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Behind the Glass: Meeri Räisänen is in top form

The ZhHL provided plenty of headlines before going on a break, so too did Meeri Räisänen

Michelle Jay

Behind the Glass is our weekly column collecting stories, stats, trends, and thoughts from the world of professional women’s hockey.

Note: the ZhHL is on a break and won’t return until mid-January, so they will be omitted from the next few editions of Behind the Glass.


NWHL

  • The Metropolitan Riveters are the only team to hold a lead over the Boston Pride this season, and they’ve now done it twice. On Saturday night, Kate Leary scored the opening goal of the game to give the Riveters a 1–0 lead that was quickly extinguished by Boston’s offense. Leary scored a goal later in the game to earn the first multigoal game of her NWHL career. She’s started her NWHL career with points in six consecutive games.
  • Buffalo Beauts rookie forward Erin Gehen had a two-goal game against the Connecticut Whale on Saturday night. Gehen was named the first star of the game for her effort, which included putting four shots on goal. She now has four goals in her last four games and six points in her last seven games after failing to score in the first three games of her NWHL career.
  • Beauts defender Marie-Jo Pelletier — aka the “Notorious MJP” — has 12 points in her last seven games thanks to a three-assist performance against the Whale on Saturday. With her next point Pelletier will set a franchise record for the most points in a single season by a Beauts defender (14). That record is currently held by Megan Bozek and Blake Bolden, both of whom had 13-point seasons playing for the Queen City.
  • Whale forward Kayla Meneghin is riding a five-game scoring streak with four goals in her last five games. Meneghin picked up a primary assist on the Whale’s lone goal against the Riveters on Sunday. She now has six points in six games on the season.
Meneghin set up Emma Vlasic for this power play goal that spoiled Sam Walther’s shutout.
Mike Murphy
  • Riveters rookie forward Brooke Baker scored her first career NWHL goal while shorthanded against the Whale. Baker’s goal was assisted by her RIT teammate Kendall Cornine and proved to be the gamewinning goal. The Riveters are now the only team in the NWHL that has scored a shorthanded goal and allowed a shorthanded goal in the 2019–20 season.
  • Goaltender Sam Walther stopped 33 shots in the Riveters’ 2–1 win over the Whale, her former team. The victory was the Riveters’ first regulation win of the season and Walther’s second career win. She has made at least 33 saves in each of her last five starts.

SDHL

  • Luleå Hockey/MSSK’s offense erupted in a 6–0 shutout victory over MODO on Friday. Goaltender Sara Grahn stopped all 18 shots she faced to earn a shutout, and Petra Nieminen, Ronja Savolainen, and Jenni Hiirikoski all finished with two-point games. Grahn now has four shutouts on the season.
  • SDE goaltender Sofia Reideborn put on a clinic in her 38-save shutout performance against Linköping on Sunday. Linköping spent over 12:30 on the power play but were unable to beat Reideborn, who now has a .931 Sv% this season.
  • Team Finland’s Meeri Räisänen is on fire. She stopped 33 of the 34 shots sent her way by Djurgården to earn AIK a 2–1 victory in the shootout. AIK was outshot by a ratio of 2:1 regulation and overtime before their goaltender stole the show for a second time in the shootout. Räisänen faced 11 shooters in the shootout, but was beat only once — by Dominique Kremer. On Nov. 30, she authored a 29-save shutout against Linköping.
  • After falling to HV71 by a score of 5–2 on Friday, Brynäs made a statement with a 7–2 victory the very next day. Prior to Saturday’s game, HV71 had not allowed more than three goals in a single game through the first 20 games of the 2019–20 SDHL season. What’s even more remarkable is that Brynäs scored their seven goals on 16 shots.
  • Czech forward Kateřina Mrázová currently leads all SDHL forwards in assists (20). Mrázová scored a goal for Brynäs on Friday and picked up three assists — including a primary assist on Lara Stalder’s fourth shorthanded goal of the season — on Saturday against HV71.

ZhHL

  • SKSO has allowed at least five goals in 10 of their last 11 games. On Friday, they were crushed 10–2 by SKIF, with 19-year-old goaltender Arina Konina in net for all 10 goals against. Through 22 games this season, SKSO has allowed 5.9 GA/GP. Irina Kostina’s .888 save percentage is the best of SKSO’s goaltending triumvirate.
  • SKIF’s Yekaterina Likhacheva recorded a hat trick, earned an assist (secondary), and put 8 SOG in her team’s rout of SKSO. Prior to Friday’s game, Likhacheva had gone four games without registering a point.
  • Teenager Kristi Shashkina earned five assists — all primary — for SKIF on Friday against SKSO. The 16-year-old now has 13 points in 21 games in the 2019–20 season, which is her second in the ZhHL. Last season, she finished with 16 points in 35 games for SKIF.
  • Agidel Ufa’s Anna Prugova earned a 23-save shutout against Biryusa on Nov. 29. Prugova, 26, now has three shutouts on the season and an outstanding .955 Sv%. In the 2018–19 season, she posted a .931 Sv% in 2128:42. She’s been in net for nine of Agidel’s 18 wins.
  • On Saturday, Yelizaveta Rodnova scored the game-tying goal for Agidel with less than five minutes left in regulation to knot their game against Biryusa at 3–3. Then, in overtime, she broke through again to seal the deal 2:14 into the extra period. Rodnova was one of Agidel’s best goal scorers last year, but prior to her big game on Saturday had been relatively quiet. She now has six goals on the season.
  • At the break, Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays star Alex Carpenter leads the league in scoring with 18 goals and 27 assists. She and Agidel’s Olga Sosina share the ZhHL goal-scoring lead, but she has 11 more helpers than Sosina. Carpenter has recorded at least two points in seven consecutive games and has piled up a total of 27 points in that window.

All data courtesy of sdhl.se, stats.swehockey.se, nwhl.zone, sdhl.se, whl.khl.ru, EliteProspects.com, and the author’s own tracking.

Disclosure: the author of this piece is currently employed by the NWHL.