|NWHL Isobel Cup Semi Final 1 – Thursday March 16th|
|Boston Pride||vs||Connecticut Whale|
|Warrior Ice Arena||7:30pm||EDT||11:30pm||GMT|
So, it finally happened. The Boston Pride finally lost a game. Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to the New York Riveters was the first time in over a year that the Pride had tasted defeat.
We’re almost in unchartered territory here, folks.
It’s going to be interesting to see how they respond to the defeat. They could be knocked stunned a bit. Or, it might rally them to go hunting again. Their first potential prey? A wounded Whale.
Narrowly losing to Buffalo on Sunday saw the Whale condemned to bottom of the league, and a date in Boston.
|Pride||2016/17 Regular Season Record||Whale|
|4.18||Goals For Per Game||3.33|
|1.71||Goals Against Per Game||4.17|
|6||Wins vs Opponent||0|
The Whale can score, there’s no question about that. The problem is, they also concede more. They have only won once since mid-December, and that was not against the Pride. Boston have a mean defence, a lightning offence, two very good goalies, and a much better overall game.
|Brianna Decker||14||Goals||Kelli Stack||12|
|Alex Carpenter||20||Assists||Nicole Kosta, Haley Skarupa||11|
|Brianna Decker||31||Points||Haley Skarupa||22|
|Brianna Decker||104||Shots||Haley Skarupa||78|
|Meghan Duggan||21.7||Shot %||Meghan Huertas||25|
|Meghan Duggan||24||PIM||Kelly Babstock||26|
|Brittany Ott||.922, 13GP||Sv%||Nicole Stock||.858, 11GP|
|Lauren Slebodnick||.942, 7GP||Shenae Lundberg||.855, 10GP|
|Brittany Ott||1.93||GAA||Nicole Stock||4.07|
|Lauren Slebodnick||1.22||Shenae Lundberg||4.33|
|Brianna Decker||4||PPG Leader||Haley Skarupa||3|
|Alex Carpenter||3||SHG Leader||Four Skaters||1|
Better goaltenders, more point scorers, better special teams. The Pride are the better team this year. However, they have finally been beaten.
I hate to beat this drum, but there will be the mental element of this game. The Pride have got the worst team in the league to bounce back against, but will the element of doubt be there?
The expectation is that the Pride will breeze past the Whale and take their place in the final on Sunday. The reality? Not long to wait to find out.
Ones to watch
Boston Pride – Hilary Knight
Arguably the best player in the league, Knight has only played 10 games this year, but has amassed 15 points in that time. You want your best players to kick in when it matters, right? Well, it’s clutch time.
Connecticut Whale – Haley Skarupa
Team leader in points and assists, the Whale will need a big game out of Skarupa if they’re to stand any chance of making it to the final.
If the Pride get plenty of time on the powerplay, it will likely be enough to see the Whale, and their league-worst penalty kill, off and book a place in the final. While the Whale keep it at even strength, they stand a chance if their stars come to play.