Boston continues to be plagued by an inability to play a full 60 minutes, as a second-period lapse ultimately cost them the game today, losing to New York 4-1.
The first period kicked off with the teams trading a couple of chances before Boston took control and got some sustained zone time. However, they didn’t make much use of it and didn’t land many shots on net. Meanwhile, once New York finally sprung free, they wasted little time getting a grade-A chance, but goaltender Emma Söderberg stood tall.
Then, at 11:57 of the first period, Boston got the first power play of the game, as Olivia Zafuto was called for interference. But, they couldn’t get much going on it, and New York killed it off.
It wasn’t until 17:12 of the first period that someone was able to break the ice. Jade Downie-Landry ripped one home top shelf on Söderberg to give New York the lead.
That about did it for the second period, and Boston headed back to the locker room down 1-0 despite outshooting New York 11-9.
In what has become a concerning trend, the second period did not start well for Boston. Just 26 seconds in, Jessie Eldridge buried one for New York to give them a two-goal lead.
After the game, Boston head coach Courtney Kessel was asked about the slow starts to periods.
“We’ve had a slow start to a lot of our periods,” said Kessel. “We need to start building momentum right from the start of the puck drop and I think it’s something that’s going to make a big difference for us.”
Not even two minutes after Elridge scored, Kayla Vespa fed Downie-Landry for her second of the afternoon to extend New York’s lead to three. That spelled the end of Söderberg’s afternoon, as she was pulled for Aerin Frankel.
Things were all New York at that point, and Boston could not get anything going. However, the tides turned a little at 8:50 of the period, as Downie-Landry was called for tripping, giving Boston their second power play of the game.
This felt like a must-score power play for Boston, and they were unable to convert. However, following the power play, they significantly picked up their play and were swarming in the offensive zone. Schroeder had to come up with several massive saves to keep Boston off the board.
The period ended with Boston having taken most of the momentum back and outshooting New York 22-16, but still down 3-0.
It was Boston who started the third period quickly. Just 1:12 in, Loren Gabel finally wiped the goose egg off the board for Boston with her third of the season. The assists went to Alina Müller and Emily Brown.
Boston was in control for most of the third period, but they couldn’t solve Schroeder again.
Finally, Downie-Landry capped off the game at 17:07 of the period, as she completed the hat trick into the empty net.
Outside of half the second period, Boston played a decent game. They significantly outshot New York, 33-19, and were at least competitive with, if not outplaying, New York, for large portions of the game. However, they continue to be plagued by an inability to play a full 60 minutes and a lack of finish, particularly among some of their top players. Getting a lot of shots is not enough in this league; they also have to be quality.
After the game, captain Hilary Knight - who has yet to register a point this season - gave some insight into what the team needs to do to be successful going forward.
“I don’t think our team has found a rhythm yet, and so that’s something we’re really looking forward to,” said Knight. “We have great chemistry in the room, great chemistry on the ice and in practice, but stringing it together in 60 minutes in game format has been difficult for us so far.”
Kessel echoed that sentiment and added that the offense has to be better.
“We’ve got to come out with a better start,” said Kessel. “We’ve got all this firepower up front and we can’t just score one goal.”