PWHL Ottawa Holds Off New York To Snap 2-Game Skid, Move Into 5th Place | CBC Sports

Professional Women’s Hockey League

Gabbie Hughes scored the game winner with 4:04 remaining in the third period Wednesday night to lead Ottawa to a 4-2 win over visiting New York in Professional Women’s Hockey League action.

Hughes scores go-ahead goal, Bell blocks shot to prevent equalizer in final minute

Lisa Wallace · The Canadian Press

· Posted: Feb 28, 2024 9:56 PM EST | Last Updated: 3 hours ago

Ottawa’s Fanni Garát-Gasparics (94) celebrates with Becca Gilmore (10) after scoring a goal during the second period of a 4-2 win over visiting New York on Wednesday at TD Place. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)Gabbie Hughes’s game-winning goal Wednesday night in a 4-2 victory over visiting New York in Professional Women’s Hockey League action gave coach Carla MacLeod plenty to boast about.

Getting the win was all the more special for Ottawa’s head coach with her parents, Gary and Edna, here visiting from Calgary, Alta., as well as her former coach Wally Kozak, who’s also been a mentor of late.

Ottawa (4-0-4-5) has struggled of late having lost seven of its last eight and to finally get back in the win column was rewarding, said MacLeod.

“Oh, we needed it,” said MacLeod. “You know we needed that not only for us, but, of course, our fans and everyone here. Nothing’s ever easy and that’s OK in this world. Like, it doesn’t have to be easy and it was certainly well earned tonight.”

WATCH l Hughes scores game-winning goal: 

Gabbie Hughes’ 3rd period game-winner lifts PWHL Ottawa past New YorkForward Gabbie Hughes scores with 4:06 remaining in the third period and Ottawa to beat New York by a score of 4-2.

Savannah Harmon, Fanni Garát-Gasparics and Lexie Adzija also scored for Ottawa (3-0-4-5). Emerance Maschmeyer stopped 24 shots.

Chloe Aurard and Jaime Bourbonnais scored for New York (2-4-2-5), while Abigail Levy made 26 saves.

With the win, Ottawa moved into fifth place in the standings and are just two points back of Boston for the fourth and final playoff spot.

“I think the whole group is just feeling ecstatic right now,” admitted Hughes. “I think we deserved that win. We deserve a couple other ones that didn’t go our way and we put this one away today, so it feels really good.”

WATCH l Ottawa’s Ashton Bell makes crucial block late in 3rd period:

Ashton Bell’s game-saving defensive play seals win for PWHL Ottawa over New YorkDefenceman Ashton Bell blocks the shot of PWHL New York forward Jessie Eldridge late in regulation then Ottawa goes on to score an empty net goal to seal a 4-2 victory.

Ottawa opened the scoring 2:30 into the first period, but it took a moment for the team to realize Harmon had scored. It initially looked like Levy had made the save and the play was stopped, but then Ottawa began to celebrate and upon review it was deemed the puck had crossed the goal line.

New York was outshot 10-5 in the opening period and coach Howie Draper admitted the slow starts have been problematic.

“Really, the problem was our first period.” Said Draper. “I don’t feel we came out as strong as we needed to in order to compete against a good team like that.”

Garát-Gasparics scores 1st PWHL goalGarát-Gasparics scored a jailbreak goal at 10:12 of the second, picking up her own rebound for her first point of the season to give Ottawa a 2-0 lead.

The Hungarian native said it was great to see a few flags being waved in the crowd and admitted feeling relieved to finally get on the scoresheet.

The two-goal lead was short lived.

New York cut the lead in half after Zoe Boyd’s stick broke on a clearing attempt giving Aurard a clear shot for her first of the season.

Abby Roque was assessed a game misconduct as a result of a checking from behind penalty, but Ottawa was unable to capitalize on the five-minute player advantage.

Trailing 2-1 Bourbonnais scored the equalizer for New York on the power play at 9:28 of the third. With an assist on the play Alex Carpenter, who leads the league in scoring, extended her point streak (5G, 3A) to six games.

WATCH l CBC Sports’ Hockey North looks at best moments around the PWHL:

Heise Injured, Toronto’s 5-game win streak, and best moments around the PWHLHost Rob Pizzo is joined by Saroya Tinker to break down the biggest stories from Week 8 of the PWHL season.

Ottawa has struggled to close out games this year, but MacLeod and Hughes both agreed there was no sense of deja vu from the team. The last time these two teams met Ottawa coughed up a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 in overtime.

Hughes scored what would prove to be the winner off her backhand from in close sending the 6,889 at TD Place to their feet and Adzija sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the dying seconds of the game.

Ottawa hosts Toronto on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET, with live coverage on, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

New York hosts Minnesota on Sunday.

The full schedule of PWHL games airing on CBC Sports this season is available here.

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