Minnesota’s Taylor Heise slides into Boston goalie Aerin Frankel as Sophie Jaques netted what was thought to be the game winning goal. LPH PHOTO BY CHRISTINE WISCH

Sophie Jaques appeared to have scored the game-winning goal late in the second overtime,

only to have the goal overturned due to goaltender interference

What appeared to be a series-clinching goal by Sophie Jaques late in the second overtime was overturned due to goalie interference. Less than two minutes later Boston’s Alina Muller scored to break a scoreless tie to give Boston a Game 4 win to stave off elimination and force a deciding Game 5 Wednesday in Boston.

In the best back-and-forth game of the series, both goaltenders played extremely well, stopping several point-blank scoring chances to send the game into overtime. Minnesota held the edge in the first overtime, but Boston’s Aerin Frankel was up to the task, stopping seven shots in the extra frame and turning away all 33 she faced in the game.

The biggest play of the night came in the second overtime when Minnesota’s Taylor Heise carried the puck over the blueline and around a Boston defender while cutting hard to the net below the left circle. Heise lost her edge and slid into the crease and into Frankel while the puck squirted into the slot where Sophie Jacques lifted the potential-game-winner and series-clincher into the net. More than 13,000 fans at the Xcel Energy Center erupted with cheer, thinking their hometown team had just clinched the inaugural PWHL title. Minnesota players jumped from the bench, tossing their sticks, gloves and helmets into the air with the same belief they had just clinched the series and won the Walter Cup.

Sophie Jaques celebrates after what was thought to be a series-clinching goal. LPH PHOTO BY CHRISTINE WISCH

But everyone soon learned the play was under review. While Heise was trying to make a move to the front of the net, her losing her edge sent her sprawling into Frankel. According to the standard goaltender interference rule, an infraction occurs when an opposition player makes contact with the goalie, either intentionally or inadvertently, limiting the goalie’s ability to move freely.

Muller then netted the game winner when she rifled a shot from the slot past Minnesota goaltender Nicole Hensley. Like Frankel, Hensley was excellent in net, also making several key stops in the previous 98-plus minutes.

Boston’s win tied the series at 2-2, sending it back to Beantown where the two teams will play a decisive Game 5 Wednesday to determine the first champion in PWHL history. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

Boston’s Alina Muller finally solved Minnesota goaltender Nicole Hensley with 1:24 left in the second overtime to force a Game 5 Wednesday in Boston. LPH PHOTO BY CHRISTINE WISCH

PWHL Boston 1 (OT) at PWHL Minnesota 0 – Status: Final OT2
Sunday, May 26, 2024 – Xcel Energy Center

Boston 0 0 0 0 1 – 1
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 – 0

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Babstock Bos (roughing), 11:26; Heise Min (roughing), 11:26.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Rattray Bos (tripping), 4:50; Fratkin Bos (body checking), 8:59; Cava Min (tripping), 18:27.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Rattray Bos (tripping), 8:49; Brandt Bos (interference), 13:11.

1st OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-DeGeorge Min (tripping), 15:48.

2nd OT Period-1, Boston, Müller 2 (Schafzahl), 18:36. Penalties-Greco Min (tripping), 12:31.

Shots on Goal-Boston 9-5-5-5-9-33. Minnesota 8-3-9-7-6-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Boston 0 / 3; Minnesota 0 / 5.
Goalies-Boston, Frankel (33 shots-33 saves). Minnesota, Hensley (33 shots-32 saves).
A-13,104
Referees-Jared Cummins (1), Jack Hennigan (44).
Linesmen-Laura Gutauskas (68), Antoine Bujold-Roux (72).