Pride Notebook: Practically Perfect Pride Pounce
First-place Pride continue to roll, dominate last-place Riveters
Alex Carpenter got her first point at home with a shorthanded goal halfway through the game that gave the Pride a lead they would never relinquish. Carpenter has thrived since leaving Boston College; she scored the World Championship game-winning goal for Team USA and is averaging 1.5 points per game professionally for the Pride.
Our watch continues as superstar Hilary Knight has yet to suit up. She was seen walking around the lobby before the game but was still listed as a scratch with a lower body injury. She watched the game from along the boards and looked like she was getting closer to returning. The question now is will we see her before the Four Nations break, or will Team USA keep her rested for the tournament?
Also missing was the Riveters’ Amanda Kessel. Kessel is also listed with a lower body injury. During the game, Riveters head coach Chad Wiseman announced that she would not be returning till after the break, after only suiting up once this season. On Sunday, USA Hockey announced that Kessel would also be out for the Four Nations tournament, replaced by the Pride’s Amanda Pelkey.
Depth Dooms Rivs
The Pride had all five goals scored by different skaters; seven scored points. This depth bodes well for a team that looks to defend its title, especially while missing their star in Knight. Boston coach Bobby Jay described how he expects the skill players to do the dirty work and block shots — but he also looks for the role players to put up points. The fact is most of the Pride roster would be top players on any other professional women’s team.
No Ott, No Problem
Coach Jay decided to give goaltender Brittany Ott a paid vacation for the night and started Lauren Slebodnick. Slebodnick got her first win of the season and her third career win, second at home. She made 16 saves en route to the victory.
She missed most of the last season after injuring her collarbone but has come back in even better shape and looks set to give Ott some rest more often. This bodes well for the Pride, to have two solid goalies to practice with, and this will allow Ott to be better rested come the postseason.
Second Is the Best
After falling behind 1-0 in the first period, the Pride roared back and scored three goals in the second period to bring their season total to 12 goals in the second frame. Going into this game they had scored a total of three goals outside the second period but were able to add a pair of third-period goals. They are averaging three goals per second period, more than the Riveters and Buffalo are averaging in entire games. Connecticut has scored four goals per game in their two games.