Boston hosts Montréal with playoff hopes on the line


LOWELL, MA (May 4, 2024) – The final weekend of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) regular-season features a pair of Saturday afternoon games, including Boston against Montréal, at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.




Fans in the United States can watch the game live on NESN 360 and Sportsnet Pittsburgh Plus. In Canada, the game will be live for fans on CBC, streamed on CBC, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. The game will also be streamed on the league’s YouTube channel. Andi Petrillo will host in studio alongside analysts Hailey Salvian and Saroya Tinker. At the rink, David Korzeniowski has the play-by-play call alongside analyst Bridgette Proulx and Paige Capistran reporting rinkside. French coverage is available on RDS2 with studio host Andrée-Anne Barbeau and analyst Karell EmardClaudine Douville will have the play-by-play call with analyst Isabelle Leclaire.




In order for Boston to clinch a playoff berth today, they will need Minnesota to lose to New York in regulation in their afternoon matchup and then beat Montréal in regulation. In this scenario, Boston would clinch by virtue of having more overtime wins than Minnesota in the 35-point tiebreak.


Boston needs at least one point today to stay alive in the playoff race. Ottawa can clinch if Montréal beats Boston in regulation by virtue of having more regulation wins than Boston in a 32-point tiebreak scenario.


If Minnesota earns a single point in today’s game against New York they will clinch a playoff spot and third place in the overall standings. Should New York win in regulation, Minnesota could still secure a playoff berth if Boston does not beat Montréal in regulation.


Toronto has clinched first place and have earned the opportunity to select their semi-final opponent between the third and fourth-place teams once the final standings are confirmed. Montréal has clinched home ice advantage and will have their semi-final opponent determined following Toronto’s selection.


New York has been eliminated from playoff contention and have earned the first overall pick in the 2024 PWHL Draft.




Today’s game at the Tsongas Center will highlight the importance of mental health and celebrate the support of PWHL Boston fans. Before the game, the team will hold a reception for Season Ticket Members where they will receive an inaugural season pin and hear from General Manager Danielle Marmer. Players arriving to the rink will be wearing ‘Do It For Daron’ (DIFD) t-shirts in support of the organization whose mission is to create open dialogue around youth mental health. Community organizations including Edinburg CenterMorgan’s Message, and Shoulder Check will also be present on the concourse to help raise awareness of the importance of mental health. Following the game, PWHL Boston players will perform an extended salute to the fans, and captain Hilary Knight will address the crowd.




It’s do-or-die for the home team in the regular-season finale for both teams. Boston (7-4-3-9) is currently tied with Ottawa in the standings with 32 points but will be officially in fifth place and outside the playoff picture if they don’t get at least a single point in today’s game. Montréal (10-3-5-5) has 41 points and are solidified in second place with home ice advantage in the semifinals, regardless of today’s result. Boston has points in four straight games, earning 10 of a possible 12, since returning from the International Break. That stretch includes a shootout loss mixed between a trio of 2-1 victories, most recently in Minnesota last Saturday where they triumphantly scored the winning goal with less than three seconds on the clock in regulation. Montréal has achieved similar success post break with 10 of a possible 12 points on the heels of three regulation wins and an overtime loss in between. They have won two in a row, including a 5-2 victory over New York at home on Apr. 24 and a 2-0 road win last Saturday in Ottawa. Despite the same success, Montréal has averaged 3.25 goals-per-game in their last four compared to Boston’s 2.0. On the flip side, Boston has only allowed an average of 1.5 compared to Montréal’s 2.0. Montréal has been one of the best teams away from home this season with eight wins and 21 points in 12 games as the road team. Boston has won three straight games at the Tsongas Center, including a 2-1 victory over first place Toronto on Apr. 18, and have four wins and 12 points in 10 games played in Lowell. It’s been over two months since the teams last went head-to-head in their third closely contested matchup. Depending on how the chips fall, this could be a playoff preview.




Montréal has won two of the first three games of the season series and lead 6-3 in points against Boston. The first two games were won by the road team in overtime, including Boston by a 3-2 score at Verdun Auditorium on Jan. 13, and Montréal by a 2-1 score at the Tsongas Center on Feb. 4. Montréal won the rubber match 3-1 at home on Mar. 2. Captain Marie-Philip Poulin led the offense in that contest with a goal and two assists and leads the season series with five points. Defender Erin Ambrose has four points head-to-head, including a goal in all three games. Boston captain Hilary Knight scored the team’s lone goal in their last meeting. Aerin Frankel has started all three games of the season series with one win and a head-to-head save percentage of .929. She’ll suit up opposite Ann-Renée Desbiens in a rematch of the gold medal game at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Utica. Desbiens stopped 18 of 21 shots and took the loss in the first game of the series. This series includes four total games, with both teams playing all other opponents five times this season.




