PWHL PREVIEW: Boston Looks to Build Momentum in New York

Boston visits New York this afternoon as they hope to keep trying to claw their way back into a playoff position.

PWHL PREVIEW: Boston Looks to Build Momentum in New York
Jamie Lee Rattray attempts to get the puck from Ella Shelton. Photo by Michael Riley/PWHL Boston.

Boston visits New York this afternoon in the first PWHL game at the Prudential Center, home of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

The Basics: Saturday, April 20, 2024- PWHL Boston at New York- 3:30 p.m. EDT, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ (NESN+, MSG, MSG2, PWHL Youtube Channel)

What to Expect

Megan Keller defends against a New York skater. Keller is wrapped around the New York player from behind, and the puck is out of view. Keller is white, while the New York player is in teal.
Megan Keller defends against a New York skater. Photo courtesy of the PWHL.

This is the fifth and final meeting between Boston and New York this season. Three of New York’s seven wins (regulation and overtime) have come against Boston. In the first meeting on January 20, Boston’s lack of 60-minute effort resulted in a 4-1 loss. The next two games both went to overtime, with Boston losing 2-1 on February 17 and winning 3-2 on March 10. Finally, on March 25, Boston ceded three power-play goals to New York in a 3-2 loss.

Boston battled hard and came out with a huge regulation win over Toronto in their return to action on Thursday. They knew the importance of a regulation win and finally played with urgency for 60 minutes. Look for them to continue building on that momentum in this game as they try to claw their way back into a playoff position.

As for New York, this will be their first game since the international break. The win over Boston right before the break was massive for them and snapped a seven-game losing streak. However, they’re still in last place, seven points back of Ottawa for the final playoff spot. So look for them to show desperation to avoid falling further behind in the standings and keep their hopes of a playoff push alive.

Levis (left) fist bumps Schroeder (right) in front of the net. Both are in white away uniforms.
Paetyn Levis fist bumps Corinne Schroeder. Photo by Michael Riley/PWHL Boston.

In goal for New York, look for Corinne Schroeder to get the start. Neither Schroeder nor Abbey Levy went to Worlds, and while both have been outstanding this season, Schroeder is the team's No. 1. So it’d be a shock if they didn’t get her back in action first. Schroeder is 2-3-1-5 on the season, with a solid 2.25 GAA (sixth overall) to go along with her outstanding 0.935 SV% (second overall).

In goal for Boston, it’s uncertain who will start in net, but not for the usual reasons. Emma Söderberg did not dress on Thursday, and when I passed the other scratches heading down to the locker room together between each period, Söderberg wasn’t with them. It may not mean anything, and it doesn't necessarily indicate she wasn’t at the game, but it’s worth mentioning. I was unable to ask head coach Courtney Kessel about her status after the game.

If Söderberg is out again, look for Aerin Frankel to get another start. Frankel had a great showing against Toronto, making several grade-A saves while the game was scoreless. She is 4-2-2-6 with an excellent 2.01 GAA and 0.929 SV% (both fourth overall). However, if Söderberg dresses, I lean towards her getting the start. Both goaltenders went through the Worlds gauntlet, but Frankel played two extra games (that were back-to-back), so giving her some rest isn’t a bad idea. Plus, Söderberg hasn't played a professional game since March 20, so it'd be smart to get her back in.

Boston’s Key to the Game

Adzija (right) battles for the puck with Baker (left) along the boards behind the New York net. Alex Carpenter looks on in the background. Adzija is in a white awa uniform, while Baker and Carpenter are in teal.
Lexie Adzija battles for the puck with Taylor Baker. Photo courtesy of the PWHL.

Build on Thursday’s performance. While there were ebbs and flows to Thursday’s win, it was one of Boston’s most complete performances of the season. They played with urgency from the first puck drop to the final buzzer, and they need to bring that same mindset today. New York has had Boston’s number this season, and they are not to be underestimated. However, if Boston keeps building on Thursday’s performance, they’ll give themselves a good chance to secure another win.