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Maschmeyer, Jenner shine as Ottawa beats Minnesota 4-0

OTTAWA — While her teammates took a few minutes to get going Saturday night, Emerance Maschmeyer held down the fort.

The Ottawa goaltender made 35 saves for her second shutout of the Professional Women's Hockey League season in a 4-0 win over Minnesota.

“They had (a game) under their belt, so I knew there might be a little bit of chaos off the bat,” said Maschmeyer. “But my job is to stay calm and kill plays whenever I could.”

Captain Brianne Jenner was just as impressive recording a hat trick, while Ashton Bell also scored for Ottawa (8-0-6-6).

Jenner couldn’t recall the last time she had a hat trick, but thought it might have been in college.

Nicole Hensley made 18 saves for Minnesota (8-4-3-6), who had won all four previous games against Ottawa.

The win was much-needed as Ottawa finds itself in a battle with Boston (6-4-2-9) for the fourth and final playoff spot. Ottawa holds a two-point lead with the two set to square off on Wednesday night.

“There’s going to be a lot of back and forth,” said Ottawa coach Carla MacLeod. “It’s going to be a race right up to the final and I think the biggest thing for us, it’s just insulating ourselves and just continuing to grow and do what we do and that will give us the best chance to get us where we want to go.”

Before the world hockey championship break Minnesota had been riding a five-game winning streak, but has now dropped back-to-back games.

“Think we get back to Minnesota, we get back to work,” said a visibly frustrated Kendall Coyne Schofield. “We look at the things we need to work on these last two games.”

Minnesota came out flying in the first but Maschmeyer made a couple big saves to set the tone of the game. Ottawa didn’t register its first shot until 10:07.

“She (Maschmeyer) was really huge for us,” said Jenner. “You know, no surprise she was player of the game. I think she kind of gave us a chance to settle back in.”

The home team caught a break when Hensley went to play the puck behind the net and it took a weird bounce off the boards between her feet bouncing out front leaving a wide-open net for Jenner to score her sixth of the season at 17:14.

The second period has been Ottawa’s worst this season, scoring just 11 goals, but they found their rhythm and took a 3-0 lead.

Jenner scored her second of the game at 4:07. Minnesota’s Maggie Flaherty fell behind the net allowing Emily Clark to jump on the puck and feed Jenner out front.

Midway through the period Ottawa broke in on a 2-on-1 with Vanisova making a great pass under Flaherty’s stick to Bell who scored into the open side.

Minnesota’s best chance to get back in the game came early in the third when they had a 24-second, two-player advantage, but were unable to capitalize on it or the ensuing power play.

Minnesota went 0-for-4 on the power play.

“We’re getting a lot of pucks to the net again,” said Minnesota coach Ken Klee. “We’re getting chances, just not finishing.”

Jenner made it rain hats scoring her third at 15:39 of the third period, wristing a shot over Hensley.

“I was just trying to keep up with (Tereza Vanisova) and (Darryl Watts) out there,” said Jenner of her linemates. “I thought they played great and was lucky to have a few kind of land on my stick.”

NOTES

Seventeen players from the two teams represented their countries at the recent 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Utica, N.Y.

UP NEXT

Ottawa: Hosts Boston on Wednesday.

Minnesota: Hosts Boston on Saturday, April 27.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2024.

Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press