By David F. Pendrys
NEWARK, NJ- The Boston Pride have been drawn into two shootouts this season and survived both but not for lack of trying on the part of the New York Riveters. The goalie match up placed the stalwart Brittany Ott of Boston vs. the return of Sojung Shin to the New York net.
The Pride struck fast when Meghan Duggan scored within the first two minutes. She was assisted by Jillian Dempsey and Kacey Bellamy. Dempsey had weaved in and out of traffic and drew Shin to the side of the net, as the puck moved across it, Duggan was waiting to put it into the gap that emerged.
A few minutes later Alex Carpenter turned the tables on the Riveters during a Pride Penalty and scored a short handed goal at 4:02 unassisted. She had come up with the puck and outraced the defenders getting a clean shot at the net and launching it by the keeper to pick up the 2-0 lead.
That would be the last Pride goal scored outside of a shootout the rest of the game as the Riveters held them off. Bray Ketchum got the Rivs on the board at 14:07 right off a faceoff assisted by Janine Weber.
After a rough first period for the Riveters, Head Coach Chad Wiseman said, “I challenged them after the first, and they responded. They answered the bell and they battled for 40 minutes. There’s no easy way to play hockey in general. There’s no easy way to play Boston. Everything you do matters, every shift, every decision you make through 60 minutes.”
Late in the second period at 17:19 Ashley Johnston teed up a blast from way back in the zone which bounced past Ott to tie the game assisted by Alexa Gruschow and Ketchum who set it up.
The two teams would attempt to take the lead but that was it until the shootout.
Madison Packer, Rebecca Russo, and Miye D’Oench all skated for the Riveters but Ott thwarted them. Gigi Marvin, Brianna Decker, and Amanda Pelkey attempted to score on Shin but could not beat her.
Kaleigh Fratkin then was the next Riveter shooter, but she didn’t beat Ott either. Zoe Hickel then took the ice for Boston and finally ended the deadlock. She came in from Shin’s right and skate across popping the puck through the goalies pads and end the contest.
“Overall we played a great game. It always hurts to lose after fighting 60 minutes and another 5 minutes. I think we really deserved to win that game,” Bray Ketchum of the Riveters said in the post game session.
Ott made 26 saves on 28 Riveters shots and Shin made 33 saves on 35 Boston shots.
“I tried to be confident after the couple of goals….Actually I was frustrated,” Shin said regarding how she responded to the initial Pride advantage. She noted the Riveters were here experience with a high level team as she plays on men’s teams in South Korea and it is a different experience.
“After those two went in, she could of gone the other way today and she didn’t,” Wiseman said about Shin. “She answered the bell. She played fantastic in the last 45 minutes and the shootout. She did a great job.”
“She was steady, she was solid the entire time…when our team was running around with our heads cut off in the d-zone, she was there calm, cool, and collected ready to make the save,” Riveters Captain
Ashley Johnston said in analysis of the goaltender’s performance.
One of the areas the Riveters did not find success in was the power play given that they went 0 for 5 and gave up a short handed goal. “We just struggled today. We had a few decent looks, but not a lot of offensive zone time. We got stuck in our zone or the neutral zone…then you’re in the middle of line changes, and we just couldn’t get an momentum on it,” Wiseman said. “I thought we did a much better job our PK today,” Wiseman said in comparison to the day before versus Buffalo.
This was also the last game for retiring Riveter Morgan Fritz-Ward who has been with the team since its creation. “Fritzy’s a special person,” Johnston said speaking about her teammate and friend. “I can’t even begin to explain how amazing she is.”
“We’re going to miss her. She’s a grinder. She’s a great PK’er for us,” Ketchum said of Fritz-Ward.
Fritz-Ward herself mentioned how important all the games were and how she had started playing hockey late but she wasn’t sure she would get to college hockey, but she got the opportunity. She also went on to thank for the fans for everything they did, including following the team to a new arena.
The Riveters welcome in the Whale on Sunday in a match up renewing their tri-state area rivalry.
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