Toronto beats Minnesota 2-0 to move one win away from PWHL final

Jesse Compher scored the go-ahead goal with 1:25 left in the third period to give Toronto a 2-0 win and a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five semifinal series against Minnesota in playoff action on the Professional Women’s Hockey League on Friday. .

Hannah Miller scored an empty goal for top-seeded Toronto in front of 8,581 fans at the Coca-Cola Coliseum.

Kristen Campbell earned her second straight shutout with 21 saves. She had a 26-save shutout in a 4-0 victory in Game 1 on Wednesday.

Maddie Rooney stopped 28 shots for Minnesota.

Game 3 is scheduled for Monday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Toronto would advance to the PWHL finals for a chance to win the Walter Cup.

Toronto had some of its best scoring opportunities in the scoreless first period on special teams.

With just under nine minutes left, Sarah Nurse had her shot stopped after running toward the net on a 2-on-1. However, she was brought down from behind by Minnesota defender Sophie Jaques, who was penalized with 34 seconds left. on the visitors’ power play.

On the power play Toronto got from that sequence, Miller let a shot fly from the left faceoff circle. Rooney didn’t appear to see the puck with nearly half the net open, but the puck hit Minnesota defenseman Lee Stecklein’s skate at the right post and went wide.

Grace Zumwinkle nearly put Minnesota on the scoreboard at 8:12 of the second period. She took the puck from Renata Fast at the blue line and went on a breakaway run, but she was stopped.

Kali Flanagan missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock for Toronto with 4:52 left in the middle frame.

Kaitlin Willoughby came down the right side and fired a wrist shot into the net that was stopped. The rebound, however, came to Flanagan at full speed, but he couldn’t reach it with an open net staring at it.

Nurse had a chance up front on the power play, but Rooney shut the door on him with 1:48 left.

Abby Boreen came down the left side and fired a wrist shot with no traffic in front, but Campbell saved the ball with 14 seconds left to one of many “Soup” chants from the home crowd.

Emma Maltais missed another big opportunity for Toronto at 4:28 of the third period. Brittany Howard shot at the net from the slot and the rebound found its way to Maltais at the side of the net, but the puck went past her.

Samantha Cogan had another chance for Toronto at 7:20. Cogan shot a shot that was stopped and managed to hit it on the rebound, but they closed the door on him.

With just under nine minutes left in the third, Nurse made a breakaway but missed the net while taking the penalty.

Claire Butorac’s wrist shot nearly slipped out of Campbell’s hands, but the Toronto goalkeeper stopped it with 5:23 left.

Compher finally broke the deadlock with just over a minute remaining when he scored a Fast shot to the delight of the deafening home crowd.

Miller scored an empty-net goal with 9.4 seconds left.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2024.

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