GAME RECAP: ROONEY SHUTS THE DOOR, MINNESOTA BREAKS THROUGH TO EXTEND SERIES AGAINST TORONTO

SAINT PAUL, MN (May 13, 2024) – Maddie Rooney posted an 18-save shutout as Minnesota staved off elimination with a 2-0 win over Toronto at Xcel Energy Center on Monday.  

  

Toronto now leads the best-of-five semifinal series 2-1.  

  

Minnesota had played the first 142:12 of the series without scoring a goal after Toronto goaltender Kristen Campbell posted back-to-back shutouts in Games 1 and 2.  

  

Maggie Flaherty broke through to score Minnesota’s first goal of the series — and first-ever playoff goal— at 2:12 of the second period. 

  

Flaherty’s goal, which stood as the game-winner, came after Liz Schepers forechecked behind Toronto’s net, causing the Toronto defender to turn over the puck to Claire Butorac, who dropped it back to Schepers. The forward then passed to Flaherty at the right point, who wired a shot that went far-side off the post and in.  

  

Minnesota doubled their lead at 8:39 of the second period, with Denisa Křižová notching her first tally of the postseason. Schepers recorded her second primary assist of the game on the tally, with defender Lee Stecklein recording the secondary helper. 

  

With their season on the line, Minnesota came out strong, dominating the shot tally 22-9 through the first two periods of play, including an 11-2 advantage in the first frame.  

  

Toronto pushed back in the third period — outshooting the home team 9-4— but they weren’t able to beat Rooney, who recorded the first playoff shutout in PWHL Minnesota history.  

  

Campbell made 24 saves in the loss. 

  

Game 4 is set to take place on Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. 

 

Postgame Quotes: 

  

Minnesota goaltender Maddie Rooney on her shutout performance: “Like last game the team really helped me out defensively — a lot of blocked shots today and clearing the rebounds when they were there, and it was a really fun atmosphere to play in back in our home building.” 

  

Minnesota forward Liz Schepers on her team’s first goal of the series: “It’s been a while for our group, we knew we’ve had great chances, and it was only a matter of time before we broke through. It started with getting passed off a great shift from the line before us, being able to hold the offensive zone, and a quick little play low to high and Maggie [Flaherty] made a great shot through the screen.” 

 

Minnesota Head Coach Ken Klee on extending the series: “Today the message was we need to win one game— that’s it. So that’s what we went into the game with, and we’re certainly pleased with the outcome.” 

   

Toronto captain Blayre Turnbull on the mood in the room after the game: “Not great. I think, you know, we wanted to come in tonight and have a really strong start and a good first period, and we didn’t do that. I think we gave the other team a lot of confidence, but I think at the same time we understand that it’s playoff hockey and if we want to be successful in Game 4, we have to move on and take away what we did well in that game, but also learn from the areas that we weren’t good at. So, I think we’re not pleased with our effort, our performance tonight, but we’re excited to turn the page and come back for Game 4 and get back to our game.” 

 

Toronto Head Coach Troy Ryan on the team’s performance: “[The game was] a little bit out of character. Our passing was off, our willingness to compete along the walls was off. Our penalty kill was good, so that was something to build off. Just not doing the little things that have made our group successful all year. We’ve just got to be better without a doubt – in all areas.” 

 

Notes:  

  • Attendance: 3,344 – Xcel Energy Center at Saint Paul, MN 
  • Three Stars: 1) Maddie Rooney 2) Maggie Flaherty 3) Denisa Křížová 
  • Shots ended 26-18 in favor of Minnesota – They led 11-2 in the first period and 11-7 in the second period – Toronto led 9-4 in the third period. 
  • Toronto’s 18 shots are tied for their lowest single-game total all season (Feb. 14) – Their two shots in the first period are their lowest single-period total all season. 
  • Blayre Turnbull (TOR) led all players with five shots on goal – Grace Zumwinkle (MIN) led her team with four shots on goal. 
  • Minnesota was 0/4 on the powerplay – Toronto was 0/2 
  • The teams are a combined 0/16 on the powerplay in the series. 
  • Jocelyne Larocque (TOR) led all players in ice time at 27:30 – Sophie Jaques (MIN) led her team with 25:39 TOI. 
  • Rooney’s shutout comes in the team’s first-ever playoff home game – She also recorded a shutout in the team’s first regular-season home game on Jan. 6. 
  • Rooney has three shutouts between regular-season and playoffs, which ranks second in the PWHL behind Toronto’s Kristen Campbell who has five. 
  • Campbell’s shutout streak ends at 175:46. 
  • Flaherty’s only regular-season goal was also a game-winner on Feb. 14 against Ottawa. 
  • Křížová led all players with a plus-2 rating. 
  • Liz Schepers (2A) recorded her first career multi-point game. 
  • Hannah Miller’s point-streak ends at five games. 
  • Natalie Spooner left the game with 8:30 remaining in the third period after a hit along the boards and did not return. 
  • The teams played two scoreless periods for the second straight game after at least one goal was recorded in the first 15 head-to-head periods. 
  • The win is Minnesota’s first since Mar. 24 and snaps a seven-game losing streak. 
  • Toronto’s winning streak comes to an end at six. 
  • Toronto was shut out for the first time since their Jan. 1 season opener. 
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