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PWHL New York Finishes Inaugural Season With a Bittersweet Victory


Courtesy of Lily Karlin/Girls Club

PWHL New York returned to UBS Arena for the team’s last game of the inaugural season to take on PWHL Minnesota who desperately needed a win to clinch a playoff berth. New York entered this contest fresh off a 4-3 win over Ottawa on Tuesday while Minnesota had dropped their last four games, the most recent being a 4-1 loss to Toronto. It was sure to be an exciting game for everyone in attendance.


New York started strong right out of the gate by staying in the offensive zone and putting everything they possibly could on net. That pressure paid off just 2:44 into the contest as Jamie Bourbonnais released a beautiful shot to put New York up 1-0 early on. Brooke Hobson picked up the only assist on Bourbonnais’ goal, extending her point streak to four games (1G, 4A). New York continued to build on the momentum they established as Ella Shelton found the back of the net about halfway through the first period to give New York the 2-0 lead. With that tally, Shelton also extended her point streak to four games which is now her longest of the season. Before the opening frame came to an end, Minnesota was able to get on the board thanks to Denisa Krizova’s third goal of the season.


Minnesota put the pressure on to start the second, but when Liz Schepers received a hooking minor which gave New York the first power play of the game, Bourbonnais took advantage and scored her second of the game to put her team up 3-1. That also marked Bourbonnais’ first multi-goal performance of the season. Not long after, New York received another power play and this time Jade Downie-Landry got a shot past Minnesota’s goaltender Nicole Hensley to make the score 4-1 with a little more than half the middle frame to go. The remainder of the period passed by without either team finding the scoresheet again.

Courtesy of Lily Karlin/Girls Club

Just 1:26 into the final 20 minutes of the contest, Minnesota took another penalty but this time, Grace Zumwinkle took matters into her own hands and scored a shorthanded goal to get Minnesota within two. Despite the plenty of penalties handed out on either side of the ice, it wasn’t until Brittyn Fleming went to the box to serve a too many players penalty that New York struck again. This time Abby Roque scored the power play goal to put New York up 5-2. Shelton picked up her second assist of the night to record her second straight three point game. 


The 5-2 score held until the final buzzer went off, giving New York their second consecutive home win to finish off the inaugural season strong. Ella Shelton recorded back-to-back three point games and finished the inaugural season with 21 points which makes her the only defender in the top five of league scorers. Lindsey Post also earned her first PWHL win by making 30 saves in her first full game in the league. 

Courtesy of Lily Karlin/Girls Club

“I was nervous at the start of the game, but I knew my teammates were going to go out and give it their best game for me today because they know how much hard work I’ve put in over the season and how much I’ve been improving so they really wanted to go out there and play their best game for me today,” Post said when asked about the game. Post had spent the last four seasons playing in Sweden so the work that she has put in to make the transition to the PWHL paid off in the victory along with the fact that her teammates played the best they could to get the win just for her.


Not only did the victory mean New York’s inaugural season ended on a high note, it held a lot more importance for the team’s third goaltender and Post recognized this was a dream come true.


“This has been my dream for so long and I’ve held onto it for so long now too,” Post said. “I’m 30 now so this is my seventh year of professional hockey, two years in the CWHL which folded, then in Sweden for four years and then really putting everything on the line to come to this league. It’s really crazy that I’m here right now. Just never give up even if you’re not picked for a team or no one believes in you, you have to believe in yourself.” 


New York Head Coach Howie Draper praised the team on the full 60 minute performance and how this gives the team a sense of confidence and pride when looking to the future of next season. 


“I don’t think any of these players and coaches have been in the situation where we haven’t gotten to the playoffs. But they’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive,” said Draper. “They were able to find their push, their heart, their soul and that says a lot for this team. We’re very proud of them, we’re very proud of everything they’ve done.”


While New York’s season may have ended earlier than they hoped for, there is a lot to look forward to when it comes to next season. Until then, keep listening to “New York Groove” and keep up with the PWHL playoffs.

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