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PWHL Toronto Look To Close Out The Series In Minnesota After Taking A 2-0 Lead

Courtesy of PWHL Toronto 

Friday night’s game two of the PWHL semifinals between Minnesota and Toronto did not disappoint as it could have been anyone's game. With only 1:25 left on the clock Toronto’s Jesse Compher found a way to get it done and extend the lead for Toronto before they head to Minnesota to play game three to potentially close the series. 

It was a packed house at Coca-Cola Coliseum as fans anxiously waited nearly 59 minutes before Toronto scored two late goals in the third to take a 2-0 victory over Minnesota. 

Game two was a much different game played by Minnesota who put up a fight until the end against the first seed Toronto team. Game two started with a lineup change announcement by putting goalie Maddie Rooney in. This was her first start of the series, she saved 28 out of 29 shots on net. 

When asked, Rooney was proud of her team’s performance despite the end result. “I think today we were just a whole new team defensively and offensively. It started in the defensive zone. They were making my job easy back there.” 

Late in the third, Toronto’s Renata Fast ripped a shot that deflected off of Compher to give Toronto the tally late in the third. “I honestly didn’t see much…I think we’ve talked about this all year– getting in front of goalies, taking their eyes away creates chaos, and hopefully good things come from that, and that's what we experienced there,” said Compher in the post game interview. 

Courtesy of PWHL Toronto 

It wasn’t long after until Hannah Miller shot an empty netter in the final seconds of the game, giving Toronto the 2-0 lead. Toronto was able to take a strong lead in the series of 2-0 before heading on the road to Minnesota on Monday to potentially close the series. 

Kristen Campbell continued to shine and stay focused. She was named the star of the game and saved 21 shots on net, having a save percentage of .927. This was the goalkeeper's second shutout of the series. Campbell has become a big fan favorite in Toronto as the entire arena constantly shouted “soup” for her performance and continued to show up to games with soup inspired posters. 

Courtesy of PWHL Toronto 

The game proved to be a different game of the series as physicality was more intense than before. During the second period, Minnesota’s defender Jaques collided with Toronto’s Sarah Nurse. “We definitely tried to be more physical today, especially on the forecheck and corners of the D zone. It helped us win a lot more battles and generate more chances,” said Jaques. 

Nurse missed a number of shifts before returning to the game. Nurse says that the physicality doesn’t hurt their game, and instead gives them momentum. “The strength of our team is that I think we can lead in the physicality factor but if other teams bring it to us, we’re gonna give it right back. And so it depends on what teams bring that day but I think that we do a lot of dictating a little bit, seeing what is gonna be allowed and what we’re gonna get away with.”

UP NEXT: Game three in Minnesota will be one to watch as Toronto could be the first team to clinch a spot in the Walter Cup finals or will Minnesota continue the series at home?

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