Toronto’s Streak is Snapped thanks to Selander and Dempsey
The Toronto Six came into Warrior Ice Arena as the last undefeated team in the PHF. Their offense was dominant and their special teams were both number one in the league. With Lovisa Selander’s 30 saves and a crucial third period goal from Jillian Dempsey, Boston took a big two points in the standings with a 2-1 shootout win.
The first period lacked any scoring, but it certainly did not lack action. The Pride were given a power play chance early but still couldn’t find the magic to get one into the back of the net guarded by Samantha Ridgewell. The dry streak for the Pride in that category is now up to 1 for 30.
“Needs something that’s for sure,” said McKenna Brand on the skater advantage. “It’s just bearing down on our chances, not gripping our sticks too tight. I think it’s just calming down, working the puck around a few times and getting it to the net.”
At the other end of the ice, Lovisa Selander came out sharp early. First she made a huge pad stop on Toronto’s Taylor Day and followed it up with another denial in close following some slick moves from Six top line forward Michela Cava.
Selander also gave some huge credit to her defense helping her set the tone from the very start. “It’s always nice when you get a couple of saves in the first period, and you kind of get the feel of the puck a little bit.”
In the second frame, the action further intensified with some eye popping moves. At the 4:21 mark, Toronto’s Emma Woods dangled her way through multiple Pride defenders to beat Selander up high and give the Six their first lead. It was her first goal of the season.
The shots began to fall Boston’s way following the tally as they ended 40 minutes with a 29-18 shot advantage. In the closing minutes of the period, the Six offense was swarming even more and had looked to make it 2-0. After review, a no goal was called as it was determined that Michela Cava had crashed the net and left Selander completely out of position to make the play.
Heading to the third down one goal, the Pride kept calm and carried on. Shortly before the halfway mark of the period, a familiar Boston combo made things happen. McKenna got the puck to the near side corner where Jillian Dempsey went to work. From nearly behind the cage she moved in on Ridgewell’s right corner and lifted the puck with a beautiful snipe to tie the game.
Boston’s special teams came to work following Dempsey’s goal with two big stops in the closing seven minutes of regulation. With the two goalies staying sharp, each team earned at least one point with the game headed to overtime.
There were great rushes by both teams with the added open ice and it looked like the game was going to be decided in the final seconds. Following a great up ice pass, Michela Cava was ahead of the Pride skaters with just seconds on the clock. Selander kept up with the dekes and stopped the forehand attempt to the delight of the packed Warrior crowd. Immediately down at the other end, Christina Putigna tried to end the game but was just as quickly shut down by Ridgewell.
In the shootout, it was Putigna who provided the PHF world with one of the clips of the year. Skating in from the left side it appeared she would hold the puck on her forehand until switching at the last minute. Once Putigna was right in front of Ridgewell, she applied the brakes and got her to bite before effortlessly lifting the puck top shelf with her forehand.
After Putigna’s goal misses were followed by Emma Woods, Amanda Boulier and Mikyla Grant-Mentis. McKenna Brand was the third Pride skater in and she did not miss, securing two points for the Pride and ending the Six’s three game winning streak to begin the season.
When asked about what needs to continue for the Pride to be successful on Sunday afternoon, Brand said it was all about battling with a tougher attitude. “Toronto does a very good job of pinning pucks in the corner. I think it’s just bearing down on our battles a little bit more on the power play and hunting pucks down a little bit better too.”