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Bourbonnais, Shelton propel New York to 5-2 victory over Minnesota in regular-season finale

ELMONT, N.Y. (AP) — Jaime Bourbonnais scored two goals, Ella Shelton had a goal and two assists and New York handed postseason hopeful Minnesota its fifth straight loss with a 5-2 victory in a Professional Women's Hockey League regular-season finale at UBS Arena on Saturday.

The skid for Minnesota (8-4-3-9, 35 points) has come when all it needed was one point to clinch a postseason berth. Now the team will need some help to advance. Minnesota moves on if Boston fails to post a regulation win over No. 2 seed Montreal later Saturday. Minnesota was on a five-match win streak before the league took a break for international play and has not won since.

New York (5-4-3-12) grabbed an early lead when Bourbonnais scored with an assist from Brooke Hobson 2:44 into the match. It was Bourbonnais' fourth goal of the season and the fourth assist for Hobson.

New York took a two-goal lead at the 10:09 mark on a goal by Shelton. Jessie Eldridge notched her sixth assist on Shelton's seventh netter.

Minnesota halved its deficit after Denisa Křížová took passes from Grace Zumwinkle and Kelly Pannek and scored her third goal of the campaign with 6:09 left in the first period. It was the 11th assist for Pannek and the eighth by Zumwinkle.

New York upped its lead to 3-1 on a power-play goal by Bourbonnais 3:47 into the second period. Shelton and Alex Carpenter picked up assists after Minnesota's Liz Schepers was sent off the ice for two minutes for hooking. It was the 15th assist and 23rd point of the season for Carpenter, second in the league behind the 25 of Toronto's Natalie Spooner.

Jade Downie-Landry scored her eighth goal of the season — unassisted on a power play at 8:56 — to give New York a three-goal advantage.

Zumwinkle scored short-handed off an assist from Pannek with 17:39 left to play to get Minnesota within 4-2. It was her 11th goal this season, second in the league behind the 18 of Spooner.

Abby Roque netted her sixth goal to close out the scoring with nine minutes remaining after a Minnesota foul for too many players on the ice led to another power play. Eldridge and Shelton had assists. Shelton's helper was her 14th of the campaign. She leads all defenders with 21 points and is tied for fourth overall with Toronto's Sarah Nurse.

Lindsey Post made her first start of the season in goal for New York and finished with 30 saves. She subbed in and played the final 14:31 in a 6-2 loss to Toronto last week, stopping all five shots she faced. New York was the only team to start three different goalies.

Nicole Hensley saved 27 shots for Minnesota.

New York scored on three of four power-play opportunities, while holding Minnesota in check on its four chances with a player advantage.

Minnesota had won three of the previous four matchups and beat New York at home 5-1 the last time the two teams met on March 16, setting a season high for goals. New York's five-goal effort in the finale was a season high.

Toronto has clinched first place and will have its choice of playing the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the first round of the playoffs. Montreal has clinched second and will play the remaining seed. Ottawa, in the hunt with Minnesota and Boston for the final two postseason berths, visits Toronto on Sunday to close out the regular season.

New York, which beat Ottawa 4-3 at home last time out, will have the top pick in the 2024 draft. Shelton had a goal and two assists in that victory, too.

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