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Mrazova's shootout winner lifts PWHL Ottawa to critical 3-2 victory over Boston

OTTAWA — Despite an off night, Ottawa found a way to pull out a victory on Wednesday.
Boston defender Megan Keller (5) fights for the puck with Ottawa forward Gabbie Hughes (17) during second period PWHL hockey action in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Despite an off night, Ottawa found a way to pull out a victory on Wednesday.

After missing the world championship and Ottawa's last home game due to injury, Katerina Mrazova made an impressive return scoring the shootout winner in a 3-2 victory over Boston in Professional Women’s Hockey League action.

Mrazova scored on both her shootout attempts and Emerance Maschmeyer stopped Hilary Knight to seal the hard-fought victory. The win allowed Ottawa to remain in control as it battles Boston for the fourth and final playoff spot.

“Some nights you’re not playing your best hockey, you’re not feeling your best and I think that was actually one of our nights,” admitted Ottawa coach Carla MacLeod. “But we talked about it. At this time of year, you’ve got to find a way to win and that’s what we’ve been talking about.”

With three games remaining, Ottawa (8-1-6-6) has a three-point lead over Boston (6-4-3-9), which has just two games remaining. Ottawa extended its winning streak to four games and earned its first victory in extra time.

Ottawa began to turn its fortunes around before the international break and has maintained that momentum.

“I think we’re in a really good spot and good groove,” said Emily Clark, who had an assist. “I just think that we have such a special group and we got that win together, which I think is a really good sign moving forward.”

Maschmeyer's standout performance did wonders for Ottawa. Boston came out hard and fast, and while Knight scored just 90 seconds into the game, Maschmeyer came up with a number of saves to keep her team in the game.

Boston’s Aerin Frankel was just as impressive making 22 saves.

“Maschmeyer played fantastic and then (Frankel) was going down making the same save at the opposite net,” said Boston coach Courtney Kessel. “Just tremendous goalies across the league and we saw a show tonight by both of them.”

Brianne Jenner and Gabbie Hughes scored for Ottawa, while Knight and Jamie Lee Rattray replied for Boston in regulation. 

Down 1-0, Jenner tied the game at 7:43 of the first period taking a cross-crease pass from Natalie Snodgrass and beating Frankel off her backhand.

Jenner now has nine points (six goals, three assists) in her last four games.

Boston regained the lead late in the first when Rattray, a Kanata, Ont., native, made the most of a turnover at Ottawa’s blue line and broke in alone on Maschmeyer for her third of the season.

Ottawa dominated play for much of the second but had just four shots to show for.

Maschmeyer had the save of the game midway through the period, robbing Megan Keller with Boston on the penalty kill.

Both teams pushed in the third but it was Ottawa that was finally rewarded at 11:14. Clark outmuscled Emily Brown on her way to the net and dished a pass through the crease to Hughes who jammed it in from in close.

“I think there’s two parts of things,” said Clark. “A sense of urgency, but also staying calm and believing in what we’re doing and having trust in what we’re doing … I think on the bench we did a really good job of just staying calm and staying excited for the opportunity to tie it up and hopefully get ahead.”

Jenner had a chance to seal the win in the final minute of regulation but Frankel made a huge save.

A loss in regulation would have put Boston further on the brink of elimination from playoff contention.

“It sucks, but we’ve got a point and we can move on,” said Rattray. “We’ve still got two games here, so, we can still do our best to control our own fate here.”


Lexie Adzija made her first return to Ottawa since being traded to Boston at the deadline.


Ottawa hosts Montreal on Saturday.

Boston makes a visit to Minnesota on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2024.

Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press