PWHL Ottawa Recap: Week 10

Ottawa took their talents to Detroit this week, where they took Boston to a shootout but couldn't beat them.

PWHL Ottawa Recap: Week 10
Photo by William Duggan / Unsplash

It’s starting to look like this playoff race is going to come down to the wire, with Ottawa losing a crucial matchup against PWHL Boston, but in the shootout.

Unfortunately, the injury bug has started to hit, as Fanni Garát-Gasparics announced on social media that she will be undergoing knee surgery and will be out for the season. The Hungarian forward scored 1 goal in 15 games with Ottawa. The team has brought in former Boston Pride forward Sammy Davis to replace her.

Last Week: Ottawa 1, Boston 2 (SO)

  • Ottawa got the chance to participate in a historic moment for women’s hockey on Saturday, as they headed to Detroit for the PWHL’s first neutral site hockey game, which set a new American attendance record for professional women’s hockey.
  • Most of the crowd seemed to be cheering for Boston, and I’ve decided to take that as evidence that my plan to start a rivalry between the Sens and Red Wings has been working.
  • Hilary Knight got Boston on the board early in the game, beating Maschmeyer right off a faceoff. Boston was by far the better team in the first 10 minutes or so of the game; it looked like Ottawa had just decided not to show up.
  • They did pick things up eventually, though, and apparently decided to frustrate us in a different way, by hitting the crossbar a few times, a trend that would continue for the rest of the game.
  • Thankfully, Ottawa got a powerplay toward the end of the period, and Emily Clark absolutely took over the game. She skated circles around the Boston defenders and ripped one top shelf to tie things at one.
  • The second period was highly entertaining, with the two teams trading chances but neither one able to beat the other’s goaltender - or crossbar, in Ottawa’s case. Daryl Watts got the best chance of the period on a breakaway.
  • There was a scary moment in the second period, when Loren Gabel went down hard behind the net and struggled to get up. It looked like a shoulder injury, and the commentators spent a lot of time explaining how painful those can be, as if Ottawa hockey fans don’t know that all too well.
  • The goalie duel continued into the third period, with neither team able to break the tie. The playoff battle made it all the more intense, as 3 points would have gone a long way for either of the two teams competing for the league’s final playoff spot. Alas, it was not to be.
  • Overtime was thrilling, but somehow none of the scoring chances went in. Brianne Jenner got the best chance of the entire game, but hit the post on a wide open net.
  • Daryl Watts took a penalty with about 17 seconds left in the game, which gave Boston one last opportunity to win, and also disqualified her from the shootout. I was shocked to find out that that was a rule, but come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that scenario play out in a game before, so I guess it makes sense.
  • Anyways, overtime ended without a goal, and we were off to a shootout.
  • Unfortunately, it was another mistake by Brianne Jenner that ultimately cost Ottawa the game, as she lost control of the puck on her shootout attempt. Mistakes happen and she’s been great at times, but it feels like she messes up chances like that pretty often. It would be nice to see a bit more from the team’s biggest name.

The Week Ahead

  • Ottawa heads to New York on Wednesday for another game with huge playoff implications. New York has fallen behind the pack with just 17 points to Ottawa’s 21, so they’ll need a win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Meanwhile, Ottawa fans will have to do some scoreboard watching, as Boston, who sits just 1 point ahead of them, will be playing Toronto at the same time. 
  • Despite New York’s poor record as a team, forward Alex Carpenter, defender Ella Shelton and goaltender Corinne Schroeder remain some of the best players in the league.
  • This will be the first meeting between the teams since Abby Roque’s massive hit on Amanda Boulier, which awarded her the first game misconduct in PWHL history.
  • After that, Ottawa will host Toronto on Saturday, seeking redemption after their last meeting ended in a blowout loss.
  • Toronto has been completely unbeatable lately, soaring to first in the league on the back of a 10 game winning streak. They’re proof that it’s possible to turn your season around after a bad start.
  • Look out for Natalie Spooner, the current league leader in goals with 12 in 17 games. She’s unreal.

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