Boston sweeps Montreal in PWHL semifinal

Boston sweeps Montreal in PWHL semifinal
Boston sweeps Montreal in PWHL semifinal

Susanna Tapani scored her second overtime winner of the series to help Boston rally past Montreal 3-2 on Tuesday night and advance to the Professional Women’s Hockey League championship series.

Boston, which swept Montreal in the best-of-five series, will play for the inaugural Walter Cup against either Minnesota or Toronto.

Boston has won five consecutive games, while Montreal ended the season on a four-game losing skid.

Marie-Philip Poulin and Maureen Murphy scored for Montreal in regulation.

Sophie Shirley and Amanda Pelkey ​​also scored for Boston.

Montreal went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Boston was 0-for-2.

Tapani’s game-winning goal came just 62 seconds into the extra period.

Alina Müller cut back to the middle of the ice for a shot that bounced off the pad of Ann-Renée Desbiens and Tapani was left open at the back door for an easy tap-in.

Tapani also won Game 1 on Thursday when she pounced on a loose puck in the blue paint for the first overtime goal in PWHL playoff history.

Montreal coach Kori Cheverie said the setback stung but was proud of the players’ effort.

“(We’re) just trying to process everything. I think it’s important for our group to know how well they played over the last three games, and it’s OK to feel the emotion — it’s important to feel the emotion right now. It’s one of those things where I don’t know if you do too much different,” said Cheverie.

Boston bench boss Courtney Kessel didn’t like how her team started but loved the end result.

“I think it took us a little bit to get our legs going. Obviously, it didn’t have the start we wanted to, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” said Kessel. “But here we are, we’re heading on to the championship.”

Five of the seven games between the two teams this season went to overtime, including the longest game in PWHL history at over 111 minutes on Saturday that Taylor Wenczkowski clinched in triple overtime.

Aerin Frankel, who set a PWHL saves record for a second straight game with a 56-save performance on Saturday, kept Boston in Game 3 after falling behind 2-0 in the second period.

She finished with 32 saves.

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