First Battle of Ontario in PWHL history

TORONTO, ON (January 13, 2024) – The second week of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) regular-season continues on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET with Ottawa and Toronto squaring off in the league’s first battle of Ontario at Mattamy Athletic Centre. 


Canadian viewers can tune-in live on CBC and stream on CBC Gem,, and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. Andi Petrillo will host in-studio alongside analysts Hailey Salvian and Saroya Tinker. Daniella Ponticelli will call the action live from Mattamy Athletic Centre with analyst Becky Keller and reporter Signa Butler. Fans in the United States can watch the game live on the league’s YouTube channel.


Toronto (1-2-0) enters the contest tied for third place in the overall standings with three points. They return home after playing two road games since their historic opener on New Year’s Day, picking up their first win of the season last Friday against New York by a 3-2 score at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, followed by a 3-1 loss to Minnesota at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday night. It’s been 11 days since Ottawa (0-0-1) played their one and only game of the season, a 3-2 overtime loss to Montréal on January 2, before a sold-out crowd of 8,318 at The Arena at TD Place. The single point they earned in the standings has them situated in fifth place. The extra long break between games is a result of Monday’s postponed contest in Boston and will be their longest of the season until the league pauses for the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship in April. The result of today’s game will feature a franchise first with either Toronto’s first-ever home win, or Ottawa’s first-ever victory.


Nine Toronto players found the scoresheet in the team’s two road games beginning with Natalie Spooner’s historic first franchise goal on the power play against New York. Alexa Vasko also found the back of the net, and Emma Maltais scored the league’s first shorthanded goal of the season in victory. Sarah Nurse scored the team’s lone goal in Minnesota. Jesse Compher, Renata Fast, Brittany Howard, Jocelyne Larocque, and Rebecca Leslie have all registered an assist. For Ottawa, Hayley Scamurra scored the team’s historic first goal, also on the power play. Kateřina Mrázová has one goal, Ashton Bell recorded the first two-assist game in franchise history, and both Lexie Adzija and Zoe Boyd picked up helpers in their pro debuts.


Kristen Campbell is set to make her league-leading fourth start of the season for Toronto and enters the contest with a league-high 88 shots and 79 saves. She has a goals-against-average of 3.03 that ranks eighth, and a save percentage of .898 that ranks sixth among top league netminders. Emerance Maschmeyer returns to Ottawa’s crease after stopping 21 shots in the opening game, including the league’s first penalty shot against Marie-Philip Poulin. Her 2.95 GAA ranks sixth, and her .875 SV% is seventh overall. The duo have been teammates on Canada’s National Women’s Team in the last three World Championships and the 2022 Olympics.


It’s only fitting that the PWHL’s Battle of Ontario be fuelled by players from across the province. Toronto leads the league with 11 players from Ontario including 10 in the lineup today counting hometown hero Natalie Spooner (Scarborough), along with Renata Fast (Burlington), Emma Maltais (Burlington), Sarah Nurse (Hamilton), and Alex Vasko (St. Catharines) all from just outside the GTA. There’s also Brittany Howard (St. Thomas) and Jess Jones (Picton), plus a trio from the nation’s capital in Samantha Cogan (Ottawa), Erica Howe (Orleans), and Rebecca Leslie (Ottawa). Ottawa will dress six players from Ontario including captain Brianne Jenner (Oakville), and locals Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Brampton), and Daryl Watts (Toronto). Lexie Adzija (St. Thomas), Zoe Boyd (Caledon East), and Kristin Della Rovere (Caledon East) will also suit up in front of friends and family from nearby. Defender Victoria Howran (Bancroft) and goaltender Rachel McQuigge (Bowmanville) also proudly represent the province on the Ottawa roster.


Two of Ottawa’s top offensive talents return to the city where they enjoyed some special moments with the PHF’s Toronto Six. Mikyla Grant-Mentis scored 39 points in 25 games in two seasons with the team, including the expansion 2021 campaign where she earned MVP honors. Daryl Watts made her professional debut with her hometown team last season and produced seven points in 12 regular-season games, then helped capture an Isobel Cup title alongside Toronto’s Brittany Howard and Carly Jackson. On the international side, there’s nothing but fond memories of the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship, hosted by Brampton in April, for Ottawa’s Becca Gilmore, Savannah Harmon, Gabbie Hughes, and Hayley Scamurra who captured gold with Team USA. Ottawa’s Emily Clark, Brianne Jenner, and Emerance Maschmeyer earned silver with Canada at the tournament, playing for coach Troy Ryan and alongside Toronto’s Kristen Campbell, Renata Fast, Jocelyne Larocque, Emma Maltais, Sarah Nurse, Natalie Spooner, and Blayre Turnbull. Ottawa coach Carla MacLeod led Czechia to a bronze medal victory with Kateřina Mrázová and Aneta Tejralová. Ottawa’s Sandra Abstreiter (Germany), Fanni Gasparics (Hungary), and Akane Shiga (Japan) also competed for their countries.


