Pride unable to solve Leveille, fall 2-0 in series opener



 The Minnesota Whitecaps picked up their first win of the season at home as the Boston Pride struggled with special teams and getting a goal past Whitecaps goalie Amanda Leveille. It was the first time since 2019 the Pride were shut out and the struggles on the power play dropped the team to a season low of one for 22 on the skater advantage.

There were no scoring plays in the first period as both teams found their footing at Tria Rink. Boston got the first two power plays of the game and peppered the net with shots. A big save from Leveille on Jillian Dempsey at the left side of the cage became a stop that began to shift momentum in favor of the Whitecaps.

With goose eggs still on the board to begin the second period, special teams would again play a crucial role in deciding the game. After the Pride couldn’t score around the halfway mark of the period with Chelsey Rosenthal in the box, Whitecaps forward Alex Woken was a given a five minute major for elbowing Taylor Wenczkowski hard along the boards. Wenczkowski was shaken up for a bit but returned to the game without issue.

Towards the end of the penalty kill, the Whitecaps ended the stalemate. Jonna Curtis poked a shot attempt out of the zone and with speed managed to knife her way through Kaleigh Fratkin and McKenna Brand to score shorthanded on Katie Burt. The goal of the year candidate also caused Fratkin to head to the box for tripping, exacerbating Boston’s penalty woes.

Like the second period, the Pride outshot the Whitecaps and outworked them on many shifts. Amanda Leveille proved why she’s the winningest goaltender in PHF history and held her ground in front of a highly energetic Minnesota crowd. As she approached nearly 40 saves on the evening, Jonna Curtis made Whitecaps fans breathe a little easier with an empty net goal with just under a minute remaining in regulation. For the first time in over two years, the Pride failed to score at least one goal and for the third time in the fourth time in five games they did not score a power play goal.

The Pride remain on top of the standings heading into the Sunday matchup but the points gap is a lot closer. Boston, Connecticut and Toronto are each separated by just one point and all three team will be back in action to end the weekend.