PWHL Game Hub 24: Ottawa @ Toronto

It's do-or-die for Ottawa in the final game of the regular season: win, and they're in the playoffs. Lose, and they're out.

PWHL Game Hub 24: Ottawa @ Toronto
Photo by Berkay Gumustekin / Unsplash

It all comes down to this.

The final game of the regular season for Ottawa begins today at 7:00 EDT in Toronto, with everything on the line. Ottawa had a chance to clinch a playoff berth in their last two games, but crucial regulation losses against Montreal and New York have left them with just this one last chance to continue their season. Montreal almost did Ottawa a solid yesterday by erasing a 3-0 deficit against Boston, but Boston still won 4-3 in regulation, allowing them to clinch an improbable play-off birth.

The good news is that Ottawa controls their fate. If they win in regulation, they're in, and not only will they make it, they'd leapfrog Minnesota and Boston due to the tiebreaker and finish third. But if they get any fewer than the three points that come from a regulation win, they'll finish fifth and outside of a playoff spot.

It's a tall task against the league's best team, Toronto, but don't count them out. We need to see some playoff hockey in Ottawa. Here's what tonight's line-up will look like:

Game Notes:

  • Luckily for Ottawa, Toronto already has first place wrapped up and has nothing to really play for here, besides pride and wanting to finish Ottawa's season. Ottawa should be the team playing with more urgency tonight.
  • Because Ottawa needs a regulation win, if the score is tied in the final minutes, they will have to pull their goalie just like the Philadelpha Flyers did a few weeks ago. Going to overtime means their season is over.
  • It's disappointing that it's come down to this, because after reeling off four straight wins, Ottawa was in a perfect spot to make the playoffs. But now they need some hard work and good luck.
  • Natalie Spooner has all but wrapped up the league scoring title, with 25 points in 23 games. The only player who could even come close is her teammate Sarah Nurse who has 21 points. Spooner has been on fire with 14 points in her last 10 games.
  • After a dazzling 13 points in a seven-game stretch, captain Brianne Jenner has been held pointless the last two contests. Hopefully she's due for another great performance.
  • Because they clinched first place, Toronto will be able to pick their first round opponent – yet another cool, innovative rule from the PWHL's inaugural season that we'd love to see implemented in the NHL. Can you imagine the storylines if Ottawa wins today and Toronto picks them to play against in the first round?

Player Stats:

Game 24 Ottawa Toronto
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brianne Jenner/Daryl Watts 9 Natalie Spooner 18
Assists Katerina Mrázová 12 Emma Maltais 15
Points Brianne Jenner 19 Natalie Spooner 25
Shots Hayley Scamurra 84 Natalie Spooner 94

Team Stats:

Game 24 Ottawa Toronto
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals 60 3rd 64 1st
Goals Against 58 3rd 48 1st
PP% 25.8 1st 14.9 4th
PK% 86.9 3rd 91.5 1st

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