By David F. Pendrys
STAMFORD, CT – The Boston Pride got their revenge on the Connecticut Whale for the two previous losses Sunday afternoon at Terry Conners Rink with a 5-1 victory. The line of Emily Field, Jillian Dempsey, and Dana Trivigno accounted for all five of Boston’s goals on a day when they were just on fire. Kelly Babstock would finally break Brittany Ott’s shutout late in the game as well to deny the Boston netminder a clean sheet.
“Obviously a very frustrating start to the season for us, so we’re excited that things are finally starting to click and roll,” Dempsey said. “I think it just stemmed from a lot of hard forechecking and trying to go hard and make plays happen.”
“I thought we played great,” Boston Head Coach Thomas Poeck said. “We had a couple of real good battles the first two games against them where we didn’t came out on the wrong end of it. So it definitely felt nice to get the win. It’s important for us to get two in a row. Now I think the whole team has a better feeling of what they have to do, and how to play with each other, and take some time to get used to it, but they played great today.”
On the Whale side there was the obvious need to keep growing and build.
“We worked a lot on D-zone, and obviously we struggled on that today,” Whale Captain Sam Faber said. “We did stay out of the box which is a good thing. We had a good amount of shots, but we’re not burying them right now. We’ve got to be a little more patient with the puck and go from there.”
How it went down:
The game started fairly evenly with both teams getting their opportunities. But following a Connecticut Whale attack right on net and an Anya Battaglino shot, Dempsey got to the rebound which was skittering dangerously in the crease and started it out. Soon afterward the Pride skated back up the ice at high speed and Field got the puck past Sydney Rossman for the first goal of the game at 6:56 with the assist going to Dempsey.
The Whale pressed an attack and Grace Klienbach, Juana Baribeau and Cydney Roesler all sent shots on net in rapid succession but Field got the puck and fought it across the blue line, feeding it to Trivigno who continued on into the zone. She then fed it to a streaking Dempsey who launched it top shelf from right in front as she passed by at 11:03.
Still period 1 ended with the Whale having 8 shots and the Pride 7. It was a a fairly even back and forth, though period 2 would change that as the Pride sent 13 on net and the Whale only 5. (Though this still seems low on the Whale side.)
5:30 into the frame Dempsey struck again assisted by Field and Kaliya Johnson. Field had brought it into the Whale zone and slid behind the net, only to drop the puck back to Dempsey who had crept up to Rossman’s right. The goaltender was still following Field and a gap opened up on the right that Dempsey slipped the biscuit into.
The period featured two rare penalties called on the Pride, but the Whale despite a great effort was unable to get anything past Ott.
“I think plays like penalty kills, blocked shots, those kinds of little plays give us a lot of energy so we were able to feed on that, especially when they had some really great shooters putting pucks on the net and a lot of scrums…so we get a lot of energy from big kills, and being able without giving up a goal on those.”
Still even trailing 3-0 the Whale still had hope as they were fully capable of mounting comebacks like in past weeks.
The Dempsey Field Trivigno line attempted to remove said hope in the third when Dempsey carried the puck into the Whale zone quickly. She fed it across to Field, who then fed it back across to Trivigno and she blasted it into the net before the netminder could slide back at 3:53. Coach Ryan Equale decided to pull Rossman at this juncture in favor of Laura Brennan.
The Whale would respond 30 seconds later as during a possession in the zone Rachael Ade sent the puck from Ott’s left to a waiting Kelly Babstock at the right of the Pride net and the puck was deposited forthwith in the back of the mesh. Emily Fluke also picked up an assist.
Connecticut wouldn’t be able to score again, and Trivigno added an additional dagger at 11:46 as she swept down the ice to Brennan’s left and wristed it past her at high speed. An assist went to the newly arrived Kaleigh Fratkin who had signed just days before and was noticeable on both sides of the ice defensively and offensively. It seemed like she had never left the league.
“She’s a good player, we needed help, she jumped right, she seemed to fit in perfectly. There’s not much you can do in a day and a half in the bus ride over and in practice, but she’s done great and we’re happy to have her,” Poeck said.
“She’s jelling so far perfectly,” Dempsey said. “She Came right in. We had her for practice Friday and for the game today. She’s making an impact where she can so we’re happy to have her,.”
As for the scoring line that had done so much damage, Dempsey explained how they approached things.
“It was a blast today,” Dempsey said.”It was one of those days where plays were happening, and we’re working and it’s paying off. I think our mindset today was just stay on the gas pedal, keep going, try and keep putting pressure on them and make things happen. And my line mates played great today, Fieldsy had beautiful passes, and Dana too. So it was a fun day all around.”
“The three of them has played really well the last few games,” Poeck said. “But the games before they played well too just the puck wasn’t bouncing their way, wasn’t going in, so it’s nice to see, and I’m happy for them to get some confidence, and hopefully it can keep it going for us.”
