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2021 NWHL season in Lake Placid: day three

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Tuesday belonged to the goalies

Michelle Jay

After back-to-back tripleheaders and a day off, it was time for the first doubleheader of the 20201 NWHL season in Lake Placid.

Minnesota Whitecaps shut out Metropolitan Riveters, 10

Box Score

  • The big story on the ice in Lake Placid has been the play of goaltenders. Tuesday’s game between the Riveters and Whitecaps featured two of the best performances we’ve seen so far. This game was a 0–0 tie until the last 10 seconds of the game when Haley Mack snapped Sonjia Shelly’s 119:50-long shutout streak and handed the Rivs their first loss of the bubble.
  • The Whitecaps’ five-on-three power-play goal was the first PPG allowed by the Riveters in Lake Placid. The Riveters have been great on the penalty kill, but their own power play has let them down, especially against Minnesota. The Rivs had the advantage on four occasions but were unable to beat Leveille to get on the board. They could maybe use the offensive instincts of rookie defender Bridgette Prentiss who has been a healthy scratch thus far. The Rivs are now one for 10 on the power play — that’s 9.1 percent.
  • The Riveters are also likely shaking their heads at all of their missed chances. They hit the iron several times in the game, including at least once on the power play, but the missed opportunity that stands out the most is Kelly Babstock hitting the post with a little under three minutes left in the first period. The puck seemed to refuse to go in all night for the Rivs.
  • Mack scored the game-winning goal and was one of three skaters on Minnesota with five shots on goal — the other two were Jonna Curtis and Sydney Baldwin. Mack scored a goal and the shootout winner in Sunday’s unforgettable comeback over the Toronto Six. She’s been everything Minnesota could hope for and more in the early going.
  • Player of the Game | It feels wrong to not give this to both goaltenders, but the win went to Leveille. This was the second shutout we’ve seen in Lake Placid and, even more noteworthy, the NWHL record sixth shutout of Leveille’s career. She stopped all 38 shots she faced from the Riveters. The crossbar and posts helped out too.
  • Under the Radar | Allie Thunstrom scored 24 goals in 24 games last year in addition to picking up 12 apples. After three games in Lake Placid, she is still searching for her first point. It’s important to note that she has been contributing in other ways, including blocking shots, forechecking, and making things happen on the rush. Whitecaps remain undefeated despite the fact that she hasn’t scored. Not sure anyone could have predicted that one.

The Toronto Six defeat the Boston Pride 21

Box Score

  • This was the Six’s first franchise win, bringing their record in Lake Placid to 1–0–1. The Pride’s loss sunk them to fifth place in the standings with a record of 1–2–0. Boston has already lost more games in their first three appearances in Lake Placid than they did in the 24-game 2019–20 regular season. This is not the start they wanted to have or that anyone expected them to have.
  • The Pride were outshot 38–25 by the Toronto Six. That doesn’t happen often to this team. Last season, Boston averaged 44.43 SF60 and 26.98 SA60 and were outshot just twice in 24 games. After the game, Boston head coach Paul Mara said, “We’ve got to play with more heart, more jam, and we’ll be fine.”
  • Pride captain Jillian Dempsey appeared to suffer an upper-body injury with around four minutes left in regulation. Dempsey was in clear discomfort but didn’t leave the bench. After the game, Pride bench boss Paul Mara told the media that she’s being evaluated by the team’s doctors this morning.
  • Lovisa Selander, the 2019–20 NWHL Goaltender of the Year, stopped a penalty shot in the second period and made 35 other saves in the losing effort. This loss is obviously not on her. She and Toronto’s Elaine Chuli were both exceptional in this game and traded big saves throughout the night. Chuli finished the game with 24 saves and her first career NWHL win.
  • Player of the Game | Mikyla Grant-Mentis — described by head coach Digit Murphy as a “force of nature” — looks like one of the best players on the ice in Lake Placid because that is exactly what she is. She scored the game-winner, put three other shots on net, and attempted four shots that were blocked by Boston’s defense. Grant-Mentis’s name now belongs on the short list of players who have the ability to buzzsaw their way through Boston’s blue line.
  • Under the Radar | Six captain Shiann Darkangelo went 12–5 on her draws against the Pride, a team that won 58.36% of its faceoffs in 2019–20. Thus far in Lake Placid, Darkangelo has won 66.1% of her draws. She’s been a force on the dot and in front of the net for Toronto.

Standings

Standings

GP W L SO/OTL PTS ROW
GP W L SO/OTL PTS ROW
3 3 0 0 6 2
3 2 1 0 4 2
3 1 1 1 3 1
2 1 0 1 2 0
3 1 2 0 2 1
2 0 1 1 1 0

Wednesday’s Schedule

There are two games on the docket tonight and both can be watched streaming free on twitch.tv/nwhl.

  • Connecticut Whale vs. Boston Pride | 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Buffalo Beauts vs. Metropolitan Riveters | 8:30 p.m. ET

Data courtesy of NWHL.zone, HerHockeyCounts.com.