By David F. Pendrys
NORTHFORD, CT- The Connecticut Whale got out to a 4-1 lead on the as yet undefeated Boston Pride, but the Pride were able to claw back to take the 5-4 win Friday night.
Nicole Kosta got the scoring going in the first when Kelly Babstock fed her from behind the net in the slot and she sent it by Boston’s Brittany Ott. An additional assist went to Shannon Doyle on the opening tally.
The swift Brianna Decker responded for Boston almost immediately assisted by Hilary Knight and Jordan Smelker. The Whale’s own speedster, Kelli Stack minutes later swept down the side of the ice and launched one past Ott regain the lead. Haley Skarupa and Micaela Long helped set up that one.
It would be Babstock that enlarged the lead assisted by Skarupa and Kaliya Johnson five minutes later. That was also the end of the Ott’s day as Lauren Slebodnick came in in relief. The Connecticut lead grew in the second as the former Pride member Zoe Hickel scored on the power play assisted by Dana Trivigno and Stack at 5:27.
But then Boston went on a tear. At 12:14 Jordan Smelker scored assisted by Lexi Bender and Decker. Soon however the Whale were on the Power Play, but this did not turn out as expected as Hilary Knight broke away and in on CT’s Shenae Lundberg for a short handed goal. During the same penalty the Pride got into the Whale end again and Decker and Knight set up Gigi Marvin who shot it into the netting before falling down in elation as she tied it.
About 2 minutes later Emily Field delivered the game winner set up by Decker. That ended the scoring for the rest of the game and the Pride were able to hold on for the 5-4 win.
Ott made 6 saves on the day on 9 shots, Slebodnick made 12 on 13 shots. For the Whale, Lundberg made an impressive 45 saves on 50 shots.
The Whale are now 4-11-1 and the Pride rise to 14-0-0.
Post game reaction: