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Playoff Preview: Boston Pride v. New York Riveters

The Pack will kick off their playoff run Friday night against their old rivals from Brooklyn.

Just the Facts

Where: Raymond J. Bourque Arena at Endicott College, Beverly, MA

When: Friday 7:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 p.m., Sunday 7:00 (if necessary)

Watch:, NWHL Cross-Ice Pass

Rival SBN Site: Blue Shirt Banter

Game Notes

With a roster stacked with Olympians and Team USA players, the Pride are the clear favorites to advance to the finals. These players are used to high-pressure situations and they all will likely rise to the occasion. Boston led the league in every offensive category this season, occupying not only the #1 spot, but second place as well. Namely, Hilary Knight finished first in points, goals, and assists (33-15-18) while her co-captain and linemate Brianna Decker was a close second (29-14-15).

New York’s Bray Ketchum finished fourth in goals with 10, but she was one of only four members of the Riveters to break the top 20. While it was difficult for anyone to compare to the Pride offensively this season, the Riveters in particular struggled to generate goal-scoring opportunities. They were held to one goal in nine of the 18 regular season games; the Pride’s only single-goal game was Brittany Ott’s shutout against the Buffalo Beauts. If the Pride offense does what it does best, and Ott is in top form, this could be a very short postseason for the Riveters.

However, even though New York finished last in the league, winning only four games, two of those wins came against the Pride. What they lack in offense they make up for in goaltending, with both Jenny Scrivens and Nana Fujimoto having several great performances this season. In both wins over the Pride, Fujimoto went above and beyond to keep the game in her favor. On November 15, she stopped a startling 63 of 65 shots and one week later, helped to spoil Boston’s homer opener by saving 43 of 45 shots. Although the Pride seem to have figured out everyone’s strategy of clogging the center of the ice in front of the goal to keep them from scoring, it was highly effective for the Riveters in their two wins. The Riveters are undoubtedly studying the tapes from those games to replicate their performances. On paper, this match up seems like a cakewalk for the Pride, but the Riveters could certainly make it interesting.

Never Forget

That time the Pride set the single game scoring record with an 8-1 win over NYR.