Considering how the women huddled around their goaltender after the final horn blew, many would think the PWHL New York team had a lot to celebrate. A big come-from-behind win against PWHL Ottawa at the Prudential Center in the penultimate game of the season is, on paper, a huge deal.
But with the team already eliminated from playoff contention, the reaction looked more like that of fulfillment rather than overt celebration.

After trailing by two goals after twenty minutes, New York exploded in the second period. Four unanswered goals, including three in a five-minute span, were the catalyst to the team’s 4-3 win.

Ottawa Capitalizes, Dominates

The first period could not have gone worse for New York. Corinne Schroeder faced 17 shots total as seemingly every line playing in front of her struggled to keep the puck out of their zone. For Schroeder, who had the second-best save percentage with a .931 save percentage going into Tuesday, it’s expected. New York is last in the PWHL, allowing nearly three goals per game on average.

Ottawa got on the board five minutes in and doubled the lead with five minutes to go in the period. Akane Shiga tapped in the go-ahead goal inside the blue paint. Meanwhile, the second Ottawa score was a thing of beauty. Hayley Scamurra sniped one high glove on Schroeder.

New York ended the first period with just three shots on net.

Still, with the season already over, the fans at the Prudential Center really did not seem to care. The energy brought by the crowd of nearly 3,000 was high even after the disappointing first 20 minutes. The concourse was bustling, lines for merch were long, and the team’s primary jersey was sold out in adult sizes.

Elsewhere, you could feel a positive vibe between enemies. Traveling fans of the Ottawa team had brought friendship bracelets for anyone to take. You could see fans wearing Devils, Islanders, and Rangers jerseys all sitting together without a hint of hostility. The sound of young fans, particularly young girl hockey players, was a constant.

The positive atmosphere was unmatched. And again, this was with the home team trailing and already eliminated from the playoffs.

New York Awakens, Scoring Surge

In the second period, PWHL New York’s offense lit up, outshooting the visitors 13-7. Only nine of those shots were kept from the netting by goalie Emerance Maschmeyer.

Just over seven minutes into the period, a beautiful pass from Brooke Hobson set up Jade Downie-Landry. She toe-dragged past the oncoming defender and beat Maschmeyer just under the blocker to cut the deficit in half.

A little under two minutes later, Alex Carpenter set up Ella Shelton on a breakaway, who beat the goalie on the blocker side.

To cap off the five-minute goal spree, Shelton shot on goal, leaving the puck in front of the net. Maschmeyer dove to try to clear it, but Kayla Vespa did a long reach of her own to get the shot around her. It was now 3-2 New York, and the crowd was eclectic.

The period ended with a goal from Élizabeth Giguère, daughter of former NHL goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère, to make it 4-2.

Slow Third, Looking Ahead

The third period was slower for both teams. Ottawa’s shell shock still seemed apparent, though they were able to outshoot New York 12-9. A goal with under 60 seconds to play by Daryl Watts made things interesting, but New York prevailed. It was PWHL New York’s first win since March 25.

Additionally, New York’s win secured the team the top spot in next year’s PWHL draft. The league adopted the so-called “Gold Plan” back in February, which incentivizes teams to win games following playoff elimination. As the only eliminated team this late in the season, New York’s three “Draft Order Points” means it will take the top spot in the draft order.

New York is highly likely to draft Princeton University and Team Canada forward Sarah Fillier first overall. The three-time world champion and 2022 Olympic gold medalist will bring a huge goal-scoring presence to a team that could see major overall in the offseason.

New York’s season isn’t totally over, though. The team has one more home game on Saturday, May 4, against PWHL Minnesota. That game will be played at UBS Arena on Long Island, the most consistent of the three venues used by the New York team this year.


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