It’s no surprise for Poulin, a woman who some call the greatest to ever play the game, to be maintaining her dominance over women’s hockey. She’s kept her habit of scoring clutch goals while remaining ever the distributor, with her points split evenly with six goals and six assists.

It’s been 16 years since Poulin was the runner-up for the CWHL MVP as a 16-year-old in 2008, and she shows no signs of slowing down, even with the increased workload.

“I think a player like [Poulin] has put in so much work, away from the rink and at the rink, over the past few years, that she didn’t lose a beat now being asked to play this many games,” said Montreal coach Kori Cheverie. “I’m not surprised at all. She continues to dominate our league, but also just does all the little things really well. She is probably the best player in the game.”

It might be more of a surprise to see Spooner’s production, and particularly how she’s done it; the former Ohio State star has been ruthless in front of the net, with a league-leading 10 goals.

Spooner is one of the most decorated Canadian hockey players ever and has little left to prove, but just how prolific she’s been might have been unexpected. She wasn’t one of the top stars signed to a particular market before the draft (such as Poulin staying in Montreal or Hilary Knight returning to Boston) though a “compassionate circumstances” waiver meant she knew she was headed for her native Toronto before the team took her with the 23rd pick.

But the 33-year-old has been surprising people for years. She gave birth to her her first child in December 2022 and was competing at the world championships in April, tallying 6 points in seven games. She then took several months off, playing only a handful of games in the year-plus before the start of the season.

“With childbirth and healing from that, it’s taken maybe a bit longer than I thought it would take to be feeling back to fully normal, but I’ve been able to slowly increase the volume,” Spooner said. “I’ve been loving getting to play more games. This is what we’ve wanted for so long.”

Spooner scoring goals isn’t anything new — she’s Ohio State’s all-time leader with 100 and was always near the top of the CWHL’s charts — but she’s never been this pure a goal scorer. She has more assists than goals for Canada in major competitions, after all. But her classic power-forward game has made her the PWHL’s most lethal scorer in the early going.

“In the past I’ve had a lot of success and been able to score goals around the net and done that in other leagues,” Spooner said. “I just hoped that if I stuck to the game I’d like to play, I’d be able to help the team by getting some goals.”

Davis leaving comforts of home

PWHL Boston has lost forward Sammy Davis before she could play a game for her hometown team.

Davis on Wednesday was signed by Ottawa for the remainder of the season, according to a league source.

The 26-year-old from Pembroke was on Boston’s reserve list, which meant other clubs were free to sign her. The former Boston University captain fills a need for Ottawa following forward Kristin Della Rovere’s recent injury, which is believed to be serious enough to end her season. Della Rovere is a former Harvard captain.

Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NWHL draft, played three seasons for the Boston Pride, collecting 15 goals and 31 points in 51 games.

PWHL teams can hold three reserves who are not under contract but can practice with the team. Forwards Nicole Kosta and Samantha Isbell are Boston’s current reserves.

Kosta signed a one-year contract Nov. 10, but was downgraded after Boston acquired forward Susanna Tapani from Minnesota Feb. 11.

Isbell signed a 10-day contract Feb. 17 after forward Sophie Shirley (upper body) went on injured reserve.

Fourth-place Boston (4-2-2-4) visits Montreal at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Playoff plans in place

The PWHL announced its playoff format and draft-order process.

In the playoffs, which will begin two or three days after the regular season, the top four teams will play best-of-five semifinal series. The No. 1 seed will select its opponent, while the No. 2 seed will get home-ice advantage. The winners will play a best-of-five championship series.

In an effort to prevent tanking, the league will assign the top draft pick to the non-playoff team that accrues the most points following its elimination from playoff contention.

The draft is scheduled for sometime in mid-June.

Emma Healy and Matt Porter contributed reporting.

Amin Touri can be reached at

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