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Toronto forward Natalie Spooner out of PWHL playoffs with knee injury

Toronto forward Natalie Spooner (24) celebrates her goal against Minnesota during first period PWHL playoff hockey action in Toronto on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. Toronto star forward Spooner is out for the Professional Women's Hockey League playoffs with a knee injury. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Toronto star forward Natalie Spooner is out for the Professional Women's Hockey League playoffs with a knee injury.

The PWHL team placed Spooner on long-term injured reserve Wednesday after she was checked into the boards by Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle in Game 3 of their best-of-five semifinal Monday.

Spooner collapsed to the ice following the hit and managed to crawl back to the Toronto bench.

Spooner led the league with 27 points in 24 regular-season games. Her league-leading 20 goals were nine more than the next closest skater. 

“It’s a big loss for us, obviously Natalie has been an important part of our success all year,” PWHL Toronto general manager Gina Kingsbury said in a statement. “We have no doubt Natalie will continue to have an impact on our team, just in a different way.”

The 33-year-old from Toronto added one goal and one assist in three playoff games.

In a corresponding move, Toronto activated forward Jess Jones, who played five games during the regular season.

Toronto leads Minnesota 2-1 in the series and can book its ticket to the Walter Cup final with a road win Wednesday night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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