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Welcome to New York: PWHL New York’s Home Opener at UBS Arena

Courtesy of Dennis DaSilva/UBS Arena

PWHL New York and PWHL Montreal both came into the game on Jan. 10 following a loss and looking to get back in the win column. And as the home opener at UBS Arena, New York was motivated to get the victory for the home crowd. 

“Any time you get to play at an NHL venue it’s special,” Alex Carpenter, alternate captain of PWHL New York told “It’ll be pretty special to play at UBS for the first time. We’re all excited.”

The scene was certainly set. UBS Arena was full of eager fans ready to see the new era of women’s hockey in person. Signs lined the boards at warmups and one little girl was even gifted a puck from a New York player which you could tell made her day by the way she was jumping for joy afterwards. Plus, Billie Jean King was in attendance!

Courtesy of Dennis DaSilva/UBS Arena

It didn’t take long for the action to start on the. After the ceremonial puck drop by New York Islanders Bryan Trottier, New York immediately took control of the game by laying the pressure onto Montreal. After a couple good looks and a handful of shots on net, Jessie Eldridge scored her first of the season, and the first PWHL goal at UBS Arena, to put New York up by one. Ella Shelton and Paetyn Levis picked up assists on the goal.

Not long after, Canada’s Captain Clutch herself, Marie Philip-Poulin found the back of the net to get Montreal on the board and knotted the game at 1-1. Erin Amrbose got credit for the only assist on the tally. New York successfully killed off two penalties, including a brief 5-on-3 for Montreal, late in the first to keep the score even. New York controlled most of the first 20 minutes and was easily the more aggressive team in the opening frame.

Montreal came out strong to start the second period, but went on the penalty kill early on as Sarah Bujold was sent off for hooking. New York’s Emma Woods was sent off for delay of game about halfway through the period and Montreal capitalized on the advantage as Catherine Dubois found the back of the net to put her team up 2-1. Both teams got a few chances to convert on the power play throughout the period, but Montreal was the stronger and more dominant for the second. 

Courtesy of Dennis DaSilva/UBS Arena

New York started the third period with 1:17 to go on the power play and Shelton scored less than 30 seconds into the final frame to tie the game at 2-2. Abby Roque and Jesse Eldridge got the assists on Shelton’s goal. But Montreal came racing back, getting goals from Kennedy Marchment and Poulin’s second of the game in a minute and six seconds to put Montreal up 4-2.

From there, Montreal didn’t take their foot off the gas and New York wasn’t able to find the back of the net again. Poulin did once again though, recording just the second hat trick in PWHL history, and securing the 5-2 win for PWHL Montreal. Despite the loss, the PWHL New York players emphasized how much they enjoyed playing at UBS in front of a “true” New York home crowd.

“To be able to come into this facility and play on that ice, I’ve heard some really good things about the ice itself in general, so to be out there as a player myself it was kind of a dream come true to play in a big NHL rink,” said New York’s Ella Shelton.

Although the first PWHL game at UBS didn’t go in favor of the home team, it was certainly one to remember for everyone in attendance and the players who took the ice. New York’s next game is on Sunday, Jan. 14 when the team visits the State of Hockey to face off against Minnesota. And Montreal will host Boston for their home opener on Saturday, Jan. 13.

You can stream all PWHL games on YouTube.

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