Even though the New York Riveters tried their best to ruin it on Saturday night, the Boston Pride are now three wins away from a perfect season.
In the past week, the Pride have completed two come-from-behind victories and won all three games they’ve played. Over the weekend, two of those games took place less than 24 hours apart, both on home ice at Warrior Ice Arena.
On Saturday, the Riveters jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and held the Pride offense to an astounding three shots on goal. Those goals came from none other than Amanda Kessel and Chowder’s own Tatiana Rafter.
Early in the second period, Hilary Knight redirected a shot by Alyssa Gagliardi to make it 2-1, but Kessel got another one right back to restore the two-goal lead. The Pride, who usually score the majority of their goals during the middle frame, decided to save all the excitement for the third period.
Less than four minutes in, Meghan Duggan and Knight tied the game, 3-3. A few minutes later, Gigi Marvin and Kacey Bellamy combined to thread a pass to Brianna Decker, who snuck it past Riveters goalie Katie Fitzgerald for what would be the game-winning goal.
Saturday’s win was the Pride’s second straight comeback victory, as last weekend they overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Connecticut Whale. On Sunday evening, the Pride hosted their second annual game dedicated to teammate Denna Laing, who suffered a spinal cord injury during the Women’s Winter Classic last year. Laing joined her teammates on the ice to drop the puck and participated in the pregame huddle. Prior to the game, the team penned an open letter to fans about what Laing has meant and continues to mean not only to the Pride, but to the hockey community:
In April, Laing will be participating in the 121st Boston Marathon. You can donate to her fundraising page for Journey Forward, a non-profit helping those with spinal cord injuries, here.
On the ice on Sunday, the offense piled on seven goals against the Buffalo Beauts, while the defense and goalkeeper Lauren Slebodnick allowed just one goal. The Pride boasted five different goal scorers: Hilary Knight, Kacey Bellamy (2), Brianna Decker (2), Alex Carpenter, and Jillian Dempsey. Decker’s two goals brought her season total to 13, one ahead of teammate Meghan Duggan in the race for league scoring leader. Decker is second in the league in assists (17), trailing only Alex Carpenter, who has 19.
In related news, the second annual NWHL Awards will be taking place on March 14, and voting is now open for the Fans’ Three Stars of the Season. If you want to make sure your favorite player gets some recognition, go cast your votes now! Voting will close at noon on Monday, March 13.
In the final game of the regular season, the Pride will travel to Newark, N.J. to face the New York Riveters on March 12. After that, they will face the league’s fourth seed in the one-game semifinal and, hopefully — probably — advance to the Isobel Cup Championship. Grab your tickets to watch the Pride complete their perfect season in person ASAP, and we’ll see you there!