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Rooney nets shutout, Minnesota beats Toronto to stay alive in PWHL playoffs


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Maggie Flaherty and Denisa Krizova each scored in the second period and Minnesota blanked Toronto 2-0 on Monday night in Game 3 of their Professional Women’s Hockey League semifinal series.

Minnesota, which trails the best-of-five series 2-1, hosts Game 4 on Wednesday.

Minnesota (9-4-3-9) ended a seven-game losing streak, while Toronto (13-4-0-8) had a six-game winning streak snapped. Toronto had won the previous five games against Minnesota since losing 3-1 at Xcel Energy Center on Jan. 10.

Maddie Rooney made 18 saves for Minnesota for her third shutout of the season.

“Like the last game the team really helped me out defensively — a lot of blocked shots today and clearing the rebounds when they were there, and it was a really fun atmosphere to play in back in our home building," said Rooney, who was named the game's first star.

Flaherty scored Minnesota’s first playoff goal with 17:48 left in the second period, ending a seven-period scoreless stretch and breaking Kristen Campbell’s shutout streak.

Krizova doubled the lead midway through the second by poking in a loose puck after Campbell lost it under her leg pads.

Campbell was coming off back-to-back shutouts and 47 total saves in the first two games of the series. The 26-year-old led the PWHL with three shutouts during the regular season.

Minnesota outshot Toronto 26-18 and went 0-for-4 on the power play. Toronto was 0-for-1 on the power play.

“Today the message was we need to win one game — that's it. So that's what we went into the game with, and we're certainly pleased with the outcome," said Minnesota head coach Ken Klee.

Toronto opened the series with a 4-0 win last Wednesday, then won Game 2 on Friday 2-0.

Toronto coach Troy Ryan said his squad didn't do enough to finish off the series in Game 3.

“(The game was) a little bit out of character. Our passing was off, our willingness to compete along the walls was off. Our penalty kill was good, so that was something to build off," said Ryan.

"Just not doing the little things that have made our group successful all year. We’ve just got to be better without a doubt — in all areas.”


The attendance at Xcel Energy Center was announced at 3,344. … The teams are a combined 0-for-16 on the power play in the series. … Toronto was shutout for the first time since their season opener on New Year's Day.

POKE CHECKS: Minnesota general manager Natalie Darwitz will be among the eight inductees into the 2024 International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held near the end of the Men’s World Championship, currently underway in Czechia. Darwitz represented the U.S. at 11 straight events between 1999 and 2010, winning three gold medals and five silver at the Women’s World Championship and two silver and a bronze in three Olympics. In 55 games across those events, she had 43 goals and 83 points.


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