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NWHL Stock Report: Talkin’ Turkey

A Thanksgiving evaluation

Michelle Jay

It’s Thanksgiving time in America. There are three games to take in this weekend while you recover from your inevitable food coma from gorging yourself on all the food (fun fact: I have been known to house an entire pumpkin pie in a single sitting. It is as satisfying as it is painful and I have zero regrets about it).

That said, we are still digesting a pair of furious comeback efforts from the Beauts and yet another dominant performance from the Pride. So let’s take a look at who’s hot and who’s not around the NWHL.

Trending up: Taylor Accursi, BUF | Five goals in two games vs MIN
Taylor Accursi sure knows how to pick her spots. The Buffalo Beauts twice fell into a deep hole against the Minnesota Whitecaps this past weekend, and twice fought their way back into a position to tie and/or win the game.

Saturday began with the Whitecaps leaping out to a 4-0 lead in the first period, orchestrating four rushes with four clear breaks to the net. Megan Delay would bring the Beauts to within striking distance before Taylor Accursi would score two goals from the exact same spot- the right circle.

Though the comeback would fall just short, Accursi would get back at it the following day, netting a hat trick to lead the Beauts over the Caps 4-3.

Her second and third goals were the tying and winning tallies of the game. The victory-sealing score? From the right circle.

Accursi’s dominant shooting performance earned her the VEDA Player of the Week honors from the league.

For her ability to finish games strong, scoop Taylor some pumpkin pie. A separate pumpkin pie from the one I’m taking care of myself, of course. I wait all year for this, I’m not sharing. Get her some vanilla ice cream and whipped cream while we’re at it.

Trending down: Taylor Marchin, CTW | -5 in 8-0 loss to BOS
Plus-minus isn’t always a perfect stat. I know this. It’s also difficult to measure an individual defensive performance when the team allowed eight goals without a single answer of their own.

But a select few defenders were burned multiple times and it shot the Whale’s hopes down. Shannon Doyle was on the ice for three of the first four goals against. Hannah Beattie was a -4. And it should be noted that Sonjia Shelly, despite making 40 stops, simply was not good enough.

Taylor Marchin unfortunately faced the worst of it, on the ice for six of eight goals against including five even-strength goals and a shorthanded goal.

It’s not that Connecticut’s defense is unfixable. But it’s clear at this stage of the season as Boston runs roughshod over the entire league that this is just not an even matchup in any sense.

Get this Whale defense some corn, maybe then they’ll learn how to not break down.

Trending up: Victoria Hanson, BOS | 19 saves in win vs CTW
Victoria Hanson got her first professional start Saturday against the Whale, and she settled right in. With her offense firing on all cylinders in front of her and her defense limiting Connecticut’s chances, the former Boston University Terrier cruised to her first NWHL victory.

More importantly, we got to see her pads in action because my GOODNESS those are some seriously gorgeous pillows. I absolutely love the jagged thunderbolt-style design. Considering the Pride play the Whale five more times, we could be seeing these in action a lot more.

Jolteon, the inspiration for Hanson’s pads

It’s been a good weekend for Bostonian netminders, as Lovisa Selander was named to Team Sweden for the 4 Nations tournament in December. Give those two an extra helping of stuffing, they’ve earned it.

Trending down: Potatoes | The most overrated thing ever
Y’all, we need to have a serious talk. Potatoes stink. They are worthless in virtually every form consumed on Thanksgiving. Mashed potatoes are flavorless hunks of melted Styrofoam that everyone has convinced themselves they like because they’re too scared to admit that the food’s only purpose is to serve as a vehicle for butter and gravy. They basically only exist because mainlining gravy is considered socially unacceptable.

Don’t even get me started on sweet potatoes. Stuff’s nasty.

Stop arguing with me in your head. I’m right.

Trending up: Nicole Schammel, MIN | 2 goals, assist in two games vs BUF
Nicole Schammel is one of the best drivers of offense in the league. The Minnesota Whitecaps lost a big chunk of their shot generation this offseason when Kendall Coyne Schofield elected not to return to the team, but Schammel has carried the torch this season in her stead.

Schammel was a proven scorer at the University of Minnesota, posting 47 points in 39 games her senior season. In her first pro season, she ranks fourth in the league in shots on goal and tied for fifth in scoring. She’s been one of the most exciting rookies to watch this season in a year filled with notable newcomers.

Schammel finished her weekend in Buffalo with a pair of goals, an assist and 13 shots. She has three multi-point performances on the year and six games with five shots or more.

That’s simply an insane level of production. We could be hearing Schammel’s name a lot around April when it comes time for awards season.

She’s living up to every expectation and the Whitecaps wouldn’t be the same without her. She’s earned herself some cranberry sauce.