Taylor Wasylk Steps in, Assists Pride in 7-2 Win over Whale

by NWHL Media

By Jane Norton

So here’s the thing with the now 15-wins-and-zero-losses Pride: this team is so good, they can sign a player mid-season, drop her into the lineup, and she will get apples immediately and often.

Such is the case of Taylor Wasylk, the current head coach at Suffolk University who previously played in the CWHL and was on the Pride roster for the first half last season. Injuries to some key Boston forwards opened the door for a return to the Pride for Wasylk, and she not only entered it, but kicked the door off its hinges.

Including her two assists in Boston’s 7-2 win over the Whale on Sunday in Connecticut, Wasylk has four points in her four games this season.

“I stepped into a very good situation with a great team and awesome players who made me feel right at home,” Wasylk said after the game. “They do all the hard work, and I’m just here for the ride.”

Today’s ride was smoother than yesterday’s. After needing a shootout to defeat the Whale on Saturday, the Pride took over Sunday’s matinee at Danbury Arena for the majority of its sixty minutes. It started with the Wasylk-assisted goals by Laing and Fluke for a 2-0 lead after one, continued with a – shocking! – McKenna Brand goal just 16 seconds in the second period, and ended with a third period where Boston continued to pour it on with the inevitable goal by 2020 All-Star captain Jillian Dempsey, one by hockey and social media star Tori Sullivan, and second of the game by former Whale Fluke.

The Whale did what the Whale always do: fight, scrap, battle, and go hard until the final horn. Late in the second period, Hanna Beattie scored her second goal of the weekend to make it 4-1. Sarah Schwenzfeier’s tally amidst a record-breaking goalmouth scrum made it 5-2.

Of course, the play of Wasylk is not a shock to anyone who watched her at Boston College, where the power forward notched 96 points in 145 games over four seasons. As a senior in 2013-14, she finished fourth on the team in scoring with 30 points in 34 games, was the MVP of the Beanpot Tournament and was named Hockey East's Best Defensive Forward.

In other words, it’s not like the Pride signed some slouch.

“I’ve always liked Taylor’s game,” said Boston head coach Paul Mara. “It was just really tough finding her a lineup spot. But give her all the credit in the world. We’ve had some injuries, she answered our call, and she has stepped right in and delivered everything we could ask of her. She played a great game, a smart game today.”

Since Wasylk’s team at Suffolk begins its season this week, it remains to be seen if this was her last game in the NWHL this season.

“That’s very much still to be determined,” she said.

Either way, Wasylk has made her mark on the Pride’s extraordinary season.

Photo credit: Bryan Johnson

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