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Blades Notebook: Boston Showing Major Improvement

Tough weekend against the defending champs.

Casey Pickett leads Blades in return to the CWHL
Michelle Jay

Hungry, Hungry Huskies

Northeastern alumni scored four goals and added a pair of assists this weekend.

Blades active career points leader Casey Pickett scored a goal and had an assist in the Sunday morning matchup. Pickett came out strong, especially in the third period, and helped drive the Blades to get back into the game. Pickett’s goal came off of a strong power play effort early in the third.

Calgary Inferno forward Brittany Esposito went off for three goals and an assist in her return to her college stomping grounds of Boston. In the first game Esposito notched two goals, including the game winner, and an assist to earn herself the First Star of the game. In the second game she added another goal, which she scored after stealing the puck from former linemate Pickett in the neutral zone.

Home Cooking is the Answer

The Blades top draft pick Kayla Tutino was unable to light the lamp or get a helper in the opening weekend against Toronto. Finally back in Boston, where she attended Boston University, and with her family in attendance she lit the lamp a mere 40 seconds into the third frame.

The Great Wall of Dahm

No one would hold rookie Lauren Dahm to the exceptionally unfair expectations of filling the giant skates left behind when Genvieve Lacasse left the Blades in the offseason. Dahm, however, is doing an excellent job of filling her own skates and is growing into the starting role admirably. She has registered 166 saves in four games and has made some spectacular saves despite the defense in front of her changing; Canadian National Team Player Tara Watchorn was missing this weekend for Four Nations duty.

Already Dahm helped the Blades to OT in Toronto in the opening weekend of play. Dahm is feeling confident and is looking forward to continuing getting into game shape- no practice can prepare you for facing 45+ shots a game from world class athletes. Blades GM Krista Patronick is very pleased with Dahm’s progress so far and likened her signing to finding a diamond in the rough.

Must Maintain Discipline

The Blades racked up 10 penalties on the weekend, something they can not continue going forward with such a young team and a rookie goalie. The special teams held up on Saturday night but the potent Inferno PP broke through for a pair of goals that made it difficult for Boston to stay in the game.

Four Nations Absenteeism

This weekend series was marked by the star power that was missing. Most notable was the absence of Tara Watchorn, which left the Blades perilously thin on defense. Also missing was Calgary’s newest goalie Geneviéve Lacasse, meaning she will not be seen in Boston this season.

Calgary was traveling light, missing both of their new goalies along with a defender and six forwards.

Looking Forward

The Blades have clearly improved from last year and are no longer considered an easy victory. They have a solid option in net, some defensive leaders, especially Watchorn when she returns, and a dangerous group of forwards that are starting to find a groove. The scoring explosion in the third period, the most scored by the Blades in the two-league era, shows the team’s potential. As this team grows as a team together they will be a much stronger threat.