Semifinal series tied 2-2, with winner to play Boston in PWHL Finals


TORONTO, ON (May 17, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) Playoffs continue tonight with a decisive Game 5 of the best-of-five semifinal series between Toronto and Minnesota at 7:00 p.m. ET at Coca-Cola Coliseum. The winner of this series will play Boston in the best-of-five PWHL Finals for the Walter Cup.



Fans across Canada can watch the game live on TSN1,, and the TSN app. Fans in the United States can watch the game live on Bally Sports North and Wisconsin Extra, the Bally Sports app on mobile and tablet devices (including iOS and Android), when authenticated using pay-TV credentials, and on Bally Sports+, the standalone streaming subscription service available from Bally Sports. The game is also available on NESN+ and will stream live on the Women’s Sports Network and the league’s YouTube channel. Daniella Ponticelli will have the play-by-play call alongside analyst Becky Kellar and Rob Pizzo reporting rinkside.



Minnesota won the first 1-0 game in PWHL history in double overtime against Toronto on Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center to even the best-of-five semifinal series 2-2. Claire Butorac was the hero for Minnesota, ending the longest scoreless game of the season at 84:27. The fourth straight shutout of the series was recorded by Maddie Rooney who turned aside all 19 shots she faced. Kristen Campbell was strong once again in Toronto’s crease with a 28-save performance. Toronto was shutout in consecutive contests after scoring a goal in all 25 games since losing the historic season opener 4-0 to New York on Jan. 1. It was also just the second time all season Toronto has dropped consecutive road games since losing 5-3 in Ottawa on Mar. 23 and 2-1 in Boston on Apr. 18 before and after the International Break. Minnesota’s consecutive wins are their first since a five-game winning streak before the break.



Rookie Claire Butorac scored the biggest goal of Minnesota’s season, and her career, when she netted the double overtime winner on Wednesday. The 24-year-old from Andover, MN, now has two playoff points, including the secondary assist on the winning goal in Game 3, after scoring just once with two assists in 21 regular-season games. She has 16 total shots on goal between regular-season and playoffs and registered 18:11 in ice time in Game 4. The product of Minnesota State University joined the PWHL as a training camp invite after five seasons with the Mavericks where she served as captain in 2022-23. Butorac scored 21 goals, including one game-winner, in 153 games over the course of her NCAA career.



Scoring has been hard to come by throughout the series, but the one constant so far is Minnesota forward Liz Schepers who has served up primary assists on all three of the team’s playoff goals. The 25-year-old from Mound, MN, is tied among playoff scoring leaders with three helpers through four games and has equalled her offensive output in 19 regular-season appearances. A 13th round pick by the team in the inaugural PWHL Draft, Schepers is no stranger to big games having recorded three assists in three games of the 2023 Isobel Cup Playoffs as a member of the PHF’s Minnesota Whitecaps, and leading Ohio State to its first NCAA National Championship in 2022.



Rookie defender Sophie Jaques has made her mark in Minnesota since joining the team via Boston in a trade on Feb. 11. The 2023 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner and tenth overall pick in the inaugural PWHL Draft led the team’s blue line in regular-season scoring with 10 points in 15 games and leads the team in average time on ice through four playoff games at 26:56. She logged 34:24 in ice time with Minnesota facing elimination in Game 4 and provided a secondary assist on the double overtime goal. While the Game 5 crowd will be overwhelmingly cheering for the home team tonight, Jaques, a 23-year-old Toronto native and one of three Canadian players in Minnesota’s lineup, will have plenty of family and friends in attendance.



Four shutouts in four games has been the story of this series with Toronto’s Kristen Campbell and Minnesota’s Maddie Rooney showing just how important goaltending is when it counts. The duo has now combined for nine of the 15 shutouts across the entire league this season. Campbell, a 26-year-old from Brandon, MB, opened the series with 142:12 of shutout hockey before allowing a goal in the second period of Game 3, while Rooney, a 26-year-old from Andover, MN, has gone the last 145:12 without allowing a goal since the third period of Game 2. Campbell has stopped 99 of the 102 shots she’s faced in four games, and Rooney has 65 saves on 66 shots since getting the call to start the last three games. Their head-to-head history dates back to their NCAA careers where they met frequently as members of the University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota-Duluth. Campbell backstopped the Badgers to a 4-1 victory in what was Rooney’s last collegiate game for the Bulldogs in the 2019-20 WCHA Final Face-Off.



