Are we panicking yet? I feel like it might be time to start panicking.
New York 4 @ Ottawa 3
- With the league taking a break for the NHL All-Star Game, Ottawa only played one game this week, and it was at home against New York.
- It was a frustrating game even before the ending, as Ottawa seemed to have possession the whole time but couldn’t get many good scoring chances, and certainly couldn’t finish the few chances they did get. It’s a problem that has plagued this team all season, but seemed especially obvious in this game.
- Despite this challenge, Ottawa did manage to find the back of the net fairly early on in the game. Daryl Watts made a beautiful stretch pass to Emily Clark, who went in alone on a breakaway but couldn’t score. Clark managed to keep the play alive long enough to pass the puck to Aneta Tejralová, who fired a slapshot from the point for her first goal of the season.
🚨 Aneta Tejralová (1)— PWHL Ottawa (@PWHL_Ottawa) February 4, 2024
🍎🍏 Emily Clark pic.twitter.com/uy6QhG04ZQ
- I won’t lie: I totally thought Ottawa was offside on that zone entry, and the replay seems inconclusive, so I’m slightly surprised it wasn’t challenged, but maybe the New York coaching staff had a better angle of it.
- There were no goals in the second period, leading many of us to worry that Ottawa’s strategy of always having possession but never finishing any of their chances might not be particularly sustainable.
- Right at the end of the period, Ottawa was victimized by a quick whistle, when Daryl Watts seemingly scored to double the lead, but it was disallowed because the ref had mistakenly blown the play dead seconds before. The worst part is that the ref was calling a penalty on New York, so the problem was probably that the ref thought New York had gained possession. It just sucks to see Ottawa victimized by something that was supposed to benefit them.
- Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long for revenge, as Lexie Adzija - who else? - scored just a few minutes into the third. She’s been such a pleasant surprise this season.
🚨 Lexie Adzija (4)— PWHL Ottawa (@PWHL_Ottawa) February 4, 2024
🍎🍏 Hayley Scamurra pic.twitter.com/aRb9GEnW7o
- Savannah Harmon, fresh off a standout performance at the PWHL showcase at the NHL All-Star Game, provided a bit of extra insurance, picking up a beautiful pass from Daryl Watts to fire one home from the slot.
🚨 Savannah Harmon (2)— PWHL Ottawa (@PWHL_Ottawa) February 4, 2024
🍎 Daryl Watts
🍏 Emily Clark pic.twitter.com/x8pEnUhIk7
- Maybe what happened next was my fault, actually, because with about five minutes left in regulation, I started to think about how nice it would be to get Maschmeyer a shutout. Not that I said the word! I didn’t say it! But I was thinking about it.
- Anyways, Abby Roque had to spoil those plans, because she is an agent of chaos and she lives to ruin her opponents’ lives.
- It took less than a minute for New York to draw within one, and just over another minute for them to tie the game. We had just witnessed a last-minute collapse of epic proportions and there were still three and a half minutes left of regulation. It felt completely absurd.
- Then New York scored again in overtime, because of course they did.
- It sucked!!
- That loss also sent Ottawa down to last place in the league, with just 10 points in 7 games. They can still turn things around, but it’s absolutely crushing to see them fall so far behind when they’ve looked so good. At some point, we have to stop blaming luck and accept that this team needs to get better at generating high-danger chances.
- One positive about this game: Daryl Watts was on fire. She’s definitely looking like the steal of the draft. What a player.
- Watts’s whole line was great, to be honest, with Emily Clark standing out as well. Those two have amazing chemistry.
- Carla McLeod made a very strange roster decision before the game, by taking Mikyla Grant-Mentis out of the lineup. I haven’t heard anything about Grant-Mentis being injured, but I can’t imagine what aspect of her play might have earned her a healthy scratch, considering that she’s looked like one of the stronger players in most of Ottawa’s games. It also would have been nice to see the only Black player on the team on the ice for the first game during Black History Month.
Around the League
- As if things couldn’t get any worse, Toronto appears to be finally putting things together. They beat Minnesota 4-1 on Saturday.
- Montreal and Boston went to overtime again, and Montreal took this one. They now sit at the top of the standings.
The Week Ahead
- There’s nothing!
- The league is taking a 10 day pause for the Rivalry Series, in which Canada and the US will face off three times - twice in Saskatchewan and once in Minnesota.
- The games will take place on February 7th, 9th and 11th.
- Emily Clark, Brianne Jenner, Ashton Bell and Emerance Maschmeyer will all suit up for Canada.
- On the other side of the ice, we’ll see Savannah Harmon, Hayley Scamurra and Gabbie Hughes representing the US.