We’re back for day two of the NWHL bubble. After an eventful Saturday, the teams were ready to get back on the ice for more hockey. Sunday saw all six NWHL teams in action with plenty of exciting moments. Didn’t get to all the games? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with NWHL Bubble Diaries, Day 2
Minnesota Whitecaps 6 – Toronto Six 5 (SO)
The day started off with a matchup between the Minnesota Whitecaps and the Toronto Six. The Whitecaps topped Boston in their first game and were looking to build on it heading into this one. After a loss in their first-ever NWHL game, the Six fell just short of their first ever win in their second day of action.
NWHL rookie, Samantha Ridgewell, would be between the pipes for Toronto in this one. Amanda Leveille started her second straight game for the Whitecaps after only giving up one to Boston. Leveille is one of only two goalies who started both of her team’s first two games.
With eight penalties in the first period, the importance of special teams was on full display. The Toronto Six came out flying and capitalized on their opportunities. Lindsay Eastwood scored Toronto’s first-ever goal on the power play 8 minutes into the game to give the Six an early lead. They struck twice more in the period with goals from Mikyla Grant-Mentis and Breanne Wilson-Bennett (PP). Minnesota’s Sydney Baldwin added a powerplay marker near the end of the first to cut into Toronto’s lead.
Toronto added two more goals in the second, one coming from Wilson-Bennett at 7:29 and the other from Fluke at 18:28. Down 5-1, Minnesota began to push back hard. Haylea Schmid and Haley Mack both scored for the Whitecaps in less than a minute, taking them into the third period only down 5-3.
While Toronto consistently outshot Minnesota, the Whitecaps continued their comeback with goals from Audra Richards and Meaghan Pezon. Their four unanswered goals tied the teams at 5.
The teams headed to overtime where Toronto outshot Minnesota 4-1 but neither team could capitalize meaning a shootout would decide the winner. After three shooters from each team, they were tied with goals from Grant-Mentis of Toronto and Jonna Curtis of Minnesota. The Whitecaps solidified their major comeback win with their sixth shooter, Haley Mack, scoring to end the game. The final shots on goal were 37 for Toronto and 25 for Minnesota.
Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday evening. The Toronto Six will take on Boston and Minnesota Whitecaps will play against the Metropolitan Riveters.
Metropolitan Riveters 4 – Connecticut Whale 3
In the day’s second game, the Metropolitan Riveters recorded another win, beating the Connecticut Whale 4-3. Tera Hofmann started for the Riveters while Brooke Wolejko claimed the crease for the Whale. This was both goaltender’s first start of the tournament.
The Riveters struck first with Mallory Rushton scoring 5:19 into the period. Just seconds later, at 5:27, Cailey Hutchison added another one for Metropolitan. Two minutes later, Connecticut’s Amanda Conway put her team on the board and Emma Vlasic tied things up before the end of the first period. Wolejko experienced equipment issues in the first period that momentarily pulled her from the game but Abby Ives held down the fort until she could return.
The Riveters came back hard in the second, looking to regain their lead. Less than five minutes into the period, Rebecca Russo did just that. She scored her first of the season on the power play. Kaycie Anderson of Connecticut tied things up once again and that’s how they headed into the third period. In the second period, Connecticut outshot Metropolitan, 17-8 but couldn’t outscore them.
The Riveters took the lead again 5:30 into the final frame and were able to hold the Whale off to secure a win. The Whale topped the Riveters shots by a margin of 36-28.
After day 2, the Metropolitan Riveters are one of only undefeated teams, the other being Minnesota who will be their next opponent on Tuesday. Connecticut will be in action on Wednesday against Boston.
Boston Pride 5 – Buffalo Beauts 1
The third and final game of the day featured two teams looking for their first win. It was the Boston Pride who came out victorious over the Buffalo Beauts 5-1. Carly Jackson starts her second game for the Beauts while Victoria Hanson started her first game of the season for the Pride.
Jillian Dempsy opened up the scoring 9:19 into the first period. She was positioned near the end boards and threw the puck out front, deflecting into the Buffalo net. The Beauts responded and just over two minutes later, Jordan Juron tied the game up. This didn’t last long as McKenna Brand put Boston up 2-1 before the end of the first period.
Buffalo got in some penalty trouble early on in the second period and Dempsy gets her second of the game, this time on the power play. This goal was Dempsy’s 100th career point, making her the first player in NWHL history to hit that milestone. Less than a minute later, Sammy Davis added to the pile of Boston goals, giving them a 4-1 lead. Pride forward Taylor Wenczkowski also scored late in the second period.
Buffalo had no answer for Boston’s offence and the Pride took the game 5-1. The Pride outshot the Beauts 40-21.
Boston will be in action against the Toronto Six on Tuesday evening but Buffalo fans will have to wait until Wednesday to see the Beauts hit the ice again. They will take on the Metropolitan Riveters as they look to grab their first win.
The NWHL has an off day on Monday but will be back in action on Tuesday. Minnesota and Metropolitan will start things off at 5:30 on Tuesday, followed by Toronto and Boston at 8:30. All NWHL bubble games are streamed live for free on Twitch so you never have to miss out on the action. Be sure to come back to Unbenched every day for a roundup of the previous day’s action.