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Daryl Watts scores her first PWHL hat trick to lead Ottawa past Toronto 5-3

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Daryl Watts scored three goals to lead Ottawa past Toronto 5-3 on Saturday, snapping Toronto’s 11-game winning streak.

The win was huge for Ottawa (7-0-6-6) as it looks to create space between itself and Boston for the league’s fourth and final playoff spot. Ottawa has 27 points, five more than Boston, which faces New York on Monday before the league’s international break.

“It’s just great to build on,” said Watts. “And then come out of the break fast and furious.”

Ottawa captain Brianne Jenner had a goal and two assists while Hayley Scamurra scored her fourth of the season. Emerance Maschmeyer made 19 saves.

Natalie Spooner scored twice and Sarah Nurse had a goal for Toronto (10-3-0-6). Kristen Campbell stopped 20 shots.

“I think I’m just finding pucks around the net, taking pucks to the net and using my body around the net,” said Spooner, who leads the league with 15 goals and 20 points.

Ottawa scored three straight goals in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit.

Ottawa tied the game 38 seconds into the third when Scamurra fired a loose puck past Campbell. The home team took its first lead at 8:24 with Katerina Mrazova and Jenner breaking in on a 2-on-1.

Mrazova made a perfect pass to Jenner, who scored to send the 8,448 fans at TD Place into a frenzy. Watts gave Ottawa a two-goal lead at 14:58.

Nurse cut Toronto’s deficit in half at 16:21 after Maschmeyer mishandled a shot. But Watts scored into the empty net for her first PWHL hat trick.

A turnover at Ottawa’s blue line led to Toronto’s first goal at 8:56 of the second. Spooner, the league’s goal and points leader, came in and beat Maschmeyer to the glove side to open the scoring. Less than four minutes later, Spooner recorded her second of the game on a great feed from Kali Flanagan on a short-handed 2-on-1.

“I think I’m just finding pucks around the net, taking pucks to the net and using my body around the net,” said Spooner. “I think I’ve always been a player that likes to be around the net and likes to score goals.”

With less than five seconds left in the period, Jenner found Watts alone in the slot. After pausing briefly, Watts fired a wrist shot over Campbell.

“I think it’s just some details that we’re getting better and better at,” Jenner said. “We’ve done a lot of work on our D-zone, we’re clearing pucks out of the net a little bit better and helping (Maschmeyer) out a bit more.”

Ottawa leads the season series 9-3 in points over Toronto. Ottawa is also the only league team to beat first-place Toronto three times this year.

This contest was the last for both teams before the league pauses for an international break until April 18.

Ottawa forward Tereza Vanišová was fined $250 for a hit from behind in Ottawa’s game against New York earlier this week. Toronto defender Jocelyne Larocque has been suspended for one game for delivering a cross-check to the head.

UP NEXT

Ottawa hosts Minnesota on April 20.

Toronto heads to Boston on April 18.

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