The Pride held off a late Buffalo Beauts comeback to secure a much-needed win, their first at the Bright Hockey Center in front of the home crowd.
In the past three weeks, we’ve seen them face outstanding goaltending and shutdown defense.
This was not that kind of game.
The Pride outshot the Beauts 50-21, according to the NWHL’s stats, and had 20 shots in the first period alone. One of Boston’s problems during the losing streak was starting off slow, which they certainly remedied on Saturday night. There were seven goals total in the first period, including two each for Jillian Dempsey and Buffalo’s Devon Skeats. Dempsey opened the scoring early on, going glove side on McLaughlin.
The Boston Pride's first goal is scored by Jillian Dempsey pic.twitter.com/BY89Sszrej— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) December 6, 2015
She followed that up with a second a few minutes later, assisted both times by Rachel Llanes.
Dempsey could have had a hat trick in the first period alone, but Brianne McLaughlin, on a night she would surely like to forget, was able to somehow deny her. McLaughlin was pulled in the first period after giving up five goals, being replaced by Amanda Makela. Jordan Smelker, Hilary Knight, and Emily Field also got on the scoresheet in first.
However, it wasn’t a great night in net for Lauren Slebodnick either, who also ended up allowing five goals before Brittany Ott took over for her in the third period. Just as they did against the Connecticut Whale a few weeks ago, the Beauts were able to stage a thrilling comeback, scoring three goals in the third period after being down 6-3. Despite their efforts, thankfully there was no tying goal and no shootout. Honestly, with the HUGE NEWS that came out tonight, I don’t think I would’ve survived a shootout.
Buffalo’s Devon Skeats, who was named the NWHL’s player of the week, led the charge for the Beauts tonight and scored her first hat trick. Her third goal made the score 6-5.
The two most important goals for the Pride came from Amanda Pelkey, who has scored in three straight games, and Rachel Llanes, who had the game-winning goal. Pelkey went glove side, unassisted, to make it 6-3.
With one minute left, Buffalo captain Emily Pflazer scored her first goal of the season, narrowing the Pride’s lead to 7-6, but the comeback was not to be.
Emily Pfalzer records her first goal of the season and the Beauts' sixth of the game. FINAL: BOS 7 BUF 6 pic.twitter.com/Gf0PYUjyaJ— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) December 6, 2015
In a quick turnaround, the Pride will take on their developing rivals the New York Riveters Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Now that they’ve broken the losing streak and have some momentum, hopefully they can prevent the Rivs from taking three straight from them.