Pride notebook: Shooting fish in a barrel
The perfect-no-more Boston Pride start the playoffs in dominant fashion despite major turmoil in the women's hockey world.
Standing in solidarity
With recent events in mind, the league decided to switch up the traditional introductions of the lineups. Instead they called out all 12 national team players, 8 for Boston and 4 for Connecticut, while having the rest stand behind them in support.
Speaking with national team captain Meghan Duggan and Player’s Association chief Anya Battagliano after the game they both stated that the national team players have the full support of all NWHL players in their fight with USA Hockey.
Eagles flying high (again)
Of the first four goals of the game, three for Boston and one for the Whale, only two points were from players not alumni of Boston College. Alex Carpenter netted two goals and then tallied three assists, including one on college teammate Lexi Bender’s game-winner in the second. Scoring for the Whale was opened by penalty queen Dana Trivigno, assisted by Haley Skarupa and Kelli Stack. Stack would add a goal early in the third after the game was well out of hand while Skarupa picked up another assist.
Shining in the spotlight
A total of 26 points were scored in the game last night. 22 of them were scored by national team players, and 17 of those points where scored by members of the Pride. With the entire hockey community and much of the sports world looking in on this game due to their dispute with USA Hockey they needed a big game to show the uninitiated how talented they are and they did so in a big way.
Hillary Knight has had a rough sophomore year, missing a majority of NWHL games this season. Add in the weight of being the face of this boycott and some wondered how she would perform. Knight answered with two goals, two assists and a +6 rating on the night.
Many questioned Boston’s ability to start strong and play a full 60 minutes rather then turn it on late. Duggan described this as the best 60 minutes of play by Boston all season and it was clearly evident.
Lock Stock and barrel
Connecticut went with former Boston Blade Nicole Stock, who has been solid for them all season, over Union product Shenae Lundberg. While this was not a shocking decision, both have been decent all season and have mostly split duties. The odd decision was that Connecticut coach Heather Lindstad stuck with Stock through the game as she clearly was not having her best night. Putting Lundberg in could have at least gotten a fresh pair of eyes on the puck and not leave Stock to suffer in net.
Goodbye old friend
Former Pride player Zoe Hickel returned to Warrior Arena, this time as a member of the Connecticut Whale. During the game she and former teammate Brianna Decker had a scary collision that saw Decker gingerly leave the ice with some assistance. She will likely be heading off to Olympic duty next year and is among a number of players that have rumors about their return post-Olympics.