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PWHL player Natalie Spooner celebrates a goal
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PWHL Toronto extends win-streak to 8 after 3-1 win over Boston

By Dexter LeRuez

Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) Toronto’s climb up the league standings continued at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Wednesday night with a 3-1 win over Boston.

Wednesday’s win is Toronto’s eighth in a row, putting the squad in joint second place in the standings alongside Minnesota.

“The morale is really good, but…we’re still holding ourselves to a really high standard,” said Toronto defender Allie Munroe. “We’re not satisfied by any means.”

Satisfied or not, Toronto’s winning momentum carried into the first period as the home squad fired four shots on Boston’s net before the four-minute mark. 

Shots three and four, in particular, brought the MAC crowd to their feet. Shot three was a taste of what was to come, as forward Sarah Nurse glided through traffic and fired a shot directly at Boston goalkeeper Aerin Frankel’s pads. 

Shot four flew at the net moments after as Munroe skated past a group of puck-watching players to chip in her first goal of the season and give Toronto the lead.

“I think [offensive pressure] is something we’ve talked about a lot,” said Munroe. “We’ve been working on jumping in the rush and being an offensive threat.”

“When we pressure hard, and we’re aggressive, players can’t play with us”

Toronto slowed down following Munroe’s goal, taking 14 minutes to record their next shot, but forward Natalie Spooner would make it count. After intercepting the puck in the neutral zone, the Scarborough, Ont. product drove towards the goal with Boston players nipping at her heels and backhanded the puck into the net.

“I think we learned that when we pressure hard, and we’re aggressive, players can’t play with us,” said Spooner.

With the goal, Spooner doubled Toronto’s lead and put herself four goals ahead in first-place of the PWHL scoring race. 

In the second period, Toronto extended their lead again courtesy of defender Maggie Connors, whose near-blueline shot reached the goal line. 

Late into the third period, Boston began to compete with Toronto and scored their first goal of the game courtesy of defender Jess Healey.

However, Boston’s spirits did not rise following Healey’s goal. Instead, the tension between both teams rose late in the frame.

Five penalties, including two roughing calls following a heated inter-team scuffle, were issued in the final three minutes of play.

“We’ve won a couple of games against them, but right now, we are looking for that third win”

Most of the penalties during the three-minute stretch were issued to Boston, who leaned into their physical style of play in the third period.

According to Spooner, she and her Toronto teammates “kind of expected” the increased physicality heading into the final frame.

“When any team has a lead on you, and you’re pushing hard, and nothing’s coming about, it can be frustrating,” said Spooner. “We saw them in the third period really start to use their body and try to be a bit more aggressive and we had to match that.”

With Boston in the rearview mirror, Toronto looks to longtime hockey rivals in Montreal, who will be at the MAC on Friday. 

With a regulation win over Montreal, Toronto will move into joint first place in the PWHL.

Toronto has already defeated Montreal twice this season, once in a shootout in Montreal and once in regulation during the Battle on Bay Street. However, the third win is what Toronto is craving.

“Every game in this league is huge, but obviously, when you are fighting for that top spot, I think it’s even more important,” said Munroe. “We’ve won a couple of games against them, but right now, we are looking for that third win.”

UP NEXT: Toronto is back on home ice Friday against Montreal at 7 p.m.

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