While their undefeated streak came to end at 19 games Saturday night in Minnesota, the Boston Pride became the 2019-20 NWHL regular season champions Sunday afternoon with their 4-2 win.
The Pride have three regular season games remaining and currently are 20-1-0. With first place comes home ice advantage throughout the Isobel Cup playoffs. Pride general manager Karilyn Pilch confirmed on a podcast, the first playoff game will be March 8.
The Minnesota Whitecaps have also locked in second place and home ice advantage in the first round, despite the Metropolitan Riveters having the possibility of tying them in points. No matter what happens, the Whitecaps will have one more regulation or overtime win (ROW) than the Riveters.
The NWHL confirmed this season’s playoff structure will be the same as last year’s. The fourth and fifth place teams will play at the fourth place team’s home rink. The winner will advance to play the Pride for a spot in the Isobel Cup Final. In the other semifinal, the third place team will visit the Whitecaps to battle for the right to appear in the 2020 Isobel Cup Final. The Final will be held at the higher seed’s home rink. Each round of the playoffs will be a one-game showdown.
NWHL Standings as of 1/27
If the Beauts pick up two points in any way, shape, or form, they will lock up fourth place, making the Whale the league’s fifth place team for the second consecutive season.
However, it’s still very much up in the air which teams finish in third and fourth. The Riveters currently sit in third with five points on the Beauts. But, the teams play each other four more times, all at ProSkate. The first series between the two on Feb. 15 and 16 will be big for how the rest of the season plays out.
The NWHL is currently on a two weekend break from regular season play with the All-Star Weekend on Feb. 8 and 9 in Boston. Regular season games resume on Feb. 15.