Zumwinkle scores historic hat trick as Minnesota blanks Montreal before record crowd in PWHL home opener

Grace Zumwinkle scored the first hat trick in Professional Women’s Hockey League history as Minnesota won its home opener before a record crowd with a 3-0 victory over Montreal on Saturday in Saint Paul.

The forward from Excelsior, Minn., scored once in the first period and twice in the third as the game at Xcel Energy Center set a pro women’s hockey attendance record with 13,316 fans, breaking the mark of 8,318 from Ottawa’s home opener against Montreal on Tuesday.

Maddie Rooney of Duluth, Minn., posted a 24-save shutout to help Minnesota become the first PWHL team to win at home.

La Malbaie, Que., native Ann-Renée Desbiens stopped 19-of-21 shots for Montreal.

WATCH l Zumwinkle’s hat trick leads Minnesota past Montreal:

Zumwinkle’s hat trick leads Minnesota past Montreal for 2nd straight PWHL victory

Minneosota blanks Montreal 3-0 and becomes the first PWHL team to win a home game. Minnesota native Grace Zumwinkle records the first hat trick in the Professional Women’s Hockey League.

Montreal pushed and set the pace for the game early and had three power plays without committing a penalty through the first two periods, outshooting Minnesota 21-12, but trailed 1-0 to start the third period.

Zumwinkle backhanded a shot past Desbiens with 2:39 left in the first period, beating the 2022 Olympic gold medallist for Canada to her stick side.

After a scoreless second period Zumwinkle skated to the top of the slot and rocketed a shot past Desbiens at the 1:47 mark of the third and added an empty-net goal at 17:13 of the period.

Montreal did not get a shot on goal through the first 11 minutes of the third period.

A crowd of cheering fans celebrate a goal at a women's ice hockey game.
Fans at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., cheer after Zumwinkle’s third goal of the game on Saturday. (Abbie Parr/The Associated Press)

Zumwinkle, who scored a goal in the season opener in Boston, played her collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota. Rooney played collegiately at the Univeristy of Minnesota-Duluth before winning a gold medal in goal for the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games.

Zumwinkle earned silver with the U.S. at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, losing out to Canada in the final.

Minnesota remained undefeated after opening its season with a 3-2 win over Boston on Wednesday. Montreal dropped to 1-1-0, having defeated Ottawa 3-2 on Tuesday.

Montreal plays at New York and Minnesota plays host to Toronto next Wednesday.

The full schedule of PWHL games airing on Sports this season is available here. Our live coverage continues Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. ET when Ottawa visits Toronto.

Before the PWHL season, the championship game of the 2021-22 Svenska Damhockeyligan season between Brynäs IF and Luleå HF/MSSK held the worldwide professional women’s hockey record with a crowd of 7,765.

The previous North American record for a regular-season professional women’s hockey game was 5,938, established Dec. 10, 2016, in the CWHL when Les Canadiennes de Montreal hosted the Calgary Inferno at Bell Centre.

WATCH l Montreal opens season with historic OT win over Ottawa:

Montreal claims 1st ever PWHL overtime win taking down Ottawa in historical game

Montreal defeated Ottawa 3-2 in the first ever PWHL overtime game on a goal by Ann-Sophie Bettez Tuesday in the nation’s capital.

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