Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
New York steals victory over Toronto in PWHL’s inaugural game
1 month ago
It was a memorable and historic Monday afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre as New York sealed a 4-0 victory over Toronto to mark the first-ever Professional Women’s Hockey League game
Ahead of the puck drop in front of a sold-out crowd, each player was introduced to the crowd, dawning their PWHL merchandise as they rose in a standing ovation to each player.
New York defenceman Ella Shelton became the first player to score a goal in the PWHL, as her shot found its way through traffic and beat Toronto goaltender Kristen Campbell just over the 10-minute mark in the first period. Shelton was New York’s first-round selection in the first-ever PWHL Draft. The forward has also been a member of Team Canada since the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championships, as well as helping her team win gold at the Women’s Worlds and the 2022 Olympics.
Despite a scoreless second period, Toronto had 16 shots on net in an attempt to get on the score sheet.
New York scored their second goal just under three minutes into the third period as forward Alex Carpenter went top-shelf, dazzling everyone in attendance.
New York Forward Jill Saunier tapped one in from Jade Downie-Landry to extend the lead to 3-0 two minutes following Carpenter’s goal.
Forward Kayla Vespa buried the final goal for New York, making use of a pass from Alexandra Labelle at 7:42, extending the score to 4-0, which would conclude the scoring for the remainder of the contest.
Both netminders had fantastic first appearances, but New York’s Corrine Schroeder would be the one to shut the door on Toronto with 29 saves, becoming the first PWHL goaltender to record a shutout.
Following the final buzzer, the crowd once again came to their feet, giving both teams a final ovation for their efforts.
Hours before fans filled Mattamy Athletic Centre, the PWHL released its rulebook, with some rules unique to the ones fans are used to seeing in the NHL.
One of the most significant differences is the 3-2-1-0 point system used. Teams will be awarded three points for regulation wings, two for victories found in overtime and shootouts, one for the losing team in extra time, and the team that loses in regulation will receive no points.
The rule is common throughout college hockey and the International Ice Hockey Federation. It is meant to give more merit to teams who win within 60 minutes.
Tiebreakers are decided by whoever has the better winning percentage, followed by regulation wins, then total wins, and so on.
However, short-handed goals have to be the most unique addition to the rule book. According to Rule 16, when a goal is scored by a team on the penalty kill, whichever penalty has the least amount of time will be terminated, meaning if you score a short-handed goal, it immediately goes back to even strength.
Although not usually allowed in women’s hockey, body checking is permitted in the PWHL if the player intends to play the puck or attempt to gain possession. However, a player can not pin or push another player against the boards to eliminate them from the play.
All PWHL games are easily accessible and streamed via the league’s YouTube channel. Monday’s broadcast, as the time of writing, brought 91,000 viewers via YouTube, with the game airing on TV in Canada on CBC, TSN and Sportsnet, and in the United States on MSG Networks, NESN and Sportsnet Pittsburgh.
The second game in league history takes place Tuesday night at 5 p.m. MST, with Montreal visiting Ottawa.
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