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Turnbull nets a pair as Toronto blanks Minnesota in landmark PWHL playoff game | CBC Sports

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Blayre Turnbull scored two goals to lead Toronto to a 4-0 win over Minnesota in the first-ever Professional Women’s Hockey League playoff game on Wednesday.

Natalie Spooner, with the opening goal and one assist, and Emma Maltais also scored for top-seeded Toronto in front of 8,473 fans at Coca-Cola Coliseum.

Kristen Campbell posted a 26-save shutout. Nicole Hensley stopped 15 shots for fourth-seeded Minnesota.

Game two in the best-of-five semifinal is set for Friday in Toronto.

WATCH | Toronto shuts out Minnesota in PWHL playoffs:

Toronto blanks Minnesota in 1st-ever PWHL playoff game

Toronto defeats Minnesota 4-0 in Game 1 of their best-of-five semifinal playoff series.

The hosts entered Wednesday winners of four straight to close the regular season, including a 4-1 win over Minnesota last Wednesday.

Toronto went 2-1-0-1 against Minnesota in the regular season. Minnesota earned a 3-1 road victory on Jan. 10.

Toronto got its first pair of decent scoring chances early in the opening period. Brittany Howard almost fired one in off a blocked Sarah Nurse shot and Alexa Vasko was stopped on a one-timer from the slot shortly after.

Spooner opened the scoring at 9:47 of the first period to the delight of the deafening home crowd. The PWHL scoring champion took a pass from Hannah Miller and fired a wrister that went top corner past Hensley’s glove.

Maltais made it 2-0 at the 55-second mark of the second period. Nurse drew the attention of two defenders approaching the slot and found a streaking Maltais who backhanded it between Hensley’s pads.

WATCH | Examining the PWHL playoff format:

How do the PWHL playoffs work?

The top four teams in the final regular season standings are battling it out in the league’s first-ever playoffs. But unlike the NHL, the top team gets to pick their opponent.

Turnbull got in on the action with 4:55 remaining in the middle frame. She took the puck up ice, sent it off to Spooner who dished it back and Turnbull tapped it in.

Minnesota had a 17-11 edge in shots after 40 minutes.

Spooner had a great chance in front to score her second goal of the game early in the third period but was stopped by Hensley.

Turnbull netted her second of the contest with 37.8 seconds left in the game. She buried home a rebound from a Miller miss.

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