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Toronto’s win streak extends to 9, claiming co-lead of PWHL after shutting out Montreal

The PWHL’s leading goal scorer Natalie Spooner recorded another point, while Kristen Campbell pitched a shutout to lead Toronto to a 3-0 victory over Montreal at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto on Friday.

The win — Toronto’s ninth consecutive — moves the two Canadian clubs into a tie for first in the PWHL, as both sit on 30 points through 16 games so far this season.

Toronto has managed to rebound after losing five of its first seven games to start the season. Defender Kali Flanagan says she knew the talent was there all along.

“It’s really about trying to play to our identity,” Flanagan said. “I think those first five to six games, we were close, we just couldn’t find a way to score.

“I don’t think we were necessarily playing bad hockey at the beginning, we just figured out how to consistently play with less of those dips in our game.”

WATCH l Toronto blanks Montreal for share of PWHL league lead:

Toronto blanks Montreal for 9th straight win in battle of top 2 PWHL teams

6 hours ago

Duration 0:45

Hannah Miller opens up the scoring as Toronto defeats Montreal 3-0 and moves into first place in the PWHL for the first time this season.

Hannah Miller opened the scoring with her fifth of the year at 1:20 of the first period. She buried a rebound off of Spooner’s wraparound attempt, shoving the puck past Elaine Chuli.

Spooner now sits one point behind Montreal’s Marie-Philip Poulin and New York’s Alex Carpenter for the league lead in total scoring after snagging an assist on the play.

Montreal trailed 1-0 entering the first period, and neither team scored in the second. However, a lack of scoring does not mean a lack of action.

The game’s physicality ramped up in the second period, boiling over with shoving, cross-checks, face washes, and almost fisticuffs breaking out in a single sequence near centre ice. Three pairs of players from each team sat in the penalty box following the scuffle.

Women's hockey player greets fans before playing a hockey game.
Spooner moved one point behind Marie-Philip Poulin and Alex Carpenter for the PWHL scoring lead after tallying an assist on Friday. (Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Rebecca Leslie scored under four minutes into the third period, netting her first PWHL goal by tipping Olivia Knowles’s shot past Chuli.

Later in the frame, Emma Maltais scored her second ‘jailbreak’ goal of the season with 1:06 remaining in the contest as Montreal was looking to get within one while on the power-play with the goalie pulled.

Campbell, who made 23 stops in the perfect goaltending performance, says she knew what was at stake entering the contest.

“They were at the top of the league in the stands, we knew tonight was going to be a big game,” Campbell said. “We have had close games against them, the shootout victory, and then the Scotiabank game was an incredible crowd. 

“I think the games we have played them have been high-stake games and we have found a way to win those and we’re looking to continue that.”

Toronto and Montreal square off in the Steel City on Mar. 17 as they participate in the PWHL’s takeover weekend. Toronto will look to win its fourth straight against Poulin’s Montreal side in Pittsburgh in their matinee matchup.

Boston is at home to New York on Sunday, with live coverage on, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

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

WATCH l CBC Sports’ Hockey North breaks down PWHL storylines from Week 9:

PWHL league news, New York’s struggles, and Toronto’s red-hot streak

4 days ago

Duration 11:35

Host Rob Pizzo is joined by Hailey Salvian to break down the announcement of the PWHL’s playoff and draft formats, along with the biggest stories from Week 9.

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