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Behind the Glass: Here come the playoffs

Poulin wins the CWHL scoring race and other news, notes, numbers, and trends from the last week of pro women’s hockey

Michelle Jay

It’s time for another installment of Behind the Glass — the Ice Garden’s weekly column collecting stories, stats, trends, and observations from the world of professional women’s hockey.


  • Connecticut Whale rookie goaltender Erin O’Neil allowed six goals on 29 shots through 40 minutes in her NWHL debut against the Boston Pride on Sunday. O’Neil was one of five players that the Whale added prior to last weekend’s game.
  • With the return of former Whale captain Jessica Koizumi and goaltender Shenae Lundberg to Connecticut, there are now 19 players in the NWHL today who were playing in the league in its inaugural season.
  • Gigi Marvin picked up her second-consecutive three-point game on Sunday. Marvin scored two goals and picked up an assist in Boston’s big 8–1 road win over the Whale.
  • After being a healthy scratch on Feb. 18, Riveters goaltender Katie Fitzgerald stopped 33 of the 36 shots she faced against the Buffalo Beauts on Saturday. It was just the third time this season that Fitzgerald finished with a save percentage of .900 or better in a start.
  • Emily Janiga notched her first career two-goal game in the NWHL in Buffalo’s 4–1 win over Fitzgerald and the Riveters on Saturday. Janiga was on the ice for three of the Beauts’ goals in addition to putting five shots on net for the second time this season.
  • Before puck drop on Feb. 23, the Buffalo Beauts handed out three team awards. Shannon Szabados won Most Valuable Beaut, Julianna Iafallo won Unsung Hero, and Savannah Harmon won Rookie of the Year.
  • The Calgary Inferno finished their 2018–19 season with a three-game sweep over the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays in China. With those points, Calgary locked up first place in the standings with a record of 23–4–0–1. The Inferno haven’t lost a game since Feb. 3.
  • On Tuesday night, the Toronto Furies bested the Thunder by a score of 3–1 to clinch the last spot in the 2019 Clarkson Cup Playoffs. Toronto’s impressive 5–0–0 run at the end of the regular season knocked the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays out of the playoffs. Last season, Kunlun Red Star made it to the Clarkson Cup Final.
  • The Markham Thunder punched their own ticket to the 2019 Clarkson Cup Playoffs with a 3–2 win over Les Canadiennes de Montréal on Sunday. Erica Howe stopped 30 of the 32 shots she faced, and Laura Stacey scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. Howe had a .935 save percentage in her last seven appearances of the season.
  • On Feb. 22, the CWHLPA unveiled a new logo and a partnership with Sports Marketing Allstars. The partnership was put in place to increase the visibility of CWHL players and help them with personal branding as well as other ventures.
  • Les Canadiennes’ captain Marie-Philip Poulin led the CWHL in goals (23) and points (50) this season. Poulin also led the league in game-winning goals (6). Her consistency this season was simply remarkable. She was kept out of the box score just five times in 26 games this season, including Montreal’s final game on Feb. 24.
  • Markham’s Victoria Bach finished the season with the most points among all CWHL rookie skaters. Bach scored 19 goals and notched 13 assists for the Thunder this season. Bach, Poulin, and Brianne Jenner were the only players in the league to score 19 or more goals this year.
  • Emerance Maschmeyer finished the regular season with a jaw-dropping .934 save percentage in 1,200 minutes of hockey. She picked up four shutouts for Les Canadiennes and posted a 1.45 goals against average. No other goaltender who played north of 700 minutes in the CWHL this season was anywhere near those numbers.
  • On Saturday, Maja Jakobsson notched two goals for HV71 in her team’s 5–2 victory over Leksands IF. Her first goal, which was scored in the closing minutes of the second period, proved to be the game-winner. Her second goal was a shorthanded goal and her sixth goal of the 2019 SDHL Playoffs.
  • Linköping HC defeated MODO Hockey by a score of 3–1 on Tuesday in the first game of the SDHL semifinals. Goaltender Eveliina Suonpää allowed one goal — a shorthanded tally from Michela Cava — halfway through the third after her team scored the first three goals of the game.
  • Noora Tulus scored 6:16 into overtime on Wednesday to give Luleå Hockey/MSSK an all-important win in the first game of their series against HV71. Luleå scored the first three goals of the game — all in the first period — before HV71 forced overtime after scoring a goal 5:48 into the third period.
  • The ZhHL postseason begins on March 16 with first seed Agidel Ufa playing SKIF Nizhny Novgorod. SKIF pulled off an unlikely upset at the end of the 2018–19 regular season to push the star-studded HK Tornado out of the playoff picture.
  • SKIF’s top scorer in the regular season was 18-year-old Oxana Bratishcheva. Bratishcheva had a breakout season with 45 points — including 20 goals — in 36 games this year. Last season, she had 24 points in 23 games.

All data courtesy of NWHL.zone, sdhl.se, thecwhl.com, whl.khl.ru, and the author’s own stat tracking.