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PWHL Toronto Clinches First Overall with 4-1 Win Against Minnesota

Courtesy of PWHL Toronto 

It was a night of celebration as Toronto not only celebrated clinching the first place spot in the league before playoffs but also celebrated pride night in Toronto. Toronto beat Minnesota 4-1 Wednesday night in front of a home crowd. 

With this victory, Toronto not only gets home ice advantage in the playoffs but also gets to choose their opponent in the first round between the third and fourth placed team in the standings. Three teams are still battling for the two remaining spots – Minnesota, Boston, and Ottawa. Fans can be sure to see a matchup with either of these teams against Toronto in the first round. When asked how the team will decide which opponent to face, head coach Troy Ryan said, “this team works through collaboration, I’m excited to see what our players think.” 

Fans can be sure to get loud and excited as they will now have the opportunity to once again relocate to a bigger arena than the Mattamy Athletic Center where the team is currently playing their regular season games come playoff time. For games one and two of the first round, it has been announced that Toronto will relocate to the Coca-Cola Coliseum. Coca-Cola is anticipating a sold out crowd both nights next week as capacity is approximately 8,140. Natalie Spooner said the relocation for playoffs “adds more excitement, and will bring the energy to help get the job done and hopefully bring home a championship.” 

Courtesy of Coca-Cola Coliseum (MLSE)

Although Toronto gave the first goal to Minnesota in the first, it didn’t stop the team from bouncing back and taking the lead. Hannah Miller tied the game during the first. Quick passes from Emma Maltais and Sarah Nurse allowed Miller to finish it off and score during a power play against Minnesota. 

The second period started off with a power play against Toronto, Toronto being two players down they were able to successfully kill the power play. “It might surprise people that we don’t practice the penalty kill,” said Head Coach Ryan. “But we talk about it a lot. We just trust them that they’ll use their instincts."

Spooner was named the player of the game. She gave her team the lead during the second period on a power play with the help of Renata Fast and Maltais. She scored again in the third after blocking a shot at her own blue line, then scoring on a breakaway. 

Courtesy of PWHL Toronto

The crowd was loud and “Souppp” chants were nonstop as Toronto goaltender Kristen Campbell made many saves. Campbell made 25 saves to record her league-leading 15th win of the season. 

With the game late in the third, Maltais sealed the win for Toronto as she scored an empty netter, getting her third point of the night. 

With this loss on Wednesday night, Minnesota has now lost four straight games. They can clinch the third place spot if they earn one point in their final game. Minnesota’s final game of the season will be played this Saturday against New York.

Up Next: Toronto will play their final regular season game on Sunday against Ottawa as they prepare for the playoffs. 

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