Riveters Stand Victorious in Game Two as Boston’s Powerplay Continues to Struggle
The funny thing about a two-game weekend series is, even though one team may win the first game, the second game will rarely reflect a similar outcome. Unfortunately for the Boston Pride, this concept stayed true to form as they fell to the Riveters 4-3 in regulation. The penalty box saw action from both sides, as 12 penalties were recorded between the Pride (6) and Riveters (6). So, even with the loss on Sunday afternoon, we got some excitement on special teams. With the scoring opportunities on the powerplay, the Pride just couldn’t catch up on the scoreboard.
Following the win on Saturday, the Pride opened the game carrying their momentum into the attacking zone, establishing their presence early. A few shots on net, though unsuccessful by Boston, tested Brooke Wolejko in the first couple minutes. After wearing down the defense a bit, the Pride capitalized on a wicked slapshot by Mallory Souliotis from the blue line and bounced off the face of Katelynn Russ for the ricochet goal at 2:25. A bit of controversy, however, came as the on-ice officials called for a video review for a high-stick on the play. The official call on the ice was overturned as the puck hit off Russ’ facemask and then tipped by her stick, which was above the height of the crossbar, resulting in a “no goal” decision.
The overturned goal began to haunt the Pride as their scoring chances were less frequent, allowing the Riveters to take advantage offensively. Both teams were quite physical throughout the weekend, and Sunday’s matchup proved no different as both teams were assessed minor penalties at 3:30. Meghara McManus was sent to the “doghouse” for roughing while Kristen Barbara was charged for interference. The “even-strength” powerplay/penalty kill gave Boston the opportunity to redeem themselves and put that goal back on the scoreboard. The Pride had some deep scoring chances, led by Sammy Davis, but nothing connected. Both penalties served their time as neither team could find the back of the net.
After the two minor penalties, both teams were looking for the lead which did take a bit of time. The attacking zone for the Riveters began to present opportunities and rightfully so, Theresa Knutson decided to break the tie with a wrister to beat Lovisa Selander stick-side at 13:24. The goal by Knutson gave Metro their first lead of the weekend, hoping to maintain and expand on that as the game progressed. The Riveters left little breathing room for Boston as they stayed on the attack for the remaining minutes of the first. Emily Janiga decided to join the stats sheet after a faceoff win in the attacking zone allowed her to take control of the puck at the point, with room to fire a shot that skipped past Selander at 14:08.
Following the goal by Metro, the Pride were given the opportunity to get on the board as they went to the powerplay on a body check penalty by Kendall Cornine at 15:12. The Pride powerplay was unsuccessful on Saturday, as they have a 5% success rate this season. Boston’s first attempt on the player-advantage was unable to capitalize on Cornine’s infraction, leaving the scoreboard blank for the Pride. After penalty time expired, Cornine looked to redeem herself on offense as she fanned on a shot out front and caught her own rebound to flick it past Selander for the goal at 17:30, putting MET up 3-1. The Riveters third goal presented a lofty goal for Boston to make a comeback but never say never. Before the period ended, Christina Putigna was charged with a minor penalty for slashing at 19:52. This penalty would put the Pride on the shorthand to begin the second period.
End of the 1st: MET – 3, BOS – 0
The second frame of play turned out to favor the Boston Pride as they killed of Putigna’s penalty with ease, generating some momentum for an offensive push. For the first half of the second, it seemed to be a battle to control the puck and Boston was successful on most of their chances. The scoring opportunities for the Pride began to take form as Jenna Rheault carried the puck in deep causing traffic in net. A loose puck allowed Tori Sullivan to control and tip the puck into the net for the first goal of the for Boston.
Boston’s goal gave their bench some life for a potential comeback, as the lead was cut to two. The momentum lasted a short while as Amanda Boulier was sent to the penalty box for tripping at 10:26. The poke checking game is encouraged, but not when it draws a penalty for your team. With the penalty kill unit on the ice, Boston needed to keep Metro from expanding on their lead. The Pride have been unbelievable on the shorthand this season, and their success in killing off Boulier’s penalty proved that – improving to an 87% success rate.