The home team has won all four games of the semifinal series which works in Toronto’s favour tonight. Toronto has won 11 straight games on home ice dating back to Jan. 26 with a 2-0 shutout over New York. Their impressive stretch includes eight wins at Mattamy Athletic Centre, one at Scotiabank Arena on Feb. 16, and the team’s two playoff debuts at Coca-Cola Coliseum. Over the course of those 11 home games, Toronto has averaged 3.1 goals-per-game and have allowed an average of just 0.64 goals against. Minnesota’s last road victory was a 2-0 shutout against New York at UBS Arena on Mar. 3 with six straight road losses since.




“We’re very excited to continue to play playoff hockey in front of our home crowd! We are ready and we are confident in our group to take care of business in Game 5 and put on a show!” – Sarah Nurse, Toronto


“Our group is ready and excited to play in a Game 5 with an opportunity to play for the Walter Cup. Games like this is what we all dream about when we were kids. Pretty cool to be in this position. We want to lay it all on the line tonight so collectively we can be proud of our performance. Let’s go!” – Troy Ryan, Toronto


“I don’t think anything necessarily changes. We’re focused on us and focused on what we need to do to get the outcome that we need. Our goal is to put pucks in the back of the net and the goaltenders have been the key to this series. All the goalies have played great this entire season, so this is no surprise that we’re seeing what we’re seeing. It’s just finding ways to get pucks to the net and take away Campbell’s eyes. If she sees it, she’s going to save it…we know that. It’s hard work to get inside the perimeter, so it’s just being committed to that work and getting inside.” – Kendall Coyne Schofield, Minnesota


“We’re just excited right? We’re putting ourselves in a place to move on and that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to come in and give ourselves a chance and we’ve done that. You have to play the ebbs and flows of the game, obviously the goalies have played great and both teams have good structure and do a good job trying to win chances. We’re playing the game where it’s getting down to the end where someone could decide it with a winner and that’s exciting hockey.” – Ken Klee, Minnesota



The first goal in every game has been the winning goal…Three of the four head-to-head regular-season games was won by the team that scored first, with the only exception on May 1 when Minnesota scored first in Toronto’s 4-1 win…During the regular-season Toronto led all teams with 15 first goals and won 13 of those games, Minnesota scored first 12 times and won nine of those games…Toronto has outscored Minnesota 19-9 in eight total games including 6-3 in four playoff games…Shots favour Minnesota 212-194 in eight total games…Minnesota leads Toronto 105-84 in shots in four playoff games…Toronto is 4/19 and Minnesota is 0/21 on the powerplay in eight head-to-head games this season…Toronto is 0/9 and Minnesota is 0/12 on the powerplay in this series…Toronto’s Hannah Miller (1G, 2A), Renata Fast (3A), and Minnesota’s Liz Schepers (3A) are in a five-way tie for first in playoff scoring…Blayre Turnbull (TOR) and Grace Zumwinkle (MIN) lead their teams with 14 playoff shots on goal…Jesse Compher (24/36) leads Toronto with a face-off percentage of 66.7%…Sarah Nurse (50.0%) leads the team with 82 draws…Kelly Pannek (43/74) leads Minnesota in face-offs and with a win-rate of 58.1%…Kristen Campbell (TOR) is 2-2 in playoffs with two shutouts and a goals-against-average of 0.69 and save percentage of .971…Maddie Rooney (MIN) is 2-1 in playoffs with two shutouts and a 0.29 GAA and .985 SV%…Toronto has made changes to all four forward lines for Game 5 including Turnbull centering Compher and Emma Maltais to start…Minnesota’s full lineup remains the same as in Games 3 and 4.





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


Larocque | Fast
Munroe | Flanagan
Rougeau | Knowles


Campbell | Howe


Scratches: Jackson, Poulin-Labelle, Spooner



Boreen | Heise | Zumwinkle
Coyne Schofield | Pannek | Cava
Křížová | Schepers | Butorac
Fleming | DeGeorge | Kunin

| | Brodt


Stecklein | Buchbinder
Channell | Jaques
Greco | Flaherty


Rooney | Hensley


Scratches: Bryant, Kremer



Referees: Jared Cummins (Norwalk, IA) – #1 and Jake Kamrass (Atlanta, GA) – #3.
Linespersons: Anthony Lapointe (Lachine, QC) – #78 and Shawn Oliver (Ottawa, ON) – #56.

Standby Officials: Alex Lepkowski (West Seneca, NY) – #14 (R) and Erin Zach (Cambridge ON) – #60 (L).

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