BOSTON, Nov. 4 – A year ago, the Boston Pride rolled through the regular season winning 17 of 18 games. They haven’t lost a game in Boston in nearly two years.
But it’s a different season this year. Seven players from last year’s Pride team won’t take the ice for Boston in the National Women’s Hockey League because they are playing for the U.S. national team that is preparing for the Winter Olympics. Two Buffalo players and two Metropolitan players are also with Team USA.
No one is unbeatable this year. The Connecticut Whale, who had dropped their previous 11 games to the Pride, handed Boston their second loss of the season Saturday night with a 2-1 victory at Warrior Arena.
Rookie Emily Fluke (Middlebury College) grabbed a loose puck in front of the Boston net and scored with 10:20 left in the game to lift the Whale (1-1) to their first victory of the season. The Pride, who lost just one game in the regular season last year, are now 0-2.
The last team to beat the Pride in Boston was Connecticut in November 29, 2015 – the last time that the Whale have beaten the Pride.
Boston goalie Emily Ott tried to corral a shot from Connecticut’s Kelly Babstock but couldn’t control it. Fluke grabbed it, zipped behind the net and wrapped the shot into the open net before Ott could move to her right and cover that portion of the goal.
The Pride picked up the pace and intensified the pressure in the final 10 minutes but Connecticut goalie Sydney Rossman and her Whale defenders were able to keep the Pride at bay as Rossman earned her first NWHL victory. She made 28 saves in the game, seven in the third period.
Boston took a quick 1-0 lead in the first period when Heather Schwarz scored her first professional goal with a hard shot past Rossman with just 2:58 gone in the game.
Connecticut tied the game at 1-1 with a second period goal from rookie Jamie Goldsmith (St. Lawrence University) with 28 seconds left in the period. She took a cross-ice pass from veteran Shannon Doyle and put it past Ott.
The Whale return to action on Saturday night when they host the undefeated Metropolitan Riveters (2-0) at Terry Connors Rink in Stamford at 7 p.m.
Connecticut 2, Boston 1
Connecticut (1-1) 0 1 1 — 2
Boston (0-2) 1 0 0 — 1
Boston 1, Heather Schwarz (Megan Mangene, Haley Skarupa), 2:58 (pp); Penalties: Kelly Babstock (CT) hooking, 2:11; Jordan Smelker (B) hooking, 3:34; Cydney Roesler (CT) cross checking, 5:55; Emily Field (B) hooking, 16:34
Connecticut 1, Jamie Goldmith (Shannon Doyle, Elena Orlando), 19:32 (pp); Penalties: Babstock (CT) body checking, 5:11; Paige Harrington (B) body checking and game misconduct, 17:05
Connecticut 2, Emily Fluke (Kelly Babstock), 9:40
Shots: Connecticut 25 (9-8-8), Boston 29 (15-7-7)
Goalies: Brittany Ott, Boston (L, 0-2) 25 shots, 23 saves; Sydney Rossman, Connecticut (W, 1-1) 29 shots, 28 saves
Power play: Connecticut 1-4, Boston 1-3
2017-18 NWHL standings
Connecticut 2, Boston 1
Metropolitan 6, Buffalo 2
Saturday, November 11
Metropolitan at Connecticut, 7
Boston at Buffalo, 8