Emily Brown and Susanna Tapani each score as Boston returns from 24-day break to beat Toronto 2-1

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Emily Brown scored her first career goal, Susanna Tapani had a goal and an assist, and Boston returned from a 24-day international break to beat Toronto 2-1 on Thursday night in Professional Women's Hockey League action.

Aerin Frankel stopped 23 shots for Boston (5-4-2-9), which is in fifth place with 25 points, two behind Ottawa for the fourth and final playoff spot.

“The mentality tonight was for 60 minutes, we play to win," Boston head coach Courtney Kessel said. "I thought our transition was great, our forechecking was great, it was a great game. This is huge momentum for us heading to New York.”

Renata Fast scored for Toronto (10-3-0-7), while Kristen Campbell made 19 saves. Toronto entered as the league’s best road team with six wins and 16 points in nine games, needs just one point to clinch a playoff berth.

Brown gave Boston a 1-0 lead with 5:32 left in the second period when she sent a backhand shot through traffic and between the pads of Campbell.

Boston doubled its lead a little more than three minutes later when Tapani tipped home Jess Healey’s shot from just outside the crease for her fourth goal of the season.

Toronto scored midway through the third when Fast slipped a puck between Frankel and the post for her third goal of the season. Fast, who was among seven Toronto players who won gold for Canada at the world championship in Utica, N.Y., on Sunday, is tied for fourth among defenders with 10 points.

"I have to give a lot of credit to our coach Troy Ryan," Fast said. "He’s been emphasizing that for the D-core and it makes it easier when he has confidence in you, and he’s okay with making some mistakes and some calculated risks with that shot mentality, but I think it’s been paying off and so I’ve got to give credit to him for instilling that in us."

Toronto had a power-play opportunity with 2:45 left in the third but managed just one shot, including a 6-on-4 chance.

Both teams entered the break with losses.

On Sunday, Tapani helped Finland clinch its 14th bronze medal, and first since 2021, at the world championship.


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