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PWHL NY Returns Home to an Unbelievable Crowd, but a Disappointing Loss

It was a perfect 60 degree and sunny day on Long Island on Sunday, March 3, but the real excitement was happening at UBS Arena. PWHL New York returned home to take on PWHL Minnesota for the third time this season and both teams were looking to get back in the win column as New York had suffered two straight losses while Minnesota had lost three in a row.


The energy was electric inside UBS as the arena saw the biggest PWHL crowd yet with 4,459 people in attendance. This specific game was a celebration of women in sports and the joy on plenty of little girls’ faces was priceless. There were lots of teal jerseys in the seats, countless signs made by fans that were pressed against the glass during warmups and excitement in the air.

Courtesy of Lily Karlin

The puck was dropped and there was quite a bit of physical action in the opening frame including an open ice hit on Minnesota’s first overall pick Taylor Heise. Each team had great scoring chances, but neither found the back of the net through the first 20 minutes of play. 


But, it took just over a minute and a half into the second period for Minnesota to open the scoring. Grace Zumwinkle made a beautiful pass across the crease to teammate Kelly Pannek who scored a gorgeous top shelf goal to put Minnesota up 1-0. New York’s Madison Packer took a two minute penalty for holding following that goal and Minnesota took advantage of the power play. Abby Boreen got a great shot on New York goaltender Corrine Schroeder, who almost made the save, but the puck somehow trickled past her and over the goal line to extend Minnesota’s lead to 2-0. 


Not long after, New York went to the power play after Minnesota’s Sophia Kunin took a two minute minor for tripping. But the home team couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage, leaving them in a two-goal deficit still. A heated scuffle erupted in the Minnesota defensive zone that resulted in a roughing penalty on Maggie Flaherty, but the puck didn’t end up in the back of the net then either which kept the score 2-0.

Courtesy of Lily Karlin

1:14 of that second period power play for New York carried over into the third, but Minnesota killed it off again to hold New York scoreless even longer. Heise got involved in another scuffle towards the end of the period, showcasing the physicality that is on display through the league’s play. In the end, the score stayed the same giving Minnesota a 2-0 shutout win over New York.


Minnesota goaltender Maddie Rooney stopped all 29 shots faced to earn her second shutout of the season and left New York extremely disappointed with the result.


New York Head Coach Howie Draper said that the team is trying to overcomplicate their game which seems like the common denominator with all their losses this season. He also feels that the team is often chasing games because they fall behind early, something that needs to be fixed.  


“The biggest commonality from game to game for us is our desire to try and make the game more complex than it needs to be,” said Draper. “I think very often we’re guilty of maybe hanging onto the puck for too long, maybe trying to make a pass that just doesn’t exist. I think if anything we really want to simplify our game a little bit.”


Despite the loss, there was still a positive take away from the game in terms of the incredible crowd and unwavering fan support. 


“It’s amazing and I hope all the fans know that their support really helps.” Brooke Hobson said when asked about the large number of fans at UBS for this contest. “I know when we were just doing warmups, all the girls were like ‘wow, we’ve got a lot of fans here tonight.’ It’s definitely exciting seeing everybody, all the young girls, all the older people too. It does not go unnoticed and it definitely brings the energy up and we want to score for all the fans out there.”


PWHL New York takes on PWHL Montreal in their next game on Wednesday, March 6 at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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