Hockey

NWHL: Buffalo Beauts and Boston Pride in a Barnburner

By David F. Pendrys

BOSTON, MA-In a game heavily influenced by the goaltending prowess, the Boston Pride edged the Buffalo Beauts in a shootout 2-1 Saturday night. Boston’s Brittany Ott made 16 saves on 17 shots faced and Buffalo’s Brianne McLaughlin faced 42 shots in regulation and saved 41.

The game had been a back and forth with McLaughlin stopping the Pride onslaught, but Buffalo was also getting their chances, fewer in number, but quality nonetheless. Ott however was prepared.

The lone Boston regulation goal came when Jordan Smelker was fed the puck in front of the Buffalo net and she got it by McLaughlin at 6:53 in the second. Assists went to Brianna Decker & Zoe Hickel. Hickel’s steal from a Beauts player in their zone had begun the setup for the tally.

Buffalo responded late in the third at 15:35 when Shiann Darkangelo teed up a shot from deep in the Boston zone and got it by Ott. Assists went to Sarah Casorso and Corinne Buie.

After overtime did not settle the matter, a shootout was conducted. Each side sent up three skaters and all were unsuccessful. Amanda Pelkey however went in McLaughlin and point blank got it past for the game winner.

While Boston did not have Hilary Knight, Buffalo went into this game without key players Kelley Steadman and Anne Schleper. Next week the Pride host the New York Riveters on Saturday. The Beauts are back home in Buffalo to host the Whale.

Noticed Plays: (As usual these are plays that are noticed in the chaos of game play, that might not make the score sheet. It is best to read these as if there is a big “at least” in front of each notation as a players achievements are not all going to be seen. Specifically there was a low number of noticed blocks in this game compared to others even though they were no doubt happening often. Shots were also thrown in here for the first time.)

Boston

Offensive:

  • Jillian Dempsey acquired the puck behind the net and centered it for a Pride shot attempt. Later she would take a shot of her own and get the ensuing rebound. She also much later intercepted a Beauts clearing attempt to turn the tables on them.
  • Meghan Duggan was fed the puck nicely and skated in on the attack. During a Boston effort she knocked the puck out of mid air to continue possession. Later she also stole the biscuit in the offensive zone to spark another attempt. At another point she intercepted a pass right in front of Buffalo’s net. She also got to an errant pass that was headed out of the Beauts zone and threaded it back to a teammate for a shot opportunity. She had 4 shots in the night’s action.
  • Decker took 8 shots on the day and broke in only to be thwarted by McLaughlin. She also fed Hickel for a chance at another juncture.
  • Carpenter had a break as part of her 5 shots of the evening.
  • Kathryn Tomaselli brought it in smoothly for one of her five shots as well.
  • Gigi Marvin and Smelker combined to move the puck along for an eventual shot.
  • Alyssa Gagliardi kept the puck from crossing the blue line so the Pride could keep the momentum going.
  • Kacey Bellamy had 4 shots during the game as well.

Zone Exits & Clears:

  • Blake Bolden moved it out a few times as did Bellamy
  • Emily Field, Pelkey, Carpenter, and Dempsey all brought it up as well at various instances.
  • Gagliardi picked up a Buffalo rebound and skated the puck away from danger and towards the opposing zone. Decker did a similar maneuver later in the game.

Disruptions & Blocks:

  • Dempsey whacked the puck out of goal mouth. Marvin also knocked a careening puck away from the empty side of the net later.
  • Hickel and Decker stopped a Beauts zone entry and got it to Smelker for an eventual shot.
  • Duggan, Bolden, Marvin, and Gagliardi all had at least one block. (Though this is again a lower number noticed than usual.)

Steals & Intercepts:

  • Duggan stole it in her zone and fed it up to start another break.
  • Carpenter intercepted a Buffalo centering pass and conveyed the puck out of her zone.

Buffalo

Offensive:

  • Paige Harrington kept the puck from escaping the Boston zone and that led to a shot.
  • Shiann Darkangelo had 6 shots including when she took it down ice, shot it, and then followed up and got it out of a scrum of people for a another attempt. She also stole it from the Pride during a power play and kept it in offensive end for a put in on net. Darkangelo also snatched the puck away from the Pride at the middle of the ice and carried it in. She would get yet another chance to bring it down much later.
  • Megan Bozek skated in for a good chance. She had 3 shots on the day.
  • Emily Janiga carried the puck in for an offensive setup.
  • Jacquie Greco stole the puck behind Ott’s net and fed it to a teammate.
  • Sarah Casorso broke in on net for one of Buffalo’s chances.
  • Devon Skeats maneuvered past the D effectively to get her own shot chance.
  • Harrison Browne raced in to keep puck from crossing the blue line and forcing a zone clear.

Disruptions & Blocks:

  • Ashley Vesci disrupted a Pride entry and Bozek retrieved it.
  • Casorso disrupted a Boston zone entry with a stick whack to the puck. She would disrupt another opposing effort later on too.
  • Browne and Jordyn Burns got in the way of shot and got it to Emily Pfalzer who brought it out and up to Emily Janiga on a break.
  • Devon Skeats and Browne cleared it out of goal mouth leading Browne to bring it down ice.
  • Burns disrupted a shot during game play.
  • Sarah Casorso and Buie each had least one block. Skeats had a block which resulted in the puck being cleared on the penalty kill. (Though as noted, noticed blocks seem really low.)

Zone Exits & Clears:

  • Pflazer, Bozek, and Kunichika all cleared it out of their goal mouth at some point during the night.
  • Kunichika and Harrington also had clears during a rare penalty.
  • Casorso sent it out, Browne cleared the zone, and Bozek did the same at varying instances.

Steals & Intercepts:

  • Janiga snagged it during a Pride effort in Beauts end and took it all the way back for an opportunity. She also knocked it out of zone on the penalty kill and exited the Beauts zone to waste more time.
  • Harrington retrieved the puck in her end quickly cleared it out. She also fought off the Pride in her end to feed it out. Much later she stole it from Pride and skated it out to the Boston zone.
  • Greco grabbed the puck and sent it out of the zone. She later stole it from a Pride player and got it into the neutral zone.
  • Burns intercepted the puck in front of her net and dispatched it away. She also stole it in the middle of the ice and dumped it in.
  • Browne acquired the puck in Buffalo zone and moved it out as well. She also cleared it out of the zone later to Pfalzer who went in on a break.
  • Skeats intercepted a pass in the Beauts zone and fed it out.
  • Bozek ended up with the puck in the defensive zone and got it out. She later stole it in her zone.
  • Kunichika got a rebound and exited the zone.

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