6 skaters who burned the Blades this year
A look at the CWHL skaters who were at their sharpest playing against the Blades.
Despite an exceptional and valiant effort from goaltender Lauren Dahm, the Boston Blades allowed the most goals in the CWHL for the third straight year.
As one might suspect, there were more than a few skaters who put up gaudy numbers when they played Boston. Here are six skaters who absolutely torched the CWHL’s only franchise in the United States this year.
Kelli Stack, Kunlun Red Star
Stack piled up points against every team she played against this season, including her former team in Boston.
The Angela James Bowl winner and CWHL MVP had three multi-point games at the expense of the Blades, including two separate three-point games. All told, Stack had six goals and four assists — three of which were primary — in five games against the team she won a Clarkson Cup with. She was an absolute force of nature this year.
Ann-Sophie Bettez, Les Canadiennes de Montreal
Bettez started the 2017-18 season by scoring two goals separated by 6:25 against Boston in Montreal on October 14. Bettez would go on to score 18 more goals for Les Canadiennes this year, including three more against the Blades in Boston.
Really, there wasn’t much that the Blades could do to slow Bettez down. She had eight points — all primary — against the black and yellow in 2017-18. The veteran forward was the only CWHL skater to score a goal at even strength, a power play goal, and a shorthanded goal against the Blades this year. Oh, and she did all of that in four games.
Hanna Bunton, Vanke Rays
Bunton did not get nearly enough attention or press for what she accomplished in China this year. The Cornell University alumna scored 15 goals in her rookie season, which was good enough to finish tied for seventh in the CWHL in goals. Six of those 15 goals were scored against Boston.
The Blades really struggled to contain the Rays’ big rookie forward this year. She finished the year with a +2 plus/minus, but was a +11 in her five games against the 1-24-0-3 Blades. Bunton also scored goals in five straight games against Boston.
Shiann Darkangelo, Kunlun Red Star
In Darkangelo’s first CWHL season she scored five of her 10 goals against the Blades. To put that into some context: Darkangelo played in the NWHL with the Buffalo Beauts last season and scored one of her seven goals against the Boston Pride.
The highlight of Darkangelo’s season came against the Blades on December 17 at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center. The big American forward scored her three consecutive goals in a span of 19:28. All three of Darkangelo’s goals in that game were set up by Stephanie Anderson and were scored at even strength. That natural hat trick was not only the highlight of Darkangelo’s season, it also may have been the best performance any skater had against the Blades in 2017-18.
Cayley Mercer, Vanke Rays
Mercer didn’t score goals in bunches against the Blades like Stack, Bunton, and Darkangelo did, but she recorded more points against Boston than any other player in 2017-18.
The rookie forward had the puck on a string when she played the Blades. Mercer picked up 10 of her 26 assists this season in five games against Boston — that’s more assists than any player on the Blades had all year long. She also potted three goals of her own against Boston, just for good measure.
Jamie Lee Rattray, Markham Thunder
The 2018 recipient of the Jayna Hefford Trophy looked unstoppable playing against everyone this year, but she had particularly good numbers against the Boston Blades.
Rattray closed out her outstanding 2017-18 campaign with five points — four of which were primary — in two games in Boston on March 10 and 11. She also played pretty well in her first two games against the Blades; registering three primary points, including two goals at the Thornhill Community Centre.
At the end of the regular season Rattray was one of five players who scored five or more goals against the Blades. She was also one of three skaters to score a true shorthanded goal against the black and yellow. It’s safe to say that she was something of a one-woman wrecking crew.