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Toronto’s Spooner is out for the rest of the PWHL playoffs with a knee injury

Minnesota goaltender Maddie Rooney (35) makes a save against Toronto's Natalie Spooner (24) during first-period PWHL hockey playoff action in Toronto, Friday, May 10, 2024. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Minnesota goaltender Maddie Rooney (35) makes a save against Toronto’s Natalie Spooner (24) during first-period PWHL hockey playoff action in Toronto, Friday, May 10, 2024. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

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TORONTO (AP) — Toronto’s Natalie Spooner will miss the rest of the Professional Women’s Hockey League playoffs because of a knee injury.

The team put the league’s regular-season leading scorer on long-term injured reserve Wednesday after Spooner was injured during a collision with Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle during Game 3 of the teams’ semifinal series on Monday. After delivering a clean hit, Zumwinkle appeared to fall awkwardly on the right knee of Spooner, who crawled off the ice and onto the bench before limping down the tunnel in pain.

Spooner, 33, led the PWHL in its inaugural season with 20 goals and 27 points in 24 games. Her 20 goals were nine more than the next-closest player, one of the reasons she is a leading candidate to win league MVP honors after leading Toronto to the best record and top playoff seed.

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

Toronto leads Minnesota 2-1 in the best-of-five series and can move on to the PWHL final with a road win Wednesday night. Boston already advanced to play for the Walter Cup by beating Montreal in the other semifinal.

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

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AP women’s hockey: /hub/womens-hockey