Toronto star Natalie Spooner out for remainder of playoffs with knee injury

Toronto’s PWHL team has suffered a big blow in its bid to win the inaugural Walter Cup.

The team announced Wednesday that star forward Natalie Spooner will miss the rest of the playoffs after suffering a knee injury during Game 3 of Toronto’s PWHL semifinal against Minnesota. She has been placed on long-term injured reserve.

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

Spooner was injured on a hit in the third period of a 2-0 loss and needed to be helped down the tunnel.

The 33-year-old Toronto native led the league in scoring this season.

In a corresponding move, Toronto activated Jess Jones from the team’s Reserve Player list. The 33-year-old from Picton, Ont. has appeared in five games this season.

Toronto leads the best-of-five semifinal 2-1, with Game 4 on Wednesday in Minnesota.

The winner will face Boston in the final.

With files from Lucas Casaletto of CityNews