Ottawa's Season Ends With Crushing 5-2 Loss to Toronto

Despite the odds, they found a way to miss the playoffs.

Ottawa's Season Ends With Crushing 5-2 Loss to Toronto
Photo by Francisco Moreno / Unsplash

One thing about professional hockey teams in Ontario: they play their best hockey when there’s nothing at stake.

PWHL Ottawa went into this game needing a regulation win to make the playoffs, after squandering multiple opportunities to clinch a playoff spot earlier in the season. Toronto, meanwhile, had absolutely nothing to play for, except a bit of practice before the playoffs. You’d think they’d ease up a bit in that scenario. Maybe rest a few of their stars. Avoid injury. Stop blocking shots. Coast through the game.


Maybe all that trash talk got to them. Maybe they saw our jokes about the Leafs getting eliminated last night. Whatever the reason, Toronto was in full hater mode. They did not want Ottawa to make the playoffs. I almost respect it.

Spooner got Toronto on the board nice and early, because of course she did. Toronto looked like by far the better team for most of the first period. Thankfully, Gabbie Hughes, the most clutch player in the world (can’t think of anyone else who could compete for that title), soon tied the game.

It didn’t take long for Toronto to answer. This time it was Nurse taking the lead back.

Jesse Compher threw a really dangerous hit against Mrazova, and the Czech forward seemed injured, but did return to the game. Ottawa got 5 minute powerplay out of it, but right when we most needed their league-best powerplay, it disappeared. Spooner got the best scoring chance of those 5 minutes.

Facing a 2-1 deficit, Ottawa started the second period on a much better note. Daryl Watts chose this moment to pull off her best goal of the season - and that's saying something - to tie the game. Man, is there a more exciting player than Watts on this team? I was ready to run through a wall after that goal. I think I'd follow her anywhere. She's a special player.

Ottawa did just about everything but score after that. There were some low quality shots, and some good ones that couldn't get past Campbell. Why was Toronto playing their starting goaltender?

Toronto did technically score a goal in the second period, but it was called back for some reason. I'm pretty sure the puck crossed the line, but who am I to say what is and isn't a goal? I trust the refs on this one.

Toronto took a delay of game penalty early in the final frame, giving Ottawa another chance to get ahead with the game still tied 2-2-. Once again, Ottawa squandered the opportunity.

Ottawa got some good scoring chances, but not enough. They kept putting shots on net, but they weren't doing enough to get in the goalie's face and follow up on their chances. The game remained tied for just long enough that we were all starting to wonder when Ottawa would choose to pull the goalie, when Natalie Snodgrass took a dumb penalty, and Natalie Spooner scored on the powerplay with just over 5 minutes to go.

Ottawa did pull their goalie after that, but Toronto scored two empty netters, and that was that.

Game Notes

  • I cannot stress enough how hard Toronto was trying in this game. At one point in the third period, one of their players blocked a shot with her face. This is top tier hating. I'm laughing through the tears.
  • Not Savannah Harmon's best game.
  • Generally, I thought the defense looked bad tonight. I noticed they had a lot of trouble holding down the blueline in the offensive zone and controlling Toronto's very aggressive forecheck.
  • Hayley Scamurra was one of the few forwards consistently crashing the net and looking for garbage goals. Could have easily had one or two.
  • Do I even need to say it? I've mentioned her in every single recap. For one final time this season: Daryl Watts. My god. Sign her to the maximum contract right now, I'm so serious.

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