The game in Minnesota that featured the PWHL achieved a new attendance record with a crowd of 13,316 supporters.

Grace Zumwinkle accomplished the first hat-trick in the Professional Women’s Hockey League while Maddie Rooney secured the shutout as Minnesota triumphed in their home opener. They blanked Montreal 3-0 on Saturday afternoon, captivating a record crowd of 13,316 at Xcel Energy Center.
The previous attendance record of 8,318 was set on Tuesday at the sold-out Arena at TD Place in Ottawa. The match showcased Montreal’s 3-2 victory in overtime. Minnesota had a similar scoreline win against Boston on Wednesday.
The PWHL, which commenced its inaugural season on New Year’s Day, commented on how Saturday’s turnout established a new attendance record for professional women’s ice hockey.
Minnesota’s general manager, Natalie Darwitz, a former US national team player, expressed her excitement about the fan turnout, saying, “Living in the State of Hockey, I knew our fans would show up for us, but today they have taken it to a whole new level. I’ve enjoyed numerous amazing hockey experiences in Minnesota over my career, and experiencing today and the record crowd was emotional and ranks near the top of the list.”
Grace Zumwinkle, who also scored a goal in the season opener in Boston, hails from Excelsior, Minnesota, and played collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota. Maddie Rooney, on the other hand, is from Duluth and played collegiately at the University of Minnesota-Duluth before winning a gold medal in goal for the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games.
Montreal was dominant in the early phase of the game and had three power plays without committing a penalty in the first two periods. They outshot Minnesota 21-12 but entered the third period trailing 1-0.
Zumwinkle scored a backhanded goal against Ann-Renée Desbiens with 2:39 remaining in the first period, surpassing the 2022 gold medalist for Canada to her stick side. After a scoreless second period, Zumwinkle fired a shot from the top of the slot and found the back of the net at the 1:47 mark of the third period. She followed it up with an empty net goal at 17:13 of the same period.
Montreal failed to register a shot on goal in the first 11 minutes of the third period. Desbiens finished the game with 19 saves on 21 shots, while Rooney stopped all 24 Montreal shots on goal.
Next up, Montreal will face New York, while Minnesota will be hosting Toronto on Wednesday.

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