PWHL Ottawa Recap: Week 7

Sarah Fillier is going to look great in an Ottawa jersey.

PWHL Ottawa Recap: Week 7

It was one step forward, two steps back for a team that's rapidly running out of time to turn their season around. What started as a season full of promise now suddenly feels like it's slipping away.

Last Week: Ottawa 4, Boston 2

  • Last Monday, PWHL Ottawa went to Boston desperately in need of a win after plummeting to the bottom of the standings, and thankfully, they got one.
  • Daryl Watts struck first, continuing her hot streak. Aneta Tejralova started the breakout, and Watts and Brianne Jenner pulled off a beautiful give-and-go that ended up in the back of the Boston net.
  • Early in the second period, Boston benefited from one of the weirdest on-ice calls I’ve ever seen. A Boston player was sent crashing into the net, dislodging it completely, and Boston’s Taylor Girard grabbed the puck and - while the net was fully dislodged - fired it on net. After a very, very long review, the goal stood, because it was determined that an Ottawa player had pushed her into the net, and apparently goals count if the puck would have gone in had the net been in place. I understand why that rule exists - probably to make sure goals aren’t called back because the net was just slightly off - but that one sure does seem to push the limits of the rule. 
  • The two teams battled it out for most of the second period, until Gabbie Hughes broke the tie by finishing off a chaotic sequence on the powerplay.
  • Unfortunately, Boston struck back immediately, tying the game back up.
  • In the dying seconds of the second period, Emily Clark did some great work in the corner to get the puck to Gabbie Hughes in front of the net, and Hughes buried her second of the game to make the score 3-2.
  • I can’t imagine any Sens fan felt particularly good about going into the third period with a one-goal lead, but PWHL Ottawa pulled it off, hanging on to the lead until the very end of the game, when Brianne Jenner buried an empty netter.
  • With that win, Ottawa moved out of last place and right into a playoff spot. Surely that was a sign of good things to come!

Last Week: Ottawa 1, Boston 3

  • Was that last bullet point laying it on a bit too think with the foreshadowing? Unfortunately Ottawa couldn't continue its momentum in the second half of their back-to-back mini-series with Boston and fell behind early when Loren Gabel beat Maschmeyer with a laser beam of a wrister off the rush just 7:35 into the game. The shots were 7-1 in favour of Boston at that point, and Ottawa felt like they were holding on for dear life.
  • As has often been the case this season, when Ottawa has needed an offensive spark, Watts has been there. This time she helped create a chance for Kateřina Mrázová, who made no mistake burying a rebound after her first shot was stopped:
  • From there, things only got worse for Ottawa, though, as Boston regained the lead right at the start of second. Hilary Knight added an insurance marker to make it 3-1 in the third.
  • For Ottawa, it was another game with a lot of shots but little by the way of goals to show for it. Aerin Frankel stopped 29 of 30 shots. Some of this is bad luck, but a lack of finishing talent has been a recurring theme.

Last Week: Ottawa 3, Montreal 6

  • Unfortunately, Ottawa’s woes only continued in Montreal.
  • Montreal capitalized on a first period powerplay to take an early lead, but thankfully Ottawa responded in no time. This goal was extra special because it was Akane Shiga who tapped in a rebound from Natalie Snodgrass, for her first professional goal! Long overdue, and well deserved considering how well she’s been playing.
  • A second period powerplay should have given Ottawa an opportunity to take the lead, but unfortunately, the worst happened, as they gave up a dreaded jailbreak goal. Those are so humiliating.
  • Montreal extended their lead early in the third period. Anne-Sophie Bettez just hates Ottawa, apparently.
  • On the bright side, Daryl Watts soon drew Ottawa back within one. I’m running out of words to describe just how good she’s been lately. She absolutely rocks.
  • Unfortunately, Montreal soon took back the two-goal lead, with Claire Dalton scoring her second of the night.
  • Ottawa pulled back within one goal again on a 5 on 3 powerplay. This time it was Katerina Mrazova’s turn to play hero, with a tough angle shot from the goalline.
  • That would do it for Ottawa’s comeback attempt. Claire Dalton soon completed the hat trick, and then Maureen Murphy got an empty netter.
  • That was quite possibly the worst game I’ve seen this team play. Even though the score was pretty close for most of the game, it never really felt like they were in it. They gave up so many high-danger scoring chances against, and still couldn’t seem to generate the same chances for themselves.

The Week Ahead

  • Ottawa returns home for the next two games, for a couple of crucial games against teams that aren’t too far head of them in the standings.
  • First, on Wednesday the 28th, they host New York, who are only three points ahead of them at the moment and thus within reach. New York is coming off a couple of games that both ended in a shootout, winning one and losing the other. 
  • New York has obviously struggled a lot more than they were expected to, but they have the league’s top scorer in Alex Carpenter, as well as the points leader among defenders in Ella Shelton, and Corinne Schroeder, who has the second best save percentage in the league.
  • These two teams have only met once before, and that was the epic collapse that New York won in overtime, so… let’s try not to do that again.
  • After that, Toronto comes to town for an afternoon matchup on Saturday the second. Ottawa won their first two meetings handily, but it should be noted that Toronto has really found their stride since then, playing themselves into third in the league. Everything is clicking, and Natalie Spooner especially has been on fire.
  • That game will be another doubleheader for Sens fans, as it starts at 3:30 and the Sens play at 7, so get ready for a full afternoon/evening in front of the TV!
  • The New York game will be broadcast on TSN, and the Toronto game will be on CBC. Both will obviously also be streamed on the PWHL YouTube channel.

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