Living up to the hype
The Pride PR staff billed this game as a fishing trip for the ages. And that’s exactly what it was. There was plenty of waiting for the first goal, which was scored 19 minutes in to the game. Frustration — the team was down 2-1 after the second. And, finally, elation as it turned into a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel type of trip when the Pride lit up Whale goalie Shenae Lundberg for four goals in the third.
Trying to channel their fellow Boston athletes, the Pride donned Patriots jerseys and shirseys during warmups to show their support for the Patriots’ attempts in the Big Game and their hope to channel some of their winning ways.
The Pride locked up the top seed this week when the league decided to trim the season down to accommodate the World Championships. Whether or not that means they will be the hosts of the playoffs this year is still to be determined. However, don’t look for Boston to take their feet off the gas, as they look to continue dominating the league heading into the playoffs next month.
Soar, Eagles, soar
This matchup featured quite a lot of Boston College grads, and they did what they always do and lit the lamp regularly. They totaled eight points while only putting up two penalty minutes, when Blake Bolden interfered with former teammate Kelli Stack. Troublemaker-turned-referee Dana Trivigno kept her nose clean.
Home cooking is the sweetest
Meghan Duggan is clearly enjoying her return home to the Boston area. She leads the league in goals and is second only to teammate and fellow local Alex Carpenter in points. She scored a point in every game except one since early October, and a goal in all but one since early November. She has nine points in her last three games.
Still fearing The Otter
Brittany Ott continues to be the cream of the very talented crop in the NWHL goalie ranks. She leads the league in shutouts (has as many as everyone else combined); save percentage among goalies who have faced at least two shots; and wins, goals against, and goals against average for goalies who have played at least five games.
Not so lucky Lundberg
Shenae Lundberg is a beast of a goalie who never seems to have the team in front of her firing on all cylinders — going back to her Union College days. Surprisingly, the Whale have not given her much of an opportunity, as she has appeared in only five other games. Lundberg was a brick wall against a Pride team that is essentially Team USA, making 33 saves and holding a lead into the third, so hopefully the Whale staff give her some more opportunities, though preferably not against Boston.
60 minutes is a long time
While no team has beaten the Pride, the Beauts did take them to a shootout once this season, and everyone is feeling the strain of trying to compete with such a deep team for the full three periods. The Pride, while seemingly slow to start all season — they are tied for last with Buffalo in first-period goals scored — come alive in the second and third, scoring 41 goals in those frames, more than Buffalo’s total and almost as many as both Connecticut and New York have totaled together. Head coach Bobby Jay had this to say after the game:
“It’s the amount of pressure we put on teams over 60 minutes that wears them down a little bit. We have big time players, and when the game is on the line they seem to naturally step it up.”