Yesterday was a disappointing first day in the Bubble for the Pride. It marks only the second time in franchise history that the team lost on opening day. The other was the (should-be) forgotten 2017-2018 season when all of the Team USA players left the league. That season turned out rather rough for the Pride and they are hoping to avoid a similar fate. But here are a few major points to look at from yesterday.
Sparkless Power Play
How do you sugar coat a power play unit going 0-6? You don’t. The Pride were lackluster with a skater advantage while also taking four penalties themselves, which also yielded no goals thankfully. Last year the Pride were atop the Special Teams leaderboards, and just about every other category, yesterday seems to indicate a bit more work is going to be needed to be as dominant.
Both sides were highlighted by phenomenal goaltending. Lovisa Selander kept the Pride in the game throughout and really wasn’t at fault for either goal. However, the show was stolen by Amanda Leveille. Lev made 36 saves, with a number of point blank sequences that she had no business stopping. If the Whitecaps are going to defend their crown, they are technically the defending champs as there was no trophy awarded last year, it will be squarely on her back.
Normally you don’t cheer for penalties but there is something that sparks a little joy when Kaleigh Fratkin adds more penalty minutes to her already impressive total. She is the All-Time NWHL PIM leader and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Her tenacity has been beneficial throughout her career dating back to her BU and Boston Blades days. Old time Bruins fans are no strangers to players in the box and Fratkin adds quite a bit of skill to that mix as well.
Metropolitan Riveters: 2 - Toronto Six: 0- This marked the first time in NWHL history that a team was shutout in their opening game.
Connecticut Whale: 2 - Buffalo Beauts: 1