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No Place Like Home: PWHL New York Earns First Win on Home Ice

Courtesy of @pwhl_newyork on Instagram

PWHL New York returned home to UBS Arena after a thrilling 2-1 overtime win over Boston on Saturday. The team was hoping to stay in the win column and make it three straight wins when PWHL Montreal came to town despite the opposing team also coming off a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Sunday.

It didn’t take long for the action to start in this contest. Montreal’s Maureen Murphy took a cross-checking penalty just over a minute and a half after puck drop and none other than the league’s point leader, Alex Carpenter, found the back of the net on the man-advantage. Montreal got their first power play of the game less than four minutes later, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity despite putting some pressure on New York.

At 17:25 of the opening frame, Emma Woods took a penalty for boarding. The Montreal power play took the ice, but instead Carpenter found the puck for a beautiful breakaway that led to her second tally of the night and the first shorthanded/jailbreak goal in PWHL New York franchise history! At the end of the first, the score was 2-0 New York.

It was more of the same story in the second period as both teams took different penalties but the score didn’t change. Montreal was putting the pressure on in an effort to get on the board, but Abbey Levy stood tall in her own net, stopping everything that came her way. With less than five minutes left in the middle frame, Montreal was awarded yet another power play as Micah Zandee-Hart took a penalty for roughing. Montreal finally got on the board as Laura Stacey found the back of the net for her sixth goal of the season, making the score 2-1. 

The third began with a similar pace, lots of shots and another penalty on New York that allowed Montreal to tie the game thanks to Marie-Philip Poulin scoring on the power play. But after a lengthy review, the goal was disallowed due to accidental goalie contact keeping New York’s narrow lead intact. However, a minute after that disallowed goal, Murphy tallied her second of the season, which was also reviewed, to officially tie the game at 2-2. The rest of the third period passed by with some great chances for both teams, but the score remained the same which meant overtime was needed to decide a winner. 

The five minutes of 3-on-3 play was full of loud “New York!” chants from the crowd and stunning scoring chances for both teams along with fantastic saves made by goaltenders Levy and Ann-Renee Desbiens. No goal was scored in the extra frame, sending the game to a shootout. 

In the shootout, both Abby Roque and Carpenter got pucks past Desbiens to secure the win as Levy stopped each Montreal attempt. The final score was 3-2, giving New York not only their first victory over Montreal, but their first long-awaited home win of the season. “(Theme from) New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra played from the speakers and the PWHL New York fans went home happy. 

Courtesy of @pwhl_newyork on Instagram

It was also Levy’s first win in the PWHL and she put on a terrific performance to get the victory after not getting the results she wanted in her previous starts. 

“It was probably one of the most special moments of my life and I’m going to remember it for the rest of my life. It was very special.” Levy said about her first win which also happened in front of her parents and in the arena of her favorite NHL team growing up.

“I’m just so happy for our fans. They can finally embrace that moment and enjoy it and see history being made.” Levy said of the first home win in franchise history. “So everyone that came out tonight, that was for them. I think that was a special moment for all of New York.”

PWHL New York’s next home game is on Sunday, March 3 at UBS Arena against PWHL Minnesota. 

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