By David F. Pendrys
CHESTNUT HILL, MA- A unique event unfolded Thursday night as the Boston Pride visited Boston College for an exhibition against the Eagles. The reigning NWHL champions arrived at Kelley Rink to take on a BC team that is ranked #3 in the USCHO poll. Along with the Pride came numerous BC alums including Maggie Taverna, Lexi Bender, Blake Bolden, Emily Field, and Alex Carpenter.
Brianna Decker struck first at 7:03 assisted by Gigi Marvin & Blake Bolden. Decker got the puck in the Pride end and took it out, passed it to Pelkey, and got it right back before lining up a shot over the keeper into the upper corner of the net.
In the second period, BC got on the board thanks to a Caitrin Lonergan power play goal assisted by Kali Flanagan and Tori Sullivan at 5:38 Flanagan had taken a shot from the point which bounced off Ott right to Lonergan on the doorstep and she knocked it in quickly.
Alex Carpenter regained the lead against her former team at 19:18 with assists from Rachel Llanes and Meghan Duggan. After a major competition for the puck on the boards the puck came to Carpenter who smacked it into the net quickly.
The Pride took advantage of a power play as Gigi Marvin teed up a slapper from the point at 6:26 in the third assisted to Amanda Pelkey and Alyssa Gagliardi.
The Eagles scored at 15:00 thanks to Megan Keller assisted by Kenzie Kent and Toni Ann Miano. Kent had streaked down the left side and passed it across despite three defenders to Keller who was open on the other side allowing her to easily send it into the net.
The Eagles pulled their goalie late in the game, but a too many skaters on the ice penalty forced them to the penalty kill, effectively ending their chance of a comeback.
BC had not had much offense in the first period, and spent most of their time fending off the Pride shots. Though this was largely effective. In period 2 they became a threat in themselves.
Goaltenders Brittany Ott had 7 saves and Lauren Slebodnick had 11 for the Pride. On the BC side Katie Burt had 22 saves. The Pride naturally took 25 shots and BC took 20 shots on the night.
Burt had several notable saves including on Emily Field who fought her way through multiple defenders for a shot. The BC keeper also saved a hard Blake Bolden shot as well as Meghan Duggan’s second shot off the rebound. A later Pride two on one was ably dispatched by the Junior as well.
On the Pride side, Smelker and Decker launched 4 shots. Pelkey and Dempsey had 3, and Marvin notched 2. Keller,
Capizzano, McLean took 3 shots for BC. Also, Newkirk, Lonergan, Kent, and Anastos picked up 2 each.
Noticed Plays (These are non scoring plays that are noticed. They are not exhaustive. A player could have far more elements that is noted. This is merely an attempt to try to note contributions that may not make the box score.)
Boston College Eagles
- Kristyn Capizzano stole a puck from a Pride player who fell down and swept in on net though she was thwarted. She had another sweep into the Pride Zone.
- Delaney Belinskas broke in at one point, as did Makenna Newkirk.
- Haley McLean got it into the Pride zone in one instance and in another her steal in the Pride zone allowed a shot.
Even Strength Defense:
Steals & Disruptions:
- Caroline Ross a stick on a Brianna Decker centering pass which let Grace Bizal get to it instead. Ross and Kate Annesse combined to disrupt a Pride setup and whisk the puck out of the defensive area. Ross also deflected another setup pass on a Pride break.
- Tori Sullivan forced a Pride player to pass it off allowing Bizal to get to it and clear it. Sullivan also snatched the puck in the BC zone and moved it out. She would also deflect an opponent’s shot and extricate the biscuit from the zone too.
- Andie Anastos snagged a Pride zone entry attempt, and at another point stole it and advanced the puck down the ice. She would do the same yet again after intercepting a visitor pass.
- Kali Flanagan caught up to a puck bouncing towards her net before the Pride’s Michaela Levine could preventing a dangerous close range shot. She also robbed a Pride player of the puck as they entered the zone.
- Megan Keller intercepted at last one pass. She also kept pace with Carpenter preventing her from getting a good shot on an empty net as she skated into the Pride zone later in the game.
- Haley McLean and Makenna Newkirk disrupted a Pride zone entry. McLean absconded with a Pride puck at another point. She would steal and advance the puck at a different instance as well. A Newkirk steal led to a BC offensive venture. Newkirk and Bizal combined to get the puck out of the area during a major Pride offensive as well. Bizal also teamed with Kristyn Capizzano to disrupt a shot.
- Bridget McCarthy picked up a steal and intercepted the puck at mid-ice at the very least. Serena Sommerfield got her stick on a Pride centering pass and sent it out of danger, Kenzie Kent skated over to a loose puck to prevent any opponent’s designs on it. Caitrin Lonergan had a steal in defensive zone and Toni Ann Miano stopped a Pride rush.
Blocks: Makenna Newkirk had at least 2 including when she slid to block a Decker shot point blank. Kristyn Capizzano had at least 2 including when she blocked a shot and immediately skated over to try to disrupt Carpenter. Caroline Ross, Tori Sullivan, and Delaney Belinskas all had at least 1.
Clears: Kate Annese had at least 1, Kenzie Kent worked it hard to get it out of the zone, and Delaney Belinskas got it out of the zone to end one of the Pride’s efforts.
- Clears: Kenzie Kent (2) , Megan Keller & Kent, Andie Anastos, Delaney Belinskas.
- Blocks: Tori Sullivan, Kristyn Capizzano.
- Brianna Decker stole it deep in the Eagles zone. She later got it back in the Eagles zone for a shot after BC disrupted an earlier Pride effort.
- Jordan Smelker got to a BC attempt to clear the puck and fed it to Decker. She also took up great position in front of the net but her shot was saved.
- Blake Bolden launched a big shot. She also had a great long pass to start a team entry.
- Emily Field fended off two players to center it to Decker nicely.
- Alyssa Gagliardi had a good skate up the side to setup an opportunity. She also kept the puck in the zone twice during a Pride adventure in the BC side.
- Alex Carpenter held on to it during a line change, controlling the puck until the next line could arrive despite being on the ice against 5 BC eagles.
Even Strength Defense:
Steals & Disruptions:
- Gigi Marvin disrupted a shot and knocked it away and later flummoxed a BC player trying to get a pass. Marvin also forced a BC player who had stolen the puck deep to change direction making Slebodnick’s save easier. She also stole the puck in the Pride end, and deflected a BC shot. She teamed with Jordan Smelker to steal the puck and effort it out of danger.
- Jillian Dempsey intercepted a BC centering pass perhaps stopping BC’s last best chance.
- Lexi Bender intercepted and cleared an Eagle puck, she also stole the puck in her defensive zone, and disrupted a BC entry.
- Brianna Decker stole the puck and advanced it up the ice as she did many times.
- Emily Field had at least one steal.
Blocks: Brianna Decker (2). Jordan Smelker. Lexi Bender.
- Clears: Alex Carpenter (2), Kacey Bellamy (2), Jordan Smelker, Meghan Duggan, Rachel Llanes, Alyssa Gagliardi, Jillian Dempsey, Blade Bolden.
- Additionally Brianna Decker took the puck out of the Pride zone multiple times, including after intercepting a BC pass. In that case she hung out in the BC zone wasting even more time. Kacey Bellamy also brought it out at least once, and later poked it out of the zone.
- Blocks: Maggie Taverna, Kacey Bellamy