There are plenty of college connections between the two teams from eight different programs. Ottawa’s Emily Clark played with Toronto’s Kristen Campbell, Samantha Cogan, Sarah Nurse, and Blayre Turnbull at the University of Wisconsin. Ottawa’s Daryl Watts also played with Campbell at Wisconsin, in addition to Toronto’s Kali Flanagan at Boston College. Clarkson University was home to Ottawa’s Savannah Harmon who patrolled the blue line with Toronto’s Renata Fast and Emma Keenan. Ottawa’s Brianne Jenner and Toronto’s Lauriane Rougeau were teammates at Cornell University, Toronto’s Emma Maltais played with Ottawa’s Jincy Roese at Ohio State University, Toronto’s Maggie Connors and Ottawa’s Rachel McQuigge were teammates at Princeton University, and Ottawa’s Amanda Boulier and Toronto’s Hannah Miller played together at St. Lawrence University. Ottawa assistant Haley Irwin attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth with Toronto’s Jocelyne Larocque.


The 2024 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship wraps up Sunday in Switzerland and is an event that helped the development of many PWHL players. In 15 tournaments since its debut in 2008, the United States has won eight gold medals to Canada’s seven. A total of 14 players in this game have won U18 gold including Toronto’s Jesse Compher (2017, 2016) for Team USA, and Team Canada’s Victoria Bach (2014), Samantha Cogan (2014), Rebecca Leslie (2014), Hannah Miller (2014, 2013), Sarah Nurse (2013), and Erica Howe (2010). For Ottawa, Gabbie Hughes (2017), Becca Gilmore (2016, 2015), Natalie Snodgrass (2016, 2015), Jincy Roese (2015), and Amanda Boulier (2011) have won gold for Team USA, and Emily Clark (2013, 2012) and Emerance Maschmeyer (2012) won gold for Canada. Carla MacLeod was an assistant coach on the 2012 gold medal winning team.


Ottawa (1/6) and Toronto (1/7) rank second and third respectively in league power play efficiency…Neither Toronto (6/6) nor Ottawa (2/2) have allowed a power play goal against…Toronto has yet to score the game’s first goal or a first period goal…Ottawa has also not scored a first period goal…Toronto has recorded 46 shots in the second period vs 27 in the first and 25 in the third…Toronto has 20 PIM which is tied for third, Ottawa has 4 PIM which ranks fifth…Toronto’s Sarah Nurse and Ottawa’s Ashton Bell lead their teams in scoring with 2 PTS…Nurse and Emma Maltais lead Toronto with 11 shots, Hayley Scamurra leads Ottawa with four…Nurse leads Toronto with a face-off percentage of 53.8% but Maltais has taken the most draws with 42…Gabbie Hughes was Ottawa’s best on draws in the opening game but had a win-percentage of just 38.9%…Since last game, Ottawa’s Aneta Tejralová turned 28-years-old on January 4 – the same day Nurse turned 29…Toronto took part in Friday’s Market Open at the Toronto Stock Exchange…In 143 meetings of the NHL’s Battle of Ontario, the Maple Leafs have defeated the Senators 68 times.



Nurse | Turnbull | Compher
Connors | Maltais | Spooner
Miller | Cogan | Howard
Leslie | Vasko | Willoughby

Larocque | Fast
Munroe | Flanagan
Rougeau | Poulin-Labelle

Campbell | Howe


Scamurra | Jenner | Gilmore
Grant-Mentis | Clark | Hughes
Watts | Mrázová | Shiga
Adzija | Della-Rovere | Gasparics

Boyd | Bell
Roese | Tejralová
Harmon | Boulier

Maschmeyer | Abstreiter


Referees: Krysta Ansell (Brownstown TWP, MI) and Grace Barlow (Vancouver, BC).

Linespersons: Spencer Knox (Clarington, ON) and Sophie Thomson (Halifax, NS).

Follow the league on all social media platforms @thepwhlofficial plus team accounts @pwhl_ottawa and @pwhl_toronto.



Media Contact:
Paul Krotz
PWHL Director of Communications