Boston Pride forward Kayla Friesen’s second pro season has had its ups and downs. She started the season with a two-point (1g-1a) Boston debut and scored a goal against her former team (the Connecticut Whale), but she also missed some time with an injury.
Since February, Friesen has been back in the swing of things with her teammates and in Boston’s last homestand of the season, she was able to get back on the scoresheet with another two-point (1g-1a) performance as the Pride snapped a long home skid.
“I think we’re still trying to figure out what's best for the team (as far as lines and pairs go), and today it finally paid off. I know McKenna (Brand) and I hadn’t scored in a while so we kinda got the monkey off our back there,” Friesen told us after her team’s 4-3 win over Buffalo where she and Brand helped their squad rally from an 0-3 hole. “We’re starting to click, starting to learn each other’s tendencies and I think that will be huge moving forward.”
It was the Monday morning emails https://t.co/7zZw1xKxwt— Kayla Friesen (@kaylafriesen29) November 7, 2021
“That time off we had (since the Whale series) was great for us to bond, regroup; and we weren’t really playing our best hockey. I think that break essentially was perfect for us as we get ready for this final stretch of games.”
If Friesen and the Pride play as they did against Buffalo, especially from the second period of Saturday’s game until the end of Sunday’s contest, they will likely repeat as Isobel Cup champions.
Following her return to the scoresheet, we caught up with Friesen for five questions in five minutes, and here’s how it went.
The Ice Garden: How’s a woman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, enjoying playing hockey and living in Boston?
Kayla Friesen: Oh yah! Haha, it’s definitely different and I’ve never really lived in a big city, so I didn’t know how it would go but honestly, I love it here. I’ve loved every second of it. The people here are great and so is my team. The city is fun and I feel comfortable here, which I didn’t really expect. But it does make a difference and I’m really thankful I got to come here.
TIG: Was it at all for you playing against the Connecticut Whale this season - the team that drafted you/you played only four games for?
KF: It was more exciting than weird. The relationship I have with the coaches and players is awesome and even though I’m not on that team, we’re all respectful and chill. It was honestly fun to see them all again and it was exciting to play a game - it had been a while (for me).
TIG: You’re here opening night, you see the championship banner raised, you see the team getting their rings…does that just add fuel to the fire inside of you to get your own?
KF: It was awesome seeing all of that, and what they did last year was great. We have that same goal this season and I think to be a part of something like that would be amazing. They deserved it last season, they were the best team hands down, and hopefully, I can help us do it again.
Putigna and Friesen with a pretty passing play and the Pride cut the lead to one! pic.twitter.com/gOabDosGRq— PHF (@PHF) February 27, 2022
TIG: Do you think too much depth is a thing? The Pride roster is stacked with talent, arguably the best in the PHF. But not everyone will get the minutes or points they’re accustomed to.
KF: I don’t think so. I think on every team everyone has a certain role and it’s always different. We have the type of players, I think, that can play in any role. I think that’s unique about our team and will go a long way for us. Everyone here supports each other and no one is selfish here, points don’t matter. At the end of the day, it’s all about the wins and working towards that end goal.
TIG: Fair enough! So why will Boston win the 2022 Isobel Cup?
KF: I think our depth. That goes a long way when you get to the tail end of a season, depth can push you past other teams. We have a lot of skill (on this roster) and we’re starting to click and bond, and I think it’s going to really pay off. We’re going to be a tough team to beat at the end of this.