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Boston Pride stay on pace with Connecticut

With a 6-1 win over the Riveters, the Pride remain just one point shy of first place.

The Boston Pride

The New York Riveters just can't catch a break.

During Saturday night's game at Aviator Sports Center, the Boston Pride took ten penalties, including three straight in the second period, but the Rivs only managed to get one past the ever-brilliant Brittany Ott.

Goalkeeper Chelsea Laden, who the Riveters recently received in the NWHL's first-ever trade from the Connecticut Whale, made her first start since October on Saturday. In typical Pride fashion, they made it a night Laden will want to forget. Kelly Cooke opened the scoring around five minutes into the first period, tipping in Alyssa Gagliardi's blue line bomb while on the power play.

Lyudmila Belyakova made it even at one just a few seconds later with a power play goal of her own, which tied her with Meghan Fardelmann for the most goals on the team with five. Yes, you read that right. Five. In comparison, Hilary Knight leads the league with 14 goals. The Riveters' goalscoring struggles have been hard to ignore all season, but never more glaringly obvious than in the second period on Saturday. The Pride's three straight penalties had little overlap and they were forced to go on the penalty kill for nearly six full minutes.  New York, despite the lengthy advantage, were unable to capitalize on nine of the 10 power play opportunities they had.

Meanwhile, the Pride penalty kill looked impenetrable and their offense fired on all cylinders. Jillian Dempsey and Gigi Marvin added to the first period scoring to give the Pride a 3-1 lead. Despite speculation that Marvin's goal had been tipped in, she confirmed in an interview during the intermission that the goal was indeed hers.

After Zoe Hickel scored this beauty early on in the second period, she served two of those three straight penalties.

That's okay, Zoe, you didn't miss much.

Hilary Knight and Briana Decker both played all over the ice, showcasing their speed and passing skills before getting on the scoresheet as well in the third period and assisting each other's goals.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NWHL?src=hash">#NWHL</a> Goal by Brianna Decker (<a href="https://twitter.com/Bdecker14">@Bdecker14</a>) and <a href="https://twitter.com/TheBostonPride">@TheBostonPride</a> leads 5-1 <a href="https://t.co/1ShkJOzQXE">pic.twitter.com/1ShkJOzQXE</a></p>&mdash; NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) <a href="https://twitter.com/nwhlgifs/status/696136269609488384">February 7, 2016</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NWHL?src=hash">#NWHL</a> Goal by Hilary Knight (<a href="https://twitter.com/Hilary_Knight">@Hilary_Knight</a>) seals the win for <a href="https://twitter.com/TheBostonPride">@TheBostonPride</a>. Pride wins 6-1. <a href="https://t.co/mGQEa0PpG5">pic.twitter.com/mGQEa0PpG5</a></p>&mdash; NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) <a href="https://twitter.com/nwhlgifs/status/696141373267959808">February 7, 2016</a></blockquote>

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As a result of the 6-1 victory, the Pride slid into first place, if only for a few hours. The Buffalo Beauts gave it their all on Sunday afternoon, fighting the Connecticut Whale to a 2-2 tie through regulation before falling 3-2 in overtime. We applaud your efforts, Buffalo. You'll get that overtime win against the Whale one day.

The Whale are clinging to their one-point lead heading into Sunday's matchup with the Pride at Bright Hockey Center, which will be the Pride's final home game of the season. It will also be Denna Day, with all proceeds from the game benefitting the Denna Laing Fund. Fans are also asked to wear yellow to support both the team and Denna and the game will be televised on NESN. With a victory, the Pride would overtake the Whale for first place on live TV, no less. Get your tickets now, folks. This is gonna be a good one.