey's shot made its way through a crowd and was tipped by Tapani to beat Campbell on the blocker side.

Renata Fast got her team on the board in the third period on an off-angle shot, but that was all they could do to solve Aerin Frankel. Toronto outshot Boston 9-5 in the third period and 24-21 overall.

Three up, three down

↑ A return from Worlds – There's no doubt that Women's Worlds was a grueling two weeks for the players involved, but now it's time to get back to the PWHL business and prep for the final push of the regular season. Given the general lack of accessible Worlds broadcasts in the US (games were on NHL Network, or buried on ESPN+), many women's hockey fans in Thursday's YouTube chat seemed thrilled to get back to watching the games on an easily-accessible platform.

↓ Boston's PP struggles – Boston went 0-for-2 on the advantage Thursday and have the least-effective power play in the PWHL. They've scored on just three of 46 power play opportunities – at a rate of 6.5 percent. In their last ten games, Boston is 1-for-21. Only Megan Keller, Sidney Morin & Alina Müller have scored on the advantage for Boston this season, though they did bring in both Lexie Adzija & Susanna Tapani, both of whom have also had success there in the past.

↑ Tapani thriving in Boston – With her first multi-point game since the trade, Susanna Tapani has now accumulated an equal number of points in Boston as she did in Minnesota. Another aspect of her game that's been utilized much more heavily in Boston so far: her faceoff ability. She's taken 230 draws in 13 games for Boston and has won nearly half of those (49.6%).

↓ No game action for weeks – With the international break, this was Kristen Campbell's first game action since March 23. She dressed in a few games for Canada and obviously practiced with the team for two weeks in Utica, but she never saw any ice time during a game. Going almost a month between games for a goalie is undoubtedly tough, especially given the workload she'd had prior to the break.

↑ Still in the hunt – Boston remains in the hunt for one of the four playoff spots, two points back of Ottawa. Ottawa, however, does have a game in hand. Boston will need to finish strong, with three games on the road and just the finale at home remaining, and needs some help to get up into a playoff spot.

↓ No playoff spots clinched yet – Toronto needed one point to clinch their spot in the Walter Cup playoffs, but it'll have to wait until at least Saturday. Toronto has now lost two in a row but remain atop the PWHL standings, one point ahead of Minnesota. It would take a lot for Toronto to miss, but they'll be held off from clinching for at least another day.

VP's Player of the Game

Aerin Frankel - Frankel stood tall in net, making a number of big saves against the most lethal offense in the PWHL. She kept Toronto off the board until midway through the third period and held it down, making 23 saves for the Boston win.

  • 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: Michael Riley/PWHL)