We’ve made it to day 4 of the National Women’s Hockey League Bubble season. The teams are certainly keeping things interesting in Lake Placid and It continues to be anyone’s year to win the Isobel Cup. Day 4 of NWHL action had just two games but they did not disappoint. It was another day of great hockey so let’s get started.
Connecticut Whale 4 – Boston Pride 1
The first of the day was a battle between the Boston Pride and the Connecticut Whale. The Whale started out behind but once they began scoring, the Pride couldn’t match leading to a 4-1 Connecticut win. Victoria Hanson got the start for the Pride and Abbie Ives for the Whale, both goalies starting their second game of the tournament. Pride captain, Jillian Dempsey was injured in her previous game against the Toronto Six but was cleared to play in this one. She dressed but her shifts were limited. Her leadership is an important aspect of the Boston Pride and the NWHL as a whole.
The Whale came out dominant but the period was back and forth. The teams exchanged chances and the two goalies made big stops to keep things even. It was looking like the first period would be scoreless but the Pride got a late powerplay and McKenna Brand scored with just over a minute remaining in the period.
Around the 10 minute mark of the second period, Connecticut Whale, Janine Weber swat at the puck on the power play and managed to get it in behind Hanson. This goal would have tied things up but the officials called it off due to the deflection. The score remained 1-0 in favour of Boston after two periods of play.
Tori Howran tied things up with a shot from the point 3:47 into the final frame. The Whale continued to put pressure on and Katelynn Russ gave them the lead at 6:07. Six minutes later, Alyssa Wohlfeiler extended her team’s lead to 4-1. The Boston Pride was unable to get their offence going and the Whale went on to take the win.
While Connecticut clearly dominated on the scoreboard, the shots were quite even. The final shots were 37-35 for Connecticut but Boston outshot them in the second period. The Connecticut Whale will be back on Thursday to play the Minnesota Whitecaps and the Boston Pride will have a few days off before taking on the Metropolitan Riveters on Saturday.
Toronto Six 4 – Buffalo Beauts 2
Game two of Wednesday was supposed to be a meeting between the Buffalo Beauts and the Metropolitan Riveters but due to the NWHL’s medical policy, the Riveters were rescheduled and the Toronto Six were slotted in to the Wednesday slot.
Coming off their first win in franchise history, Toronto was ready to go with Elaine Chuli between the pipes. For Buffalo, Carly Jackson took her place in the crease as she has earned herself the starting position.
Early in the first period, Brooke Boquist shows off her speed and breaks around the Beauts defence with the puck. She manages to sneak the puck in beside Jackson, putting the Six ahead. The Beauts come back hard and tie things up with a goal from Autumn MacDougall. The goalies put on a show making fantastic saves to keep the game tight. With just seconds remaining in the period, the Beauts found themselves with a two on one. MacDougall scored her second of the game to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.
The score remained 2-1 for the first half of the second period but tensions began to rise between the two teams. Toronto’s Taylor Woods went to the penalty box for holding and upon the expiry of her penalty, she jumped back into the play. Mikyla Grant-Mentis had the puck on her stick and Woods got to the net and tied things up for the Six. With just under a minute left, Megan Quinn gives the Six the lead once again. The teams went into the third period with a score of 3-2.
The Six were able to hold the Beauts off in the third period and even grabbed an empty-net goal. Emily Fluke scored it and Toronto went on to win 4-2. Jackson was stellar in net for the Beauts, facing almost 50 shots. The Buffalo Beauts are set to be back in action on Thursday against the Metropolitan Riveters, assuming the Riveters are cleared to play. The Toronto Six will take on the Connecticut Whale on Saturday.
After a great two games on Wednesday, the matchups on Thursday will certainly not disappoint. The schedule has the Buffalo Beauts and the Metropolitan Riveters hitting the ice at 5:30 followed by the Connecticut Whale and Minnesota Whitecaps at 8:30. All NWHL games are streamed live on Twitch for free so you never will have to miss out on the action. Be sure to come back to Unbenched every day for a roundup of the previous night’s action.