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PHF Week 1 Power Rankings

What a great start to the season. We got an overtime, a shootout, and a couple of shutouts. There were snipes, tips, garbage goals, and absolute beauties. The physicality was just grueling, each team battling for every inch of the ice. Everything that makes hockey great was on display.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep this up after every weekend of play, but I was so excited after this weekend’s games that I had to get this down.

1. Boston Pride (Record 2-0-0) (Previous rank: 1)

Corinne Schroeder. Two shutouts. If you watched these games, you probably were paying attention to the fact that the puck was rarely in the Pride’s end, but they let up thirty-six shots against Connecticut and twenty-seven against the Riveters. To have elite goaltending on top of elite forwards and defenders feels almost unfair. Should we start making bets on how long it will take the rest of the league to score on Boston?

2. Toronto Six (Record 2-0-0) (Previous Rank: 4)

Toronto remains undefeated at home. Their high flying offense returns despite the loss of Mikyla Grant-Mentis. I think they’re pretty happy with the addition of Brittany Howard. Also, I love seeing players like Saroya Tinker score. She’s so solid all over the ice in ways that don’t necessarily result in a goal or an assist, so it makes it all the more exciting when she’s rewarded on the score sheet.

3. Connecticut Whale (Record 0-1-0) (Previous rank: 2)

No one had a worse weekend than Connecticut. And maybe, after giving up forty-one shots, four goals, and not scoring at all, I should have them ranked a lot lower than this. But they did not simply lay down for the Boston Pride. They pushed back physically and offensively, especially in the second period, and if not for Schroeder, that game could have gone very differently. I predict, that when play resumes in two weeks, Connecticut won’t just score, but will get at least one convincing win in their series against the Beauts.

4. Buffalo Beauts (Record 1-0-1) (Previous rank: 7)

Between Mikyla Grant-Mentis debuting as a Beaut, and the the Force debuting as a team, this was probably the most exciting matchup going into the weekend, and it did not disappoint. The Beauts are really starting gel, and this squad already feels different from last year. The player I was least prepared for was Emma Nuutinen who has exceptional poise with the puck (and her bar down shootout goal was pretty slick). Buffalo may have wanted to win that first game, but it’s promising that they fought back to force overtime and a shootout. I think Beauts fans have a lot to be excited about.

5. Montreal Force (Record 1-1-0) (Previous rank: 6)

Montreal wins their first game ever as a franchise. And while I’m sure they would have preferred it not go to a shootout, it was a very exciting way to introduce themselves to the league. We all expected captain Ann-Sophie Bettez to make an impact, and she has, but before this season is over, I think we’re going to become familiar quite a few more players on this squad.

6. Minnesota Whitecaps (Record 0-1-1) (Previous rank: 5)

So it appears my first assessment of this team was backward. Despite having incredible talent at the defender position, no one wants to play actual defense. The legendary Leveille is apparently still enough to force overtime, but the Whitecaps are not going ot win a lot of games, let alone contend, if they need her to bail them out every time. Until the Whitecaps learn to balance offense with team defense, they are going to struggle.

7. Metropolitan Riveters (Record 0-1) (Previous rank: 3)

The only reason this game wasn’t a complete blowout was the play of Rachel McQuigge. She robbed the Pride left and right with her forty-five saves. The Rivs had a couple flashes of potential with two or three dangerous plays near the Pride net but, for most of the game, they could barely make it through the neutral zone. It’s a tough loss to sit on for two weeks as they wait to host the Toronto Six.