The scoreboard was rather quiet as Sullivan’s goal would be the only one recorded in the period. However, the penalty sheet would not go silent into the second intermission as Haley Frade would be assessed a cross-checking penalty at 16:03. Boston’s powerplay would be awarded a chance to score on the player-advantage, in hopes of putting cutting the deficit to only one goal. As the two-minute minor came to an end, the Pride could not find a way to put the puck in the net. The 5% success rate on the powerplay is certainly beginning to catch up with them. As time expires in the second, Boston would need to re-evaluate their gameplan to tie the game in the third.
End of the 2nd: MET – 3, BOS – 1
In the final period, Boston needed to come out with some intensity to at least get the momentum rolling for a goal early on. A goal did come very quickly, however, it was the Riveters who were the ones that scored. Kendall Cornine made quick work skating in from the red line and fired a slapshot from the right dot to beat Selander just 27 seconds into the period. The Riveters extended their lead to three on Cornine’s second goal of the game, moving Metro ahead 4-1. Boston called a timeout at :45 following Cornine’s goal, looking to regroup on defense.
Boston had a hard time creating any offense when most of their gameplay was on the defensive. The penalty party a sight to behold in the third period as Sammy Davis got things started with a tripping call at 2:34. The penalty was successfully killed off, to no surprise, as Boston tried to make another effort on offense. Their gameplan worked out well on the even-strength matchup as Meaghan Rickard deflected a shot by Mallory Souliotis from the blue line, recording her first goal of the season at 8:03. Staying in front of the net for the rebound was the gameplan all along and it finally paid off for the Pride.
The penalties continued to pick up as Kendall Cornine would head to the box for a second time in the game, at 9:10. Both penalties by Cornine were called for body checking…you just simply can’t do that. Boston’s powerplay stayed consistent with the unsuccessful player-advantage, however the Riveters could not score on the shorthand. You have to look at the positives sometimes. A few minutes later, the Riveters would rent out the penalty box again for another body checking call, charged to Nora Maclaine at 12:17. The Riveters picked up on the weakness of the powerplay offense by Boston and the penalties drawn were seemingly party of their strategy, knowing they couldn’t capitalize. The gameplan proved effective as Boston couldn’t score as penalty time expired.
Would a Boston Pride game be complete without a penalty called on Kaleigh Fratkin? No it would not. The second half of the third period got a little choppy as Fratkin was sent to the sin bin for hooking at 13:07. This would force a brief 4-on-4 following the overlap from Maclaine’s penalty. The time expired on Fratty’s penalty which helped Boston gain some even-strength momentum in the attacking zone. Boston gained the zone quickly, as Fratkin ripped a wrister from the blue line kicked away by Wolejko right to the stick of Taylor Wenczkowski who sent it home for the goal at 15:36. Wenczkowski’s fourth goal of the season put Boston within one, now 4-3 Riveters.
The physicality picked up a bit more in the later minutes of play as a bit of traffic in the Boston attacking zone resulted in matching minor penalties. Wenczkowski was knocked to the ground by Colleen Murphy and took exception to the hit, retaliating with her own hit on Murphy causing her to take a fall. Wenczkowski would be assessed a two-minute roughing penalty, while Colleen Murphy served a penalty for cross-checking, both at 16:57.
Both penalties were successfully killed off, keeping the score at 4-3. Ahead of this weekend’s series, there was more certainty than anything that this would be a physical series. The Riveters are a gritty team and to their respect, we love a physical hockey game…who doesn’t? However, 12 penalties in one game between both teams is a very notable stat. What’s more, with all the penalties recorded in Sunday’s game, every goal scored was an even-strength goal! As the clock ran down to zero, the Riveters would skate away with the victory 4-3, snapping a four-game losing streak and Boston’s four-game winning streak.
Final Score: Metropolitan Riveters – 4, Boston Pride – 3