Dempsey and Davis Dominate Against Toronto, Securing First Place Once Again

by PRIDE MEDIA

Forming new rivalries in sports is always fun because that means we’re guaranteed a hard-fought game every single time. This past weekend was no different as Boston completed the sweep in Sunday’s matchup dominating the Six 8-2, led by captain Jillian Dempsey with two goals on the day. The final home game of 2021 sent the Pride into the New Year on a high note, and also secured their position atop the PHF with a 6-2 record.

The first frame picked up where Game 1 left off, with both teams firing on all cylinders trying to get the upper hand early. Both teams knew what each other were capable of, so the offensive attacks needed to be executed perfectly. Not much excitement took place until the second half of the first, with Boston taking the first lead of the game, courtesy of Jillian Dempsey. A crisp pass by Amanda Boulier found Dempsey out front to fire the puck past Amanda Ridgewell at 10:41 to put Boston up 1-0.

Boston special teams unit entered shortly after for a hooking call on Sammy Davis at 11:47. The PK unit has been unstoppable this season as they killed off another penalty. Physicality was the theme in the first period as Toronto followed suit with two penalties by Taylor Woods and Davison for body checking and slashing, respectively. The powerplay unit fell to 0/2 on the attempts, moving to 1-for-32 on the season.

Both netminders were on top of their game, as expected, after the end of the first. Katie Burt allowed zero goals on 14 shots while Samantha Ridgewell allowed one goal on 12 shots. The second period would change the pace of play tremendously as save percentages were at high risk.

The Pride wasted no time in the second to expand the lead as Meghara McManus catching a rebound, following through to put Boston up 2-0 at 2:29. Jillian Dempsey added to the stat sheet with an assist on the play. Toronto answered quickly with a fierce wrister by Taylor Day to cut the lead in half 2-1 at 3:42.

Boston’s goal scoring chances began to present themselves and the first line took advantage right away. Taylor Wenczkowski made use of the “crash-the-net” gameplan following a shot from the blue line by Kali Flanagan, controlling the rebound for the tip in at 6:08. Although Wenczkowski’s goal provided some insurance, they needed to keep applying pressure to avoid a comeback.

Two minutes of back and forth hockey turned into a defensive battle, but Sammy Davis found an opportunity on a deflection, following another shot from defender Kali Flanagan to give Boston a three goal lead. The momentum shift was much-needed, especially after the nail-biter shootout win on Saturday…someone needed to set the tone. The remainder of the period was relatively clean as Boston managed to stay out of the penalty box. Jenna Rheault made sure the Pride had a strong 5-1 lead to avoid Toronto catching up, charging into the attacking zone, and finishing with a backdoor goal at 14:01

The four goal onslaught by the Pride hurt Toronto for sure, as Head Coach Mark Joslin switched netminders – going with Tera Hoffman for the remainder of the game. Fresh blood for Boston going into the third, tallying 15 shots in the period with Toronto recording 11.

In the final period, Toronto had the opportunity to generate some momentum but couldn’t capitalize anywhere. Sammy Davis kept the ball rolling for the Pride at 4:03 with a redirect from a shot at the blue line by Amanda Boulier. Davis’ second goal of the game improved Boston’s lead to 6-1. Certainly a dramatic comeback for Toronto if they can get anything going offensively.

Christina Putigna put an end to Toronto’s possible comeback with a quick one-timer off a pass by McKenna Brand out front, beating Hoffmann to make it 7-1. The Six offense has been quiet for nearly the entire game but a last-ditch effort on the powerplay comes from a strong slapshot by defender Lindsey Eastwood at 7:01, giving Toronto their second goal of the game. Katie Burt’s effort in this game has not gone unnoticed, regardless of the two goals allowed, with 36 saves on the day.

Boston’s offense was not finished on the scoreboard as Jillian Dempsey struck again with a quick wrister out front, assisted by Amanda Boulier at 18:58. Dempsey bookended the Pride’s shooting gallery with her second goal of the game, lifting them to an 8-2 final as time ran out.

The first game against Toronto on Saturday was very much a stalemate, trying to figure out each other’s gameplan. Sunday’s matchup saw a completely different pace as Boston took control throughout regulation. With the clean sweep over Toronto, the Pride improve to 6-2 – taking over first place atop the PHF standings, while the Six fall into third place at 3-1-1.