Behind the power of a three-goal outburst in the second period, the Boston Pride punched their ticket to the Isobel Cup Semifinals by crushing the Buffalo Beauts 6-0 in the first PHF playoff game of 2022. Boston advances to play the Toronto Six on Sunday in the second semifinal (4:30 pm ET).
Taylor Wenczkowski, who scored the Cup-winning goal just about a year ago, started the scoring in the second period after a scoreless opening twenty minutes. The Pride’s co-leading scorer this season found herself with space and time after a wall battle and was able to slip a shot past Beauts’ netminder Carly Jackson.
Just over six minutes later the Pride doubled their lead with - gasp - a power-play goal on a rocket shot by Kali Flanagan. It may or may not have been tipped by someone in front, but at 2-0 past the midway point of regulation Boston had taken control of the game.
“I’m honestly not sure,” Flanagan replied with a laugh when asked if her shot hit someone. “It’s a little bumpy out there.”
The Pride power play was 4-for-71 in the regular season and finished 3-for-5 in the game.
Buffalo called its timeout in an attempt to regroup, recalibrate and settle back into the game. But on the very next shift Boston captain Jillian Dempsey finished off a perfectly executed 3-on-2 converting a pass from Evelina Raselli; who got a pass from Mary Parker.
“I think we’ve been trying to get that killer mentality and I think this season we would score a goal and not have that mentality,” said Boston Head Coach Paul Mara. “Today it was okay we got one, let’s get two, let’s get three…let’s get four, let’s get five, let’s get six, and don’t stop. We have a team where when we are firing on all cylinders - we can do that every single night.”
With two goals in 33 seconds, the Pride were in full control of the game now and they finished with a 22-8 shot advantage in the middle period over the Beauts after only mustering five shots in the opening frame.
“That’s the way we know we can play. All the lines were firing, all the D-pairs were making great, crisp passes and Burt played unbelievable back there,” said Dempsey afterward. “That’s the expectation for the Boston Pride, that’s what we aim to bring every game.”
In the third period Boston clamped down the Beauts in the first half and then they chipped two power-play goals past Jackson in a short span. Christina Putigna (11:03) got the first one and set up Tereza Vanisova (12:38) on the next tally to give the Pride a 5-0 lead.
Mary Parker finished the scoring with Boston’s sixth and final goal with under three minutes left in the game, giving the Pride six different goal scorers in the game.
At the other end of the ice goaltender Katie Burt wasn’t tested much after the opening 20 minutes, but when she was she was sharp as a tack and stopped all 32 shots that she faced.
Boston’s two goals in 33 seconds in the middle of the second period flipped the script of this game. The Beauts never had a chance after that one-two punch of goals from Flanagan and Dempsey.
3 Stars of the Game
* Kali Flanagan PPG + assist
** Katie Burt 32-save shutout
*** Boston PP goes 3-for-5
“I think that’s the Boston Pride that we’ve been waiting for since probably September 28. That’s how we’ve been aiming to play all year.” — Boston Head Coach Paul Mara.