Opening-day rematch marks second game for both teams

BRIDGEPORT, CT (January 5, 2024) – Opening week of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season continues Friday night with a rematch of the league’s inaugural game between Toronto and New York, this time south of the border in Bridgeport, Connecticut.


Fans in the United States can tune-in live on MSG2 and stream on the league’s YouTube channel. Canadian viewers can watch live on Sportsnet East & Ontario channels and stream on Sportsnet+. Calling the game’s play-by-play is Jamie Hersch alongside analyst Julie Stewart-Binks.


 No two teams in the PWHL are more familiar with each other than New York and Toronto. They met during the league’s pre-season evaluation camp in Utica on December 7, and just four days ago for the league’s inaugural opener on January 1 in Toronto. New York won both meetings, including a 7-4 pre-season decision, and Monday’s 4-0 victory when it mattered most. They remain the only unbeaten team in the PWHL through four appearances when counting three in pre-season action. Should New York prevail tonight at Total Mortgage Arena, they would become the first PWHL team to win on home ice.


The PWHL uses a three-point format for standings which places New York (1-0-0) and Minnesota (1-0-0) at the top of the chart by virtue of their regulation wins over Toronto (0-1-0) and Boston (0-1-0) respectively. Mixed in between are Montreal (1-0-0) with two points and Ottawa (0-0-1) following their overtime decision on Tuesday. New York leads the way with four goals scored and is the only team that has yet to surrender a goal. 


New York’s Ella Shelton made history on Monday night by scoring the first goal in PWHL history. Her shot found the back of the net at 10:43 of the first period and held as the game-winner. As for the puck and stick? They’re both headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s no surprise the 25-year-old from Ingersoll, Ontario would find the scoresheet after leading all PWHPA defenders with five goals in 18 games during the 2022-23 campaign. Only two of the 14 goals so far through three games have been scored by blue liners, the other by Boston’s Megan Keller.


Corinne Schroeder stopped all 29 shots fired her way by Toronto attackers on Monday to record the first shutout in PWHL history. Her performance follows a 40-save effort in the pre-season where she allowed just one goal in New York’s 2-1 triumph over Ottawa. The 24-year-old from Elm Creek, Manitoba is no stranger to recording shutouts in professional debuts after posting three blanks in her first three career games last season with the PHF’s Boston Pride. She went on to be named the league’s Rookie and Goaltender of the Year, setting PHF single season records for shutouts (7), wins (19), and saves (761), while leading all netminders with a goals-against-average of 1.67, along with a save percentage of .955.


Nine players recorded their first PWHL points on Monday night, including alternate captain Ella Shelton with the league’s first-ever goal. Alex Carpenter, who also wears an ‘A’ for New York, found the back of the net and is tied for the scoring lead with two points. Jill Saulnier and Kayla Vespa also scored their first career PWHL goals, and Alexandra Labelle and Jade Downie-Landry picked up their first assists. Former Northeastern star Chloé Aurard recorded two assists in her professional debut, and Ohio State grad Paetyn Levis picked up her first pro apple. Defender Jaime Bourbonnais also registered an assist, which extends her point-streak to three games counting pre-season action.


After 39 Canadian players between the two teams opened their PWHL careers on home ice on January 1, nine Americans now have the chance to suit up in their home country on Friday. New York features seven Americans who will draw into tonight’s lineup, highlighted by mainstay U.S. National Women’s team members Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, MI) and Alex Carpenter (North Reading, MA). Joining Roque and Carpenter is goaltender Abigail Levy (Congers, NY), fresh off representing the red, white and blue in the November and December Rivalry Series matchups. Olivia Zafuto of Niagara Falls, NY, is the lone American defender for New York, and she’ll look to impress for her home-state team. Forward Madison Packer (Birmingham, MI) will officially make her PWHL debut in her home country after missing game one due to injury. Rounding out New York’s USA-born player list is Paetyn Levis (Rogers, MN), who notched an assists for New York in their season opener, and fellow forward Savannah Norcross (Lynn, MA). Kali Flanagan—2018 Olympic and 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship Gold Medalist for the US Women’s National Team— hails from Burlington, MA, and is one of just two Americans on Toronto’s roster. Prolific-scoring forward Jesse Compher (Northbrook, IL) has won an Olympic Silver Medal, three IIHF World Championship medals, including one gold, and two U18 gold medals for the United States, and now hits the ice as a visitor as a member of Toronto. Reserve player Alexa Gruschow (Mechanicsburg, PA) will look to make her home-country debut at a later date, should she get called up to New York’s main roster.  


Tonight’s tilt will feature local connections, highlighted by New York forward Emma Woods who played collegiate hockey from 2013-17 at Quinnipiac University, just 27 miles from Total Mortgage Arena. Woods served as assistant captain as a Junior, team captain as Senior, and tallied 106 career points as a Bobcat. New York goaltender Corinne Schroeder, who notched the PWHL’s first-ever shutout on Jan 1, joined Quinnipiac University as a graduate student for the 2021-22 season. In her first game with the Bobcats, Schroeder became the first goalie in NCAA Women’s Hockey history to be credited with a goal. She led her team to the NCAA quarter finals that season, where she made 73 saves — a Quinnipiac women’s hockey record — in a double-overtime loss to the eventual National Champion Ohia State Buckeyes. Carley Olivier, a reserve player for New York, played for the University of Connecticut as a freshman in 2017-18.


Both New York (0/2) and Toronto (0/4) are looking for their first power play goals of the season…Ten players are tied for second in the PWHL with plus-minus ratings of plus-2, including seven members of PWHL New York…Jessie Eldridge led New York with five shots in the opening game and is tied for third in the league with Toronto’s Emma MaltaisKayla Vespa is one of three PWHL players with a perfect shooting percentage…Eldridge is tied for second with four penalty minutes…Alex Carpenter leads New York with 12 face-off wins on 20 attempts, followed by Jade Downie-Landry with 10 wins out of 16, while Toronto’s best on draws includes Maltais who went 8/17 and Sarah Nurse who went 4/5…Toronto had two birthday celebrations this week including Jessica Kondas (24) on Wednesday Jan. 4, and Nurse (29) on Thursday Jan. 5…Tonight marks the first professional women’s hockey game at Total Mortgage Arena since Feb. 22, 2020 when the PHF’s Boston Pride defeated the Connecticut Whale 3-0…New York assistant coach Colton Orr was the Whale’s head coach and stood behind the bench alongside fellow NY assistant Laura Brennan.



Levis | Carpenter | Eldridge
Woods | Roque | Aurard
Saulnier | Downie-Landry | Giguere
Vespa | Labelle | Norcross

Shelton | Bourbonnais
Hobson | Fallman
Zafuto | Baker

Levy | Schroeder


Nurse | Turnbull | Compher

Connors | Maltais | Spooner

Howard | Vasko | Leslie

Jones | Cogan | Willoughby

Larocque | Fast

Rougeau | Flanagan

Munroe | Knowles


Campbell | Howe


Referees: Chris Rumble (Buffalo, NY) and Chelsea Rapin (Essex Jct. VT)
Linespersons: Erin Zach (Cambridge, ON) and Stéphanie Gagnon (Princeville, QC)

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