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Minnesota tops Boston 4-1, grabs 2-1 lead in inaugural PWHL championship series

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Minnesota tops Boston 4-1, grabs 2-1 lead in inaugural PWHL championship series
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Minnesota tops Boston 4-1, grabs 2-1 lead in inaugural PWHL championship series

2024-05-25 10:18 Last Updated At:21:10

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Michela Cava and Taylor Heise both had a goal and an assist to lead Minnesota to a 4-1 victory over Boston on Friday night, giving their team a 2-1 lead in the inaugural championship series of the Professional Women's Hockey League.

Minnesota will host Game 4 in the best-of-five series on Sunday. Game 5, if necessary, would be played in Boston on Wednesday.

It took just 59 seconds for Heise to slip a shot past Boston goaltender Aerin Frankel and give Minnesota the lead for good. Cava notched an assist on Heise's fifth goal in eight postseason games. Heise had four goals and nine assists during the regular season.

Minnesota took a 2-0 lead with 2:22 left in the first period when Sydney Brodt used assists from Brittyn Fleming and Kelly Pannek to score her first goal this season.

Boston's goal came with two seconds left in the second period when Alina Müller found the net. Susanna Tapani and Jamie Lee Rattray had assists. It was Müller's first goal of the postseason after scoring five times during the regular season.

Minnesota regained its two-goal lead 3:29 into the final period when Cava scored her third of the postseason — off an assist from Heise. Grace Zumwinkle scored into an empty net after Boston pulled Frankel for an extra skater with 3:50 remaining. Zumwinkle's goal was her first this postseason.

Minnesota goalie Nicole Hensley finished with 18 saves. Frankel saved 21 shots for Boston.

Minnesota, the fourth seed, beat top-seeded Toronto 3-2 in a first-round series. Toronto had its choice of who to play between Minnesota and Boston after a first-place finish during the regular season. Boston swept No. 2 seed Montreal to advance to the finals.

Minnesota sported the best record in the league before a nearly month-long break for international play. The club lost all five of its matches after returning but still managed to grab the final playoff spot.

Boston split a pair of home matches to begin the series, winning the opener 4-3 before losing 3-0.

AP Women’s Hockey: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-hockey

Boston forward Samantha Isbell (55) vies for the puck during a tangle with Minnesota players during the second period of Game 3 of the PWHL hockey championship series, Friday, May 24, 2024, in St. Paul, Minn. (Angelina Katsanis/Star Tribune via AP)

Boston forward Samantha Isbell (55) vies for the puck during a tangle with Minnesota players during the second period of Game 3 of the PWHL hockey championship series, Friday, May 24, 2024, in St. Paul, Minn. (Angelina Katsanis/Star Tribune via AP)

Minnesota forward Taylor Heise (27) scores a goal against Boston during the first period of Game 3 of the PWHL hockey championship series Friday, May 24, 2024, in St. Paul, Minn. (Angelina Katsanis/Star Tribune via AP)

Minnesota forward Taylor Heise (27) scores a goal against Boston during the first period of Game 3 of the PWHL hockey championship series Friday, May 24, 2024, in St. Paul, Minn. (Angelina Katsanis/Star Tribune via AP)

Minnesota forward Taylor Heise celebrates her goal against Boston during the first period of Game 3 of the PWHL hockey championship series, Friday, May 24, 2024, in St. Paul, Minn. (Angelina Katsanis/Star Tribune via AP)

Minnesota forward Taylor Heise celebrates her goal against Boston during the first period of Game 3 of the PWHL hockey championship series, Friday, May 24, 2024, in St. Paul, Minn. (Angelina Katsanis/Star Tribune via AP)

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India opts to bat first against Afghanistan in T20 World Cup

2024-06-20 22:18 Last Updated At:22:20

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) — Rohit Sharma called correctly at the coin toss and opted for India to bat first against Afghanistan in their Super Eight match in the Twenty20 World Cup on Thursday.

India made one change after beating the United States, bringing in left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and leaving out pacer Mohammed Siraj.

Afghanistan also made one change after losing to co-host the West Indies; bowling allrounder Karim Jannat was left out and batter Hazratullah Zazai brought in.

The pitch at Kensington Oval will be vastly different from what India encountered on Long Island. Batters should enjoy the conditions in Barbados.

The morning start for Indian television prime time might put the bowlers in the early focus, but evening dew will not impact the game.

Unbeaten India topped its group with wins against Pakistan, Ireland and the U.S. Its other game against Canada was washed out.

Afghanistan qualified for the second round for the first time. It was second in its group after beating New Zealand, Uganda and Papua New Guinea while losing to the West Indies.

Lineups:

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan (captain), Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket

An Indian supporter cheers for his team ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and India at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

An Indian supporter cheers for his team ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and India at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

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