Lineups Revealed for First Boston-Minnesota Showdowns of the Season
By Jane Norton
It’s the weekend set of games many have had circled since the NWHL first released the schedule for the 2019-20 season: a battle of titans between the defending Isobel Cup champion Minnesota Whitecaps and the richly-talented and Cup-hungry Boston Pride. And now it’s here.
Although the Whitecaps dropped one of their home-opening weekend pair of games against the gritty Riveters – in overtime on Sunday after a blowout the day before – the Pride know Minnesota will bring their best to Boston.
Below are the projected lineups for the Pride-Whitecaps showdown on Saturday, with lineup changes always a possibility for Sunday’s rematch. In addition, Pride head coach Paul Mara, forward Emily Fluke and defender Jenna Rheault share some thoughts on what Boston must do to defeat Minnesota.
Jonna Curtis – Nicole Schammel – Meaghan Pezon
Audra Richards – Lauren Barnes – Allie Thunstrom
Megan Lorence – Haylea Schmid – Stephanie Anderson
Sydney Baldwin – Amanda Boulier
Emma Stauber – Chelsey Rosenthal
McKenna Brand – Jillian Dempsey – Christina Putigna
Emily Fluke – Mary Parker – Alyssa Wohlfeiler
Carlee Toews – Lexie Laing – Tori Sullivan
Kaleigh Fratkin – Briana Mastel
Lauren Kelly – Lexi Bender
Mallory Souliotis – Jenna Rheault
Paul Mara: “I want to see us play at a fast pace from beginning to end. The Whitecaps are a team you can never let up against. They have too many weapons. With the addition of Schammel, Richards, Baldwin and a few others, they’re every bit as strong as they were last season. We need to remain focused for a full 60 minutes or more, both games. It’s going to be quite a test, but I know the Pride are ready.”
Jenna Rheault: “Minnesota has some quick and talented players, but our D core is ready for the challenge this weekend. We have to trust our feet, make smart, quick plays, and have good sticks to prevent Minnesota from having any quality opportunities. Ultimately, if we can do these things and work together, we will find success in our D zone.”
Emily Fluke: “I agree with Coach that this weekend comes down to playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. We have talked about having really dominant stretches, and we need to sustain that the whole game this weekend. We are also focused on executing on special teams, specifically on our power play. That’s going to be crucial against Minnesota.”
The Pride host the Whitecaps at Warrior Ice Arena in Boston on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are available now at www.NWHL.zone/tickets and at the arena before the games. Both games will be streamed live at Twitch.TV/nwhl2, with Sam Fryman and Erica Ayala on the call.
Photo Credit: Michelle Jay