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Growing pains: Ottawa expands, yet faces another overtime loss

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A new month, a similar problem for Ottawa – they’ve lost again in overtime.

New York’s Alex Carpenter will go down as Ottawa’s bane on Sunday, scoring not only the tying goal to put her team into overtime, but also the game-winner.

She spoke to a room full of media after the game to talk about how it felt secring three more points.

“I think the belief in our room is so strong and it finally showed today,” Carpenter said. “We’ve lost a couple and this feels good for us.”

About eight minutes. That’s how long it took New York to crawl their way back from a three-goal deficit, with only about four minutes left in regulation.

New York’s ‘never say die’ attitude now puts the team fifth in the league, with Ottawa being their downstairs neighbour. 

Stuck in the league’s basement, Ottawa’s head coach, Carla MacLeod, said Sunday’s loss stings.

“It felt like we shifted a bit from what we know to be our strengths.”

MacLeod added that moments like these are a given. For Ottawa, she said one of their biggest focuses is closing out a win in those added five minutes.

 “For us right now overtime is just a bit of a hurdle that we’ll obviously work through.”

New York’s head coach, Howie Draper, said the momentum was on their side heading into overtime, having scored three goals straight.

“I can’t speak for Ottawa, but my guess is that we were feeling pretty loose, we felt we could achieve anything after coming back from that deficit. Maybe it was a little tougher on the other side.”

Despite the loss, Ottawa has some silver linings:

Aneta Tejralova scored her first of the season.

Ottawa players line up to celebrate Tejralova’s first of the season and opening goal on Sunday. Photo: Devon Tredinnick

Ottawa played to a sold-out crowd of more than 8,000 people, a number they haven’t seen since their home opener.

“We have the best fans in the league,” said Ottawa’s Savannah Harmon.

And the city’s latest additions to the teams – Ottawa added five new Special Advisors to their Hockey Operations Department on Friday – indicate a growing game. 

Having now reached the one-month mark in the PWHL, Harmon’s said there’s many good times ahead. 

“We’re excited. We have a lot to look forward to.”

Harmon and the rest of Ottawa will have another chance to do their fans right when they play against Minnesota, only it’ll take some time.

The PWHL, having just come off one break for the NHL All-Star showcase, goes back into hibernation for the Rivalry Series and Euro Hockey Tour.

Ottawa’s next game happens Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.

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