Ott would end the day facing 19 shots and saving 18. Rossman faced 22 and saved 18, Brennan faced 6 and saved 5.
Brennan was put right into action quickly with no time to prepare and fended off some serious attempts by the Pride as Boston did not take their foot of the gas no doubt remembering how the Whale had come back on them weeks before. It should be remembered that Brennan, though the longest tenured keeper on the Whale, did not see action last season, so her first regular season action came being thrown to the fire. This was not lost on Faber who complimented her relief appearance post game.
Trivigno led the Pride with 10 shots on goal. Lexi Bender had 4, Alyssa Gagliardi had 3 as did Dempsey. Corey Stearns had two blocks for the Pride, and Mary Parker, Fratkin, Dempsey, and Kathryn Tomaselli all had 1 apiece.
Babstock led the Whale with 4 shots on goal, Battaglino had 3, Stephanie Mock, Shannon Doyle, Ade, and Klienbach all had 2 apiece. Doyle, Fluke, and Roesler all had 2 blocked shots apiece, and Jamie Goldsmith, Sam Faber, and Klienbach all had 1.
It was again a day in which the Whale had a wide variety of scoring chances as their usual suspects got in on net a lot, but the goals just didn’t come. The wide open nature of both team’s attacks let the other side exploit the quick chances that could be generated in transition, but the Pride were able to finish. The Whale hit at least one post, and had other chances which were seemingly going to succeed only to be narrowly missed.
Hanna Beattie played in her second game for the Whale tonight as she works to get conditioned. Nonetheless she was very active and noticed in the D-zone.
“Try to play more defensively so I don’t get burned,” Beattie said. “Let my D partner play the more offensive role. In college the offensive one, rushing the puck, but I figured I’d be more of use staying back, and waiting for the play to come to me.”
She also noted the differences in the game from her time at Williams and NWHL hockey.
“The speed of the game is faster than anything I’ve experienced….D3 hockey is definitely slower…you gotta be on your feet all the time, thinking on step ahead always,”
She also spoke of playing with Roesler.
“She was very welcoming, very supportive of me…we had some nice plays in the defensive zone .She was good with reversing the puck, and we would talk constantly which was very helpful. And then if one of us made a mistake we’d just talk about it on the bench and try to regroup the next shift.”
The Connecticut Whale travel to Buffalo next week to take on the Beauts. A reminder that usually Beauts v. Whale games especially in Buffalo can be bananas. The Pride will be back home to take on The Riveters.
“We know it’s going to be a grind, it’s going to be physical. It always with them,” Dempsey said of the looming Riveters clash. “It really is with anybody in this league. It’s always a battle, always a dogfight. We’re expecting that and we were really disappointed with how we played the first game of the season against them. I think we’re going to be a different team from what they saw that day and we’re just going to focus on us. Go in there play hard, play physical, and things should hopefully go our way,”
(Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified Paige Harrington as the one moving the puck out of the crease. It was Dempsey on further review.)
Larger versions at the Facebook page gallery.
Poeck Presser (Features Erica Ayala of The Ice Garden & NWHL.Zone as lead questioner, as well as myself.)
Beattie presser (Features Erica Ayala of The Ice Garden & NWHL.Zone as lead questioner, as well as myself.)
Note: Rather than write these out I am providing the raw notes. (A key is below the images.) There just is not enough time to do the write up, but if this is useful to anyone please view. Note as always these are noticed plays, not a comprehensive list, as sometimes writing down one play causes me to miss another and so on.
The Boston Pride
Below are what the columns mean, but marks within the columns are as a follows:
Marks are made to signify one of something. OR an F means (From in front.) P (Power Play) A (Resulted in scoring chance) TA (Resulted in team scoring chance) G (Resulted in goal) P (Power Play)
PK (On the penalty kill) OGM (Out of goal mouth) FIO (Fight it out of zone) CP (Centering pass) ZE (Zone entry)
Note goals are rarely noted as they are already part of the game score sheet. Also a scoring chance is only noted once for each player. So if it’s under N it’s not under A and so on.
A- Scoring Chance:
K-Kept In the Zone
Z – Puck acquisition in Offensive Zone…
ZA-…Leading to a scoring chance.
ZTA-…Leading to a team scoring chance.
SZ-Steal in Offensive Zone
M- Puck acquisition in Neutral Zone
SD-Steal in Defensive Zone
D-Puck acquisition in Defensive Zone…
DT-…and started puck out of zone.
DO-…skated puck out of zone.
DS-…sent puck out of zone.
ETE-Went D-Zone to O-Zone
SRT-Short handed try.
IZ-Intercept in O-Zone
IN-Intercept in Neutral Zone
ID-Intercept in D-Zone
IC-Intercept Centering Pass
XA-Disrupt scoring chance.
CPK-Clear on Penalty Kill