It was another full slate of games today in the NWHL as all six teams were in action on the second half of a back-to-back.
Minnesota Whitecaps top Toronto Six, 6–5 (SO)
- The Six are absolutely lethal when skating with the player advantage. They had two power-play goals in the first period alone, with Lindsay Eastwood getting the opening tally and Breanne Wilson-Bennett lighting the lamp just six minutes later on another PP (following an even strength goal from Mikyla Grant-Mentis) to make it 3–0.
- Minnesota seems to be developing a propensity for crashing the net. In the first period, it was Jonna Curtis who pushed the puck — and her entire person — into the net after a rebound from a speedy Allie Thunstrom, but the call was no goal. A strong net-front presence can do wonders for a team, and the Whitecaps are taking advantage.
- Two quick goals at the end of the second helped Minnesota make the comeback, then another two in the third helped them tie it up. Despite likely being drained from last night’s epic Cup Final rematch with the Pride, the Whitecaps seemed only to get stronger as the game wore on, and they ultimately took the game in the shootout.
- Player of the Game | Wilson-Bennett had two goals for her first points in the NWHL, one on the power play and one at four-on-four. While she’s still hunting for that elusive first hat trick, her incredibly accurate shot and success on the faceoff dot helped solidify her as our player of the game for the Six vs. Whitecaps tilt.
- Under the Radar | Haley Mack of Minnesota had a goal in the second period and the game-winning goal in the shootout.
Metropolitan Riveters beat Connecticut Whale, 4–3
- The Whale look like a completely different team from last season — and even from last night. They combined for three goals over the course of the game, in stark contrast with last year’s squad that totaled just 39 goals over 24 GP.
- A lot of the rookies have really been stepping up for the Riveters, which doesn’t force the team to rely on the leadership group like it has in years past. Paige Voight and Sammy Kolowrat both had very strong games — each with a couple of solid blocks apiece — for two pretty young players.
- Connecticut didn’t come in with the same speed that we know they’re capable of. With a few notable exceptions (looking at you, Amanda Conway), throughout much of the game, they looked a bit slow.
- Player of the Game | Tera Hofmann stood on her head this game for the Riveters. After Sonjia Shelly dealt with such a flurry of shots from the Six yesterday, it made sense to swap net minders — and Hofmann was up for the challenge, stopping 33 of 36 shots and looking very composed in goal.
- Under the Radar | Janine Weber of the Whale utilized her size to keep her opponents off the puck throughout the game and was very effective in her own zone. While she didn’t score, she’s definitely gotten off to a strong start in Lake Placid.
Boston Pride over Buffalo Beauts, 5–1
- Per Marisa Ingemi, Jenna Rheault left the game late in the first after taking a shot to the wrist and was confirmed not to return for the duration of the matchup. In just the Pride’s second game of the season, the loss of a reliable defender like Rheault is going to sting.
- While the Beauts were able to stay out of the box until early in the third yesterday, they weren’t so lucky today. The Pride managed to convert on two of four penalties, including Jillian Dempsey’s tally on a five-on-three that came when Dominique Kremer joined Klimášová in the box.
- The rookies came to play for Boston today, with both Sammy Davis and Taylor Wenczkowski scoring their first career goals, and Tereza Vanišová notching an assist on Wenczkowski’s tally. Unwilling to be outdone, though, the team’s veterans also showed up — with Dempsey scoring twice and McKenna Brand getting a goal of her own.
- Player of the Game | Dempsey earns herself our Player of the Game honors, as she tallied two goals and hit 100 career regular season points.
- Under the Radar | Kristin Lewicki has been making a splash for Buffalo; she had a secondary assist on Jordan Juron’s goal and three registered SOG. She’s also managed to stay out of the penalty box, which is a plus for the Beauts.
Tomorrow is an off day for all teams in the league, though the action resumes on January 26. On Tuesday, you can watch all the games for free at twitch.tv/nwhl:
Metropolitan vs. Minnesota, 5:30 p.m.
Boston vs. Toronto, 8:30 p.m.