We have our regular season champion, our Isobel Cup champion, and we have now entered the uncertain wilderness that is the offseason. Before we lose ourselves too much in all that unfolds in the coming weeks and months, we should remember to look back and appreciate the 2021-22 season. In my opinion, it was an exceptionally entertaining season of hockey with a bevy of great storylines to follow.
For those who don’t know, in years past I had a column called Behind the Glass for The Ice Garden where I touched on trends in stats and tidbits of news in the then NWHL and other pro leagues. This story is a spiritual successor to that and will (hopefully) tell (some) of the story of the 2021-22 PHF season with some fun stats that you can share in the stands at your next hockey game.
Essentially, this story is 15 stats/facts that I would normally tweet on my timeline that would almost certainly result in Michelle Jay asking me why I didn’t put them into a story for TIG.
Note: all data is for all situations (including stats you might see commonly used in NHL data) unless otherwise noted.
- The Boston Pride’s power play was a mess in the regular season. They finished the year with as many shorthanded goals (4) as power-play goals (4). At the season’s end, the Pride delivered on just 5.6% of their power plays. How about the playoffs? Well, Boston had 6 PPG on 9 opportunities — that’s 66.7%. No, I can’t explain it. Don’t even bother asking.
- Kali Flanagan in the regular season: 4 points (all assists) in 14 GP. Kali Flanagan in the playoffs: 2 goals, 3 assists in 3 GP to lead Pride skaters in postseason points. Needless to say, playoff points carry a lot more weight.
Kali Flanagan was FLYING when she scored this goal. Coast-to-coast and into the back of the net. It's a 2-0 lead for the Pride. pic.twitter.com/wRvMkUyWsa— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) March 27, 2022
- Audra Morrison of the Minnesota Whitecaps had 1 goal and 0 assists in her first 9 GP of the season. She turned things around and finished with 10 goals and 5 assists in 20 GP and was one of just eight skaters who finished the year with 10 or more goals.
- Beauts standout rookie Cassidy Vinkle had 4 points in her first 4 GP. She had just 3 points in her next 15 GP, which included two five-game scoring droughts. Even with that streaky scoring, Vinkle was one of Buffalo’s most effective players at even-strength. She finished the year leading the Beauts in SOG (61) but is still waiting for her first PHF power-play point.
- The Boston Pride had a strikingly low 6.92 team shooting percentage. The league average was 9.01 Sh%. The Beauts’ 8.3 Tm Sh% was second-lowest and, on average, they put 8.2 fewer shots on goal per game.
- Beauts wingers Autumn MacDougall and Taylor Accursi both piled up 11 points at even-strength this year. The Beauts had a total of 35 even-strength goals, which means that MacDougall and Accursi had a hand in about one-third of the team’s offense at EV. It’s also important to note that Accursi managed this despite missing 6 games.
- Beauts’ starting goaltender Carly Jackson played roughly 30 more minutes this season than Abbie Ives of the Connecticut Whale. Jackson allowed one less goal at even-strength (30) than Ives (31). However, Jackson allowed 11 more goals than Ives when her team was shorthanded — in fact, 30.6% of Jackson’s GA were PP goals scored by the opposition. Buffalo finished with a league-worst 72.6 PK% and was third in the league in PIM (176). One has to wonder what Jackson’s numbers would look like if her supporting cast did more for her on the PK. She finished the season with a .903 Sv%.
Carly Jackson. No helmet. No glove. No problem. She comes up with the puck and stops Alyssa Wohlfeiler again.— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) December 19, 2021
- Kristen Barbara was the only Riveters defender to score a goal this season. The rest of the blue line had 81 SOG and combined for 133 KSt (Steady — shots on goal and shots blocked by opposing skaters). Barbara finished second among Rivs’ D in SOG with 27. Colleen Murphy led the Rivs’ blue line with 28 in 20 GP.
- MVP frontrunner Kennedy Marchment had points in 18 of her 20 GP this season. After being kept out of the box score in her PHF debut on Nov. 6 against the Riveters, Marchment had points in 10 straight games before being blanked again on Jan. 16 against the Rivs.
- In my opinion, the Minnesota Whitecaps’ season can be summed up by two numbers. Amanda Leveille’s .937 Sv% (in 630 minutes) and the .894 combined Sv% of the Whitecaps’ other three goalies (in 567 minutes). No team allowed more shots on goal than the Whitecaps this year. They finished with a -6.8 average SOG differential.
- In her 679:35 of action (11 starts and 12 appearances), Katie Burt of the Boston Pride allowed just 12 GA at even-strength. Strangely enough, she also allowed just as many shorties (2) as she did PPGA (2). Burt put up some truly historic stats this year, including her jaw-dropping .953 Sv%. That number is significantly more impressive when you consider her average workload (33.29 SA60) was in the same ballpark as Carly Jackson's (33.41 SA60) — though this does not take into consideration shot quality.
- Six superstar Mikyla Grant-Mentis led the league in Steady (128 in 19 GP or 6.73 KSt/GP) and finished first in SOG (98). Interestingly enough, she also led the league in assists on the advantage (8) which demonstrates how MGM can beat you in different ways. She led the league in game-winning goals (6) and led her team in pretty much everything.
- I’ve said it before and I am sure I will say it again. Jonna Curtis never gets the credit she deserves. This year, she finished third in the league in scoring (24 points in 20 GP) and was second only to Marchment in primary assists. Did you know Curtis is third all-time in NWHL/PHF scoring and has a higher career Pts/GP than both Jillian Dempsey and Madison Packer? No player has scored more — 80 points in 61 GP — since she’s joined the league (2018-19 season), though it’s worth noting that McKenna Brand is on her heels with 75 points in 67 GP.
- The Connecticut Whale were out-shot in just one game in the regular season — Nov. 20 against the Metropolitan Riveters. The Whale actually finished middle-of-the-pack in SF/GP with 32.65 but were tops in SA60 (22.45). Those numbers suggest that the Whale were the most dominant team in puck possession at even-strength this season, which scans with their +21 EV Goal Differential — more than double Toronto’s EV Goal Differential (+10). They also allowed 100 fewer shots on goal than the Six in all situations.
- The Top-5 skaters in GS/GP (average Game Score):
- Kennedy Marchment (CTW) 1.94
- Mikyla Grant-Mentis (TOR) 1.92
- Shiann Darkangelo (TOR) 1.6
- Allie Thunstrom (MIN) 1.48
- Taylor Girard (CTW) 1.4
Data tracked by the author for Their Hockey Counts and mined from the PHF. All-time stats cross-referenced with EliteProspects.com.