Success on the Shorthand: Dempsey Scores Two in Victory Over Riveters
It’s been 48 days since the Boston Pride played a hockey game. That is a long time, we know. But of course, the safety of the players/staff and fans are very important, so we had to take some time to make sure everyone stayed healthy. Even with the extended break, the Pride picked up right where they left off as they defeated the Metropolitan Riveters 3-1. Saturday’s victory extended Boston’s win streak to four in a row. The Riveters have been in the hunt for a victory with a four-game losing streak, however Saturday’s matchup was unsuccessful.
The opening period was rather quiet on the scoreboard, both teams were pretty evenly matched to start. It was very much a goaltender battle for the first 20 minutes between Brooke Wolejko for the Riveters and Katie Burt for the Pride. Both netminders recorded 12 saves in the period leaving the score at 0-0.
Metro did their best to spice things up with an interference penalty on Brooke Avery at 16:29. Powerplays are usually in place to help the offense, however the Pride have struggled this season on the player-advantage. The penalty on Avery served its time as the Pride could not capitalize on the attack. This moved the Pride’s powerplay success to 2/33 or 6%. Not ideal, but the long-term stats for Boston’s “special teams” shouldn’t define their offense overall. The first period stalemate would lead both teams into the first intermission without a goal.
End of the 1st: BOS – 0, MET – 0
The locker room speeches must have been effective as scoring chances for both teams began to present themselves. Metro started on the attack with a few shots down low, handled easily by Katie Burt. A backhand shot glove-side will not be enough to beat the All-Star Select Burt. The Pride got their offense rolling with a few rushes, started by Sammy Davis on a break in the attacking zone, unable to finish her shot as she was tripped up on the play by Leila Kilduff at 4:50. Kilduff took a brief timeout for the infraction which gave Boston another shot at the player-advantage.
Metro killed off the penalty successfully, moving their PK success rate to 85%. Boston has some work to do on the powerplay unit, maybe we’ll see a line change in the future. The Pride’s even strength offense in the second was ruthless as usual, with McKenna Brand and Christina Putigna adding pressure in the attacking zone with shots on goal. Kendall Cornine got caught for tripping at 14:37 which put the Pride back on the powerplay. It’s good to be polite, but giving your opponent multiple powerplay opportunities is a little excessive. The scoring opportunities in the attacking zone were frequent, but Boston was simply unable to connect with the back of the net on that advantage.
Under a minute left in the second, Boston kept things interesting with an unlucky tripping penalty by Mallory Souliotis at 19:13. Honestly, the good news is that the Pride play better (statistically) with a player in the penalty box, as they hold an 87% success rate on the penalty kill this season. Even with the player-down, Boston found a way to take advantage on offense as McKenna Brand closed in on a 2-on-1 breakaway, fed the puck to Jillian Dempsey out front for a wrist shot ricocheted in for the shorthanded goal at 19:58.
The celly for Dempsey was cut a bit short as her goal was challenged by Riveters Head Coach Ivo Mocek, for potential goalie interference. It took a bit of time to review the play, however, after further review, the goal on the ice was confirmed as a “good goal.” The puck did, in fact, cross the plane before Wolejko was interfered with. Dempsey recorded her fifth goal of the season on the play. The unsuccessful challenge by Metro resulted in a bench minor penalty for delay of game, served by Romana Kosecka. As time ran out in the second, Boston would head into period three with the lead but still on the shorthand.
End of the 2nd : BOS – 1, MET – 0
The final frame of play started out as a 4-on-4 battle for the first few minutes. The Riveters came into the third period hungry for a goal to tie the game. Unfortunately for them, Boston stayed strong and killed off the penalty successfully. Metro kept the pressure on in the attacking zone as Madison Packer passed to Emily Janiga waiting out front for a one-time wrister to beat Katie Burt at 4:20. With the assist on the Janiga’s goal, Madison Packer made history as she collected her 100th-career point in the PHF. Packer, who has played all seven seasons with the Riveters, has become the second player in PHF history to reach the coveted 100-point milestone, joining Boston Pride captain Jillian Dempsey with that accomplishment.
After the celebration, it was time to get back to business. The tying goal gave life to the Riveters bench as they continued the pressure in the zone. Puck battles down low seemed to be Metro’s comfort zone, especially in the crease. Most of the period was played in the Riveters’ attacking zone, but Katie Burt understood the assignment and denied every shot. She’s an All-Star for a reason, so you have to be creative if you want to score on her.
Boston’s penalty kill unit made their final appearance of the evening following a cross-checking minor by Christina Putigna at 18:39. The Pride needed some magic to happen in the final minutes to score one last time to avoid the Overtime period. Jillian Dempsey said enough is enough. A beautiful cross-ice pass by Dempsey over to McKenna Brand on the far wing to set up an offensive rush, saucered along back to Dempsey on the doorstep for the tip-in go-ahead goal at 19:13. Just like they drew it up in practice. Boston’s second shorthand goal of the night and Jillian Dempsey’s second goal of the game put the Pride ahead 2-1.
The Riveters pulled their goalie Brooke Wolejko at 19:23, giving them a 6-on-4 advantage for the remainder of the period. The faceoff on the opposite end of the ice helped Metro avoid the empty net goal…or so they thought. Boston won the faceoff and defender Kaleigh Fratkin sent the puck all the way down and connected with the back of the net for the game-winning, shorthanded goal at 19:50, putting Boston ahead 3-1. Before the time clock could hit zero, Kendall Cornine would be assessed a tripping penalty at 19:57. Honestly it didn’t make much of a difference, but we respect the officials keeping it fair. With the final buzzer, Boston would take home the win, extending their win streak to four.
Final Score: BOS – 3, MET – 1
With Boston’s victory, they improve to 7-2 overall with 18 points– currently in third place behind the Toronto Six (28) and the Connecticut Whale (25) in the PHF Standings. The Metropolitan Riveters fall to 2-6-1 with seven points – currently in fourth place behind Boston in the standings.