Montréal captain Marie-Philip Poulin is tied for second in league scoring with 22 points, including nine goals and 13 assists in 20 games. She ranks first with a points-per-game average of 1.10 and has five points in four games since returning from leading Canada to gold at Worlds. Boston captain Hilary Knight was also a captain at Worlds for Team USA. She has a goal and an assist in her last two games, and nine points overall with five goals and four assists. Laura Stacey (10G, 7A) is tied for second in Montréal scoring and in the league’s goals category. She is riding a four-game point streak with goals in three of those contests. Teammate Erin Ambrose (4G, 13A) is second in scoring among defenders with 17 points and has seven in her last four games. Boston’s Megan Keller (3G, 11A) is the league’s next highest scoring defender with 14 points. Maureen Murphy (5G, 11A) is fourth in Montréal scoring with 16 points and is riding a three-game streak. Boston is led offensively by Alina Müller (4G, 11A) who scored on the powerplay last Saturday. Hannah Brandt (5G, 3A) has eight points and scored the team’s biggest goal of the season last week to secure the win in Minnesota. Montréal’s Mélodie Daoust is riding a three-game point streak and has four points in five games. Boston welcomes back forward Theresa Schafzahl (3G, 2A) after representing Austria at the Division 1A Worlds where she recorded nine points in five games.




Nobody has been hit harder with injuries this season than these two teams who will play the final game of the regular-season without five opening game starters. Boston’s Taylor Girard is the latest to be placed on Long Term Injured Reserve joining teammate Loren Gabel. The team announced the signing of Kelly Babstock to a Standard Player Agreement and the forward will suit up for her fourth consecutive game. Montréal has had three players on LTIR for a large portion of the season, including forwards Ann-Sophie BettezDominika Lásková, and Kennedy Marchment.



“For us, as soon as the International Break was over, we all wanted to put everything we have into this and control as much as we can. Obviously, we don’t completely control our own fate, but we’re coming together at the right time and putting it all on the line.” – Jamie Lee Rattray, Boston


“This was a big week for us to rest and recover while also preparing for Montréal. We just need to focus in on us and what we bring, our speed and physicality.” – Courtney Kessel, Boston


“For us, this game means a lot. We want to make every small detail in each period better. The game will be super important for our playoff preparation.” – Marie-Philip Poulin, Montréal


“Every game is important and represents an opportunity to bring our game as close as we can to the level we want it to be, and be ready for the playoffs. Our message is basically the same: there is room for improvement, and we are working on certain aspects that aren’t quite where they need to be.” – Kori Cheverie, Montréal




Montréal (+4) is second in goal differential and Boston (-8) ranks fifth…Montréal (2.48) is third in goals-per-game average and Boston (2.00) ranks sixth…Montréal (2.30) allows the third fewest goals-per-game on average and Boston (2.35) allows the third most…Montréal has scored first in 14 of their games and have 11 wins, while Boston has scored first 10 times with eight wins…Scoring by period for Montréal is 20-14-20 and for Boston 11-14-17…Boston leads the league with nine wins in 15 one-goal games, and Montréal has eight wins in 14 one-goal games…Boston (+25) is fourth in shot differential and Montréal (-63) ranks fifth…Boston (28.70) is third in shots-per-game average and Montréal (27.74) ranks fifth…Boston (27.57) allows the third fewest shots-per-game and Montréal (30.57) allows the second most on average…Montréal (6.96) averages the second most penalty minutes per game and Boston (5.74) incurs the second fewest…Montréal (11/79) is fourth in powerplay efficiency at 13.9%…Boston (4/52) ranks sixth on the PP at 7.7%… Montréal (62/74) is fourth in penalty kill efficiency at 83.8%…Boston (51/62) is fifth on the PK at 82.3%…Marie-Philip Poulin (MTL) is tied for second in league scoring with 22 points…Erin Ambrose (MTL) is second in league scoring among defenders with 17 points…Laura Stacey (MTL) is tied for second in the league with 10 goals…Ambrose and Poulin are tied for third with 13 assists…Mélodie Daoust (MTL) leads the league with a 25.0% shooting percentage…Taylor Girard (BOS) is tied for the league-lead with two shorthanded points…Susanna Tapani (BOS) leads the league with a plus-13 rating…Kaleigh Fratkin (BOS) is third in the league with 24 penalty minutes…Stacey is second in the league with 93 shots on goal…Hilary Knight (BOS) leads the team with 79 shots on goal…Hannah Brandt (226/410) leads Boston in face-offs and with a win-rate of 55.1%…Poulin (248/433) leads Montréal in face-offs and with a win-rate of 57.3%…Aerin Frankel (BOS) has won seven of her 16 starts with one shutout and a goals-against-average of 1.94 that ranks second and a save percentage of .930 that’s tied for second…Ann-Renée Desbiens (MTL) has won seven of her 15 starts with one shutout along with a 2.16 GAA and a .926 SV%…Megan Keller (BOS) celebrated her 28th birthday on Wednesday…Laura Stacey (MTL) will turn 30 on Sunday…Montréal is dressing the same lineup as they did in their shutout win in Ottawa.






Müller | Tapani | Schafzahl
Rattray | Brandt | Knight
Kosta | Adzija | Shirley
Wenczkowski | Marvin | Pelkey

Keller | Brown
DiGirolamo | Fratkin
Healey | Morin

Frankel | Söderberg


Scratches: Cook, Kronish, Gabel, Girard




O’Neill | Poulin | Stacey
Grant-Mentis | Murphy | Dalton
Lefort | David | M. Daoust
Dubois | Dempsey | Lum

Tabin | Ambrose
Keopple | Boulier
Bizal | C. Daoust

Desbiens | Chuli


Scratches: Bettez, Boissonnault, Bujold, Lásková, Marchment, Poznikoff




Referees: Kelly Cooke (West Roxbury, MA) and Jim Curtin (Walpole, MA).
Linespersons: T.J. Dockery (Buffalo, NY) and Erin Zach (Cambridge ON).


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