Round two of the PWHL’s Battle of Ontario shifts to Ottawa

OTTAWA, ON (January 23, 2024) – The fourth week of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season begins with the second installment of the league’s ‘Battle of Ontario’ between Ottawa and Toronto, played for the first time at The Arena at TD Place, beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.




Fans in Canada can watch the game live on Sportsnet East and Sportsnet Ontario channels, and stream on Sportsnet+ with Daniella Ponticelli calling play-by-play alongside analyst Becky Kellar. Viewers in the United States can stream the game on the league’s YouTube channel.




Ottawa (1-0-2-0) and Toronto (1-1-0-4) are tied for fourth place in the PWHL standings with five points. Ottawa has collected points in all three of its games so far this season, highlighted by their lone regulation win in Toronto by a 5-1 score on January 13. Tonight is Ottawa’s third home appearance in four games to open the inaugural season, and the first of two straight game nights at The Arena at TD Place, with Boston on deck tomorrow. The team’s first two home games resulted in 3-2 overtime losses, falling to Montréal on January 2, and to Minnesota on January 17, despite leading in both contests. Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday, by winning the first-ever shootout in PWHL history, 4-3 in Montréal. All of Toronto’s success has come on the road, winning two of its three games away from Mattamy Athletic Centre, including a 3-2 victory over New York at Total Mortgage Arena on January 5. This is the second of five meetings between the teams this season, and first of three to be played in Ottawa. Toronto will return to The Arena at TD Place for games on Saturday, March 2, and Saturday, March 23.




Ottawa put its stamp on the ‘Battle of Ontario’ in the debut matchup 10 days ago with a 5-1 victory over Toronto. The win was propelled by a three-goal first period, including powerplay goals scored by Kateřina Mrázová and Gabbie Hughes just 48 seconds apart. Daryl Watts and Natalie Snodgrass both scored their first goals of the season and Hughes recorded the team’s first multi-goal game. Mikyla Grant-Mentis had two assists in her hometown, and Emerance Maschmeyer became the first goaltender to record a point with a primary helper on the Snodgrass tally. Natalie Spooner, who leads Toronto with three goals, produced her second of the season in the contest. Ottawa outshot Toronto 26-24.




Three Toronto players return to their roots in the nation’s capital for the first time in their PWHL careers, including Ottawa natives Samantha Cogan and Rebecca Leslie, and Erica Howe who hails from Orleans. The Battle of Ontario is fuelled by 15 players from across the province with another six in Toronto’s lineup tonight counting Renata Fast (Burlington), Brittany Howard (St. Thomas), Emma Maltais (Burlington), Sarah Nurse (Hamilton), Natalie Spooner (Scarborough), and Alexa Vasko (St. Catharines). Ottawa counters with six Ontario-born players tonight including Lexie Adzija (St. Thomas), Zoe Boyd (Caledon East), Kristin Della Rovere (Caledon East), Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Brampton), Brianne Jenner (Oakville), and Daryl Watts (Toronto).




Goaltender Erica Howe will make her first start of the season for Toronto against her hometown team. The 31-year-old has one appearance in relief, and it came against Ottawa on January 13, playing the final 40 minutes and stopping 13 of 15 shots faced in the 5-1 loss. A product of the Ottawa Lady Senators program, Howe went on to an NCAA career at Clarkson University where she won a 2014 national championship. She also has a 2010 U18 gold medal and 2016 World Championship silver medal to her credit and was 2018 Clarkson Cup MVP for the CWHL champion Markham Thunder.




Ottawa’s Lexie Adzija and Kateřina Mrázová are the only two PWHL players who have recorded a point in each of their team’s games since opening puck drop. The pair have complemented each other nicely, with Adzija’s two secondary assists contributing to both of Mrázová’s goals, and likewise Mrázová providing the secondary helper on Adzija’s first professional goal last Wednesday. Adzija is a 2023 graduate of Quinnipiac University and was selected in the 11th round of the draft. Mrázová was an eighth round pick who most recently played for the PHF’s Connecticut Whale in addition to her extensive experience on Czechia’s national team.




