BOSTON, Dec. 3 – The Connecticut Whale have completed their six-game road trip to open the National Women’s Hockey League campaign. And the Whale are still having problems with the defending NWHL champion Boston Pride.
With three goals from Brianna Decker, Boston remained undefeated in year two of the NWHL with a 5-2 win over Connecticut Saturday night at the Warrior Ice Arena. The Pride improve to 7-0 on the season while Connecticut slips to 2-4 with their third straight loss.
Decker is the first NWHL player to get a hat trick (score three goals in a single game) on home ice. She has six goals and four assists on the year.
The Whale have lost seven games in a row to Boston, including two games here at the Warrior Ice Arena in the past month. Boston blanked Connecticut, 3-0 on November 12.
Boston plays at New York on Sunday and then will be on a break now until January 7 while Connecticut finally will play at their new home rink at Northford Ice Arena in North Branford next Sunday at 7 p.m. when the Whale host Buffalo (3-4-1). Connecticut opened the 2016-17 with six road games with two trips to Buffalo and Boston and a trip to Newark, N.J. to face the New York Riveters.
On Saturday night against Boston, the Whale snapped a long scoreless drought when rookie Dana Trivigno scored off a feed from Molly Emerson and Kelly Babstock with 6:38 gone in the game to take a 1-0 lead. It was the first goal for Connecticut since a 7-5 win over Buffalo on Oct. 23. The Whale didn’t score in recent losses to Boston or New York.
Boston quickly tied the game on a goal by Emily Field just 1:12 into the second period and took a two-goal lead less than a minute later on Duggan’s first goal of the afternoon.
Connecticut’s Kelli Stack scored her second goal of the season unassisted less than 30 seconds later to the contest at 2-2.
But Boston took the lead, 3-2, on a Decker power plant goal with 11:03 left in the second period and never trailed again. The Pride scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the contest to extend their lead to three goals.
Connecticut goalie Shenae Lundberg (1-3) made 22 saves in net while Boston goalie Lauren Shebodnick made 19 stops in net to pick up the win.
Boston 5, Connecticut 3
Connecticut (2-4) 1 1 0 — 2
Boston (7-0) 0 3 2 — 5
Connecticut 1, Dana Trivigno (Molly Emerson, Kelly Babstock); Penalties: Connecticut (Meagan Mangene), slashing, 2:02
Boston 1, Emily Field (Rachael Llanes, Amanda Pelkey), 1:12; Boston 2, Meghan Duggan (Jillian Dempsey), 2:41; Connecticut 2, Kelli Stack, 3:10; Boston 3, Brianna Decker (Zoe Hickel, Kacey Bellamy), 8:57 (pp); Penalties: Connecticut (Kelly Babstock), tripping, 7:52; Boston (Blake Bolden), tripping, 10:15; Boston (Amanda Pelkey), tripping, 18:30
Boston 4, Brianna Decker (Jordan Smelker, Zoe Hickel), 18:07; Boston 5, Brianna Decker (Alex Carpenter), 19:54; Penalties: Boston (Meghan Duggan), hooking 9:22
Shots on goal: Connecticut 21 (7-5-9); Boston 27 (7-9-11)
Goalies: Connecticut: Shenae Lundberg (L, 1-3), 22 saves, 27 shots; Boston: Lauren Shebodnick (W) 19 saves, 21 shots
Saturday, Dec. 3
Buffalo 5, New York 3
Boston 5, Connecticut 2
Sunday, Dec. 4
Boston at New York, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10
Buffalo at Connecticut, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 11
Connecticut at New York, 5 p.m.
NWHL leaders G A Pts
Brianna Decker, Bos 6 4 10
Alex Carpenter, Bost 4 6 10
Haley Skarupa, CT 5 4 9
Rebecca Russo, NY 3 6 9
Kelly Babstock, CT 3 5 8
Shiann Darkangelo, Buff 3 5 8
Goalies W-L GAA
Brittany Ott, Bos 5-0 0.98
Lauren Slebodnick, Bos 2-0 1.50
Nicole Stock, CT 1-1 2.50
Brianne McLaughlin, Buff 1-4 2.95