‘It’s a big loss’: PWHL Toronto lose Natalie Spooner for rest of the playoffs with knee injury

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PWHL Toronto will have another chance to move on to the Walter Cup final on Wednesday night, but the team will have to win without arguably its best player.

Natalie Spooner will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered in Game 3 against Minnesota, the team announced on Wednesday morning.

Spooner took a hit from Minnesota forward Grace Zumwinkle in front of her team’s bench during the third period of Toronto’s 2-0 loss on Monday. She remained down on the ice for several seconds before crawling to the bench and needing help to get down the tunnel. There was no penalty on the play.

WATCH | Spooner suffers season-ending injury in Game 3 against Minnesota:

Natalie Spooner leaves game with lower-body injury

PWHL Toronto’s Natalie Spooner left the game with a lower-body injury in the third period of game three against Minnesota Monday night.

Spooner’s injury is a massive loss for Toronto. The 33-year-old from Scarborough, Ont. was the league’s leading scorer in the regular season, registering 27 points and 20 goals in 24 games — nine goals more than teammate Sarah Nurse and Zumwinkle, who tied for second in the goal-scoring race. Spooner also played a key role on Toronto’s penalty kill.

In three playoff games, Spooner had a goal and an assist.

“It’s a big loss for us, obviously Natalie has been an important part of our success all year,” Toronto GM Gina Kingsbury said in a statement. “We have no doubt Natalie will continue to have an impact on our team, just in a different way.”

Toronto activated forward Jess Jones from the reserve list to fill in for Spooner. Jones didn’t log a point over five games with Toronto in the regular season.

Toronto leads the best-of-five series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Wednesday (8 p.m. ET) in Minnesota.

The winner of the series will face Boston the best-of-five Walter Cup championship.


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