Ottawa’s Jincy Roese on practicing 3-on-3 play this week…


“I don’t think it’s our missing link. I just think that it’s something that we can get better at in our game. We worked on 5-on-5 and we worked on 5-on-4 but 3-on-3 is a huge part of our game. All these games are going to be close. Nobody is going to get blown out. It’s always a good thing to practice.”


Toronto’s Rebecca Leslie on the team’s emotional win and Ottawa homecoming…


“Saturday was a huge team win for us. I think that was our best 60+ minutes of hockey. There is lots for us to build on and continue to get better at. We’re looking to have another really good game here in Ottawa…I’m so excited to finally play in front of my hometown crowd. The fans in Ottawa have been incredible so far this season and we are really looking forward to being a part of the atmosphere they’ve got inside the rink. I’m excited for my family and friends to be able to watch me play in my home city.”




“We’re building. Every game, you can see there’s layers to the game being added. There are different things that we are getting more and more confident executing. It’s just that. I’ll be a broken record all season. Every game is going to be super competitive. Look at the 3-2 scores! That tells you that’s great hockey. For us, the expectations are that we make sure that we keep enjoying the experience while growing.” – Carla MacLeod (Ottawa)


“We are looking forward to another opportunity to play Ottawa again. We were not happy with our last game against them. We expect more from ourselves. Ottawa is a deep team with a quality staff. We expect another tough game.” – Troy Ryan (Toronto)




Ottawa (+2) ranks third in goal differential and Toronto (-9) ranks sixth…Ottawa (3.0) leads the league in goals-per-gave average…Toronto (3.33) has the highest goals-against average…Ottawa has scored first in all three of its games and is the only team that has not given up a first period goal…Toronto only scored the game’s first goal against Boston on January 17…Ottawa’s two second period and two third period goals count as the fewest in the league…Toronto’s five goals scored in the second period is tied for the most…Toronto (+33) ranks first in shot differential and Ottawa (+11) is tied for second…Toronto (32.33) has the highest shots-per-game average…Ottawa (23.0) has the lowest shots-against average…Both teams have their highest shot totals in the second period with Toronto at 83 and Ottawa at 31…Ottawa (4/13) leads the league in powerplay efficiency at 30.8%…Toronto (1/15) ranks fifth with the advantage at 6.7%…Ottawa (6/7) and Toronto (12/14) are tied for third in penalty kill efficiency at 85.7%…Ottawa was 2/2 on the powerplay in the last head-to-head meeting…Rebecca Leslie (TOR) is tied for the league-lead with five assists…Ashton Bell (OTT) and Jocelyne Larocque (TOR) are in a three-way tie for third in scoring among defenders with three points…Larocque ranks second in shots from the point with 15…Kateřina Mrázová (OTT) leads the league with a 50% shooting percentage…Gabbie Hughes (OTT) leads the team with 11 shots on goal…Natalie Spooner (TOR) and Blayre Turnbull share the team lead with 22 shots…Turnbull (TOR) is tied for second with eight penalty minutes…Emma Maltais (TOR) is tied for the league-lead with one shorthanded goal…Sarah Nurse (33/61) leads Toronto with a 54.1% face-off efficiency…Turnbull leads the team with 93 draws…Mrázová (16/35) leads Ottawa with a 45.7% face-off efficiency…Hughes leads the team with 47 draws…Emerance Maschmeyer (OTT) has started all three of her team’s games and ranks fifth with 62 saves and seventh with a .899 save percentage…Olivia Knowles (TOR) celebrates her 25th birthday on Wednesday.





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


Boyd | Bell
Harmon | Boulier
Tejralová | Roese

Maschmeyer | Abstreiter


Scratches: Della Rovere, Howran, McQuigge




Connors | Nurse | Spooner
Maltais | Turnbull | Howard

Miller | Compher | Leslie

Cogan | Vasko | Willoughby


Larocque | Fast

Munroe | Flanagan

Rougeau | Knowles


Howe | Campbell


Scratches: Jackson, Jones




Referees: Chad Inglas (Woodstock, ON) and Liam Maaskant (London, ON)

Linespersons: Stéphanie Gagnon (Princeville, QC) and Dustin McCrank – M (Guelph, ON) 


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