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Previews: Beauts, Riveters vs. Pride

Let's play two!

NWHL

Just the facts:

When: Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 3:00 p.m.

Where: Bright Hockey Center, Boston, MA

TV: Saturday ESPN3, Sunday NESN

Ticket Info: get tickets to both games for $30!

Game notes:

The Boston Pride (3-3) have their only back-to-back games of the season this weekend, facing off against both New York teams within 24 hours. Saturday evening, the Beauts (1-5) make their first trip to Boston, coming off their first win of the season this past weekend.  On Sunday, the Riveters (2-4) return to Boston in hope of continuing their winning ways over the Pride.

Even though the Beauts have just one win, Kelley Steadman leads the league in goals with six and teammate Meghan Duggan has eight points total, the third most.  In fact, the Beauts have scored 17 total goals this season while the Riveters have only ten.  Beauts' goalie Brianne Mclaughlin has allowed an average of 4.62 goals per game, which I'm sure the Pride players have noted with glee.

According to the NWHL's stats, the Pride have had 45, 43, and 45 shots on goal in the last three games against the likes of Nana Fujimoto and Connecticut's Jaimie Leonoff.  Against a weaker goalie, the Pride offense may finally be able to break out of their relative slump on Saturday night.  In the season opener in Buffalo, the Pride got four past Mclaughlin, half of them by Hilary Knight. Perhaps the #KnightTrick will finally come on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Riveters have won two of their last three, and both wins have been over the Pride. By the same score. In both of those 3-2 losses, the Pride's greatest struggle has been trying to figure out the brick wall that is Fujimoto. However, Fujimoto left Sunday's game in the third period with an apparent injury and there has been no word on its extent other than her own tweet.

So, the Pride may have a bit more time to solve that puzzle.  They have lost three straight, all of which have been very similar.  Their offense has been shutdown by defenses clogging the middle of the ice, as well as by outstanding goaltending, and they have looked sluggish and disorganized at times, especially in the first period.  If they can get back on track with a win over Buffalo on Saturday night, that will set the tone for their rematch with their developing rivals from Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon.

Even though the Pride haven't been winning, they've had three consistent contributors on the scoresheet.  Amanda Pelkey has a goal in two straight games, while Kacey Bellamy and Knight have each scored in two of the last three.  In net, Brittany Ott has let in a few early goals as of late, as well as some she probably should have saved.  She will probably split time with Lauren Slebodnick for the game against Buffalo, especially if the offense comes out shooting. Although their minutes are hardly comparable, Ott playing 212 and Slebodnick only 87, the latter has a .955 save percentage, which is the best in the league.  A small sample size, but perhaps an argument to give her some more minutes.

After this weekend, the Pride will have a week off, then continue their homestand on the 20th against Buffalo yet again. To close out the month, (and the year!), they'll make their first trip to Chelsea Piers to face the Whale on the 27th. By the end of the month, they could, and should, be able to bring their home record to 3-2.

ICYMI:

We have a team dog.

A photo posted by Boston Pride (@thebostonpride) on