A few weeks ago, the Boston Blades did something that they hadn't done all season: put someone other than Genevieve Lacasse in net.
During the second intermission of Feb. 6 5-0 loss to the Furies, Blades Head Coach Brian McCloskey surprised backup netminder Amanda Cariddi when he put her in over Lacasse for the game's final period.
At that point, the Blades were down 4-0, with Lacasse letting up four goals on 22 shots. Cariddi, who served a similar function at Syracuse, wasn't phased by McCloskey's decision.
"I like not knowing," she said. "I always prepare for every game like I'm going to play."
Cariddi ended up stopping 11 of 12, doing enough to earn a start the following day. Though, once again, McCloskey didn't tell her until just before the game.
"It doesn't give you the time to psych yourself out," Cariddi said of the short notice.
After her teammates gave her words of encouragement prior to puck drop, they rallied around Cariddi, scoring two goals, despite ultimately, losing the game. All-Star blue-liner Dru Burns scored her first goal of the season on a power play in the second and, just a few minutes later, Megan Myers added another off of a rebound from Kristina Brown.
"I saw them stepping up, so I wanted to step up for them even more," said Cariddi, which she did, stopping 49 of 53 shots.
Overall, in four periods of play, Cariddi earned a .923 save percentage with a 3.78 GAA.
"My teammates really skated their harts out for me," Cariddi said of her first professional start. "It was amazing. I had the time of my life out there."
With just two more games left in the season, its uncertain if Cariddi will get another chance to play again this year, but, sometimes, there's more to being on a team than playing in a game.
"This year has tested everyone's perseverance, but it's made us come together," she said. "We always know how to pick each other up."
The Blades wrap up their 2015/16 season in Montreal this weekend, playing tonight at 5:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.