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2021 PWHPA Dream Gap Tour recap: Chicago

Stop two is in the books!

2021 PWHPA Dream Gap Tour Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The PWHPA were back at it for the second straight weekend, this time in Chicago partnering with the NHL’s Blackhawks. They played a pair of games at the NHL team’s rinks, Saturday at the United Center and Sunday at Fifth Third Arena.

It was a clean sweep for Team adidas (Minnesota) as they picked up five points in the standings thanks to a six goal game on Sunday netting them that extra point. They sit far above the only opponent Team WSF (New Hampshire) with eight points to WSF’s two.

Saturday - Minnesota won, 4-1

Goals
Minnesota: Abby Roque, Maddie Rolfes, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Abby Roque
New Hampshire: Brianna Decker

  • Nicole Hensley was off the charts good for Minnesota. She saw 34 shots and stop all but one to end with a .970 Sv% on the game. The lone goal she gave up came in the final seconds of the game. It was a tough break to the end of the game as Decker snuck behind her defense and sat wide open back door. She stands on the sole goaltender in the PWHPA with two wins despite seeing the second highest shot total across the four.
  • The Youths! For Minnesota, three of their four goals came off the younger generation’s sticks - Abby Roque (straight out of Wisconsin) and Maddie Rolfes (spent a year in the SDHL after graduating from Wisconsin). Their assists came from similarly young player - Sydney Brodt and Sophia Shaver. On the other end of the ice, Jincy Dunne quietly made a name for herself as a solid defender for New Hampshire. She was second on the team in successful zone exits percentage behind only Megan Keller.
  • Player of the Game | Abby Roque
    Do we even need to explain this one anymore? Roque added another two goals to bring her total through three games at five.

Sunday - Minnesota won, 6-2

Playing four games in eight days clearly showed as frustrations and tensions started to show in the last game of the set.

Goals
Minnesota: Coyne Schofield, Kelly Pannek (PP), Lee Stecklein (PP), Hilary Knight, Sydney Brodt, Knight
New Hampshire: Haley Scamurra, Kessel

  • Special teams were especially good for Minnesota and especially bad for New Hampshire. Just like Saturday, New Hampshire struggled to stay out of the box, amassing five penalties. Normally, not super terrible. But with a shallow roster, quick turnaround from yesterday, and a short bench, this was bound to come back to bit them, and it did. The second period was all Minnesota, thank in part to the fact that New Hampshire took three penalties in those 20 minutes alone. Minnesota capitalized on that and scored two goals in the second. They’d go on to score another power-play goal in the third to go 3/5 with the skater advantage. On the flip side, New Hampshire went 0/4 on the power play. Special teams, amiright?
  • There’s no real way to beat around the bush: New Hampshire is one, maybe two, line team and that is a huge disadvantage. Only five of their 18 players have scored compared to nine of 18 on Minnesota. We don’t have TOI data but it’s not hard to see that Kessel and Decker are out there for a large majority of the game. Decker accounts for 24 percent of the team’s points and scored or assisted on 66 percent of their goals. Scamurra tied the game in the first, which was a big boost and her second goal over four games, but New Hampshire needs her, Marvin, and Gruschow need to step up if they want to win more games.
  • Player of the Game | Kelly Pannek
    Pannek had a goal and an assist, both in the second period on power plays.