By David F. Pendrys
CAMBRIDGE, MA- The Boston Pride held their historic home opener Sunday afternoon at Bright-Landry Hockey Center at Harvard, but it would be the visiting New York Riveters who picked up their second win of the season.
The Riveters struck quickly and fast when just over a minute in, Brooke Ammerman got in front of Boston’s Brittany Ott and lofted it over the keeper into the net assisted by Janine Weber. Less than a minute later, Madison Packer stole the puck from the Pride deep in the zone and whizzed it past Ott for a 2-0 lead.
The Riveters went on the power play first to no avail, but they immediately gave up a penalty themselves setting up a Boston advantage. Hillary Knight picked up a rebound and started whacking at it to the right of New York’s Nana Fujimoto, until eventually it went in. The assists went to Brianna Decker and Jillian Dempsey about ten minutes into the first frame.
The Pride could barely celebrate before Meghan Fardelmann appeared in front of Ott and shot it home for a 3-1 New York lead. The assist went to Taylor Holze. Holze had set up the goal by pursuing the Pride deep into the territory and stealing it sending it right to a perfectly placed Fardelmann.
The first period ended with no further scoring. The Riveters had kept a lot of pressure on the Pride, stealing and intercepting passes in the Boston zone and clearly making the most of their opportunities.
In period 2 the Pride were soon on a power play. After a shot, the puck bounced around in the goal area, until Amanda Pelkey smacked it by Fujimoto to bring the score to 3-2.
That was it for the scoring though the Pride did have two “no-goals” called in the game as well. The momentum however shifted in periods 2 and 3 as the Pride seemed to awaken and the Riveters did not have as much offensive pressure, though as it turned out more goals weren’t needed. Boston sent a good number of shots Fujimoto’s way but she stopped them all the rest of the game. Both teams in post game interviews noted the Riveters keeper was “standing on her head.” She had plenty of great stops denying any number of attacks from the potent Pride.
After the initial onslaught Ott had a very good game as well. In the second and third, the Riveters did not challenge much but when they did it included some solid chances, but Boston’s keeper took care of it, including a break from Beth Hanrahan and Fardelmann.
As had occurred at the other home openers, the Pride drew extremely well for theirs with Bright-Landry largely full. The crowd remained into it throughout the game including in the tumultuous final minutes.
The Pride had managed to pull Ott with a little over a minute to play, but the extra attacker did not lead to too many opportunities. With the win the Riveters rise to 2-3, and the Pride fall to 3-2. Next week the undefeated Connecticut Whale come up to face the Pride for the first time. The Buffalo Beauts make their first trip east to visit the Riveters at Aviator.
Post game, players spoke to numerous press in attendance including Kate Cimini (Today’s Slapshot), Zoe Hayden (The Victory Press), Erin Bartuska (Watch This Hockey), Sarah Connors & Kat Hemming (Stanley Cup of Chowder), Maeve (NYBF Sports Show), and others who I couldn’t identify but hope to.
The Boston Pride’s Bellamy, Decker, Ott:
New York Riveters Ammerman, Fardelmann, and Packer:
Additional notes: (A not-exhaustive list of plays that might not make the score sheet but mattered when observed. This is a shorter list than usual.)
On the Riveters penalty kill, Gabie Figueroa, Ashley Johnston, Morgan Fritz-Ward, all had critical clears. Fritz-Ward at one point stole a puck and took it out herself. Fardelmann had a blocked shot which she fed to Beth Hanrahan who took up it up the ice only to have her shot and Fardelmann’s rebound try get stopped by Ott.
Johnston had at least one blocked shot.
Sydney Kidd, a relatively new addition to the team knocked the puck away from the goal mouth to prevent further danger. Similarly, at one point in the third the puck was in a dangerous position in front of the net, but Holze cleared it. Bray Ketchum also had an opportunity to swing the puck out of the goal area.
On the Boston penalty kill, Gigi Marvin, Kacey Bellamy, Blake Bolden cleared it at important points. Decker had a short handed try as well. Alyssa Gagliardi broke in on an early short handed try while the Pride were down a skater too.