Sometimes box scores don't really tell the full story of a game. Saturday night's contest between the Boston Blades and the Brampton Thunder is not one of those times.
In the first period, the Thunder out-shot the Blades 22-4, scoring three goals. After that, the game evened out, with each team scoring two goals apiece and Brampton winning the shooting contest, 28-21.
"I thought we were sloppy in the first," Blades coach Brian McCloskey said after the game. "We're not a team who can spot another team three goals."
Despite the rough start, the Blades came back in the second, out-shooting the Thunder 13-11 and netted a goal, Assistant Captain Kristina Brown's second regulation goal this season.
The Blades struggled on the power play throughout the game, except for one stint in the second. After Brampton's Candice Styles went to the box for checking, the Blades put enough pressure on the Thunder to draw a second penalty, and were able to capitalize on the 5 on 3.
"[Megan] Myers and [Erin] Kickham got the puck to the net and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and buried it," Brown said after the game. The goal encapsulated the play of that line, which has been the team's best so far this year.
"We work really well together, we all work really hard and we're really smart when we feed off of each other," said Brown.
One other bright spot of Boston's season has been their penalty kill, which, unfortunately, was compromised twice during the game. In the first period Brown drew a tripping penalty, and the Thunder took advantage.
"They move the puck well and created good chances. We struggled to clear and they controlled the zone," McCloskey said of what led up to the goal.
The other came in the third, when Blades Captain Tara Watchorn, who leads the team in penalty minutes, was called for tripping. Though both Brown and McCloskey said that the goal was a result of a great shot, goaltender Genevieve Lacasse saw it differently.
"I didn't challenge far enough, I was pretty deep in my crease," she said after the game. "I kind of gave that one to her. I should've been out further. "
The Blades would get one more goal in the third, in an amazing play by defensemen Maggie DiMasi. DiMasi found herself deep in the neutral zone while Brampton was changing. Rachel Farrel made a great pass from the other side of the neutral zone to set her off. Though it looked clear for a moment, a Brampton defender caught up with DiMasi and brought her down. DiMasi shot as she was falling, but was still able to get enough on it to get it past Thunder goaltender Erica Howe.
As the team enters into their sixth straight, and final, game against the Thunder, the Blades hope to come out of the series with a win.
"We've shown that we can play them tight. They're going to out chance us, but we just have to be patient and smart," said McCloskey. "I just hope we can get off to a better start."