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Quick burst helps Boston pulls away from Connecticut, 5-2

Boston’s Kali Flanagan (6) keeps the puck away from Connecticut’s Justine Reyes (14) in Friday night’s PHF game in Simsbury. Boston won, 5-2.

SIMSBURY, Jan. 6, 2023 – A little less than three weeks ago, the Connecticut Pride put a season-high 53 shots on net in a two-goal win over the defending Isobel Cup champion Boston Pride.

The two Premier Hockey Federation teams returned to the ice Friday at the International Skating Center of Connecticut with the Whale getting 40 shots on net.

But buoyed by the return of three Pride players back from international competition, Boston scored three second period goals in the span of 4:21 to beat Connecticut, 5-2 and move into a first place tie with the Toronto Six (7-1-2).

Boston (8-2) benefitted with the return of speedy defenseman Kali Flanagan, who played for the United States in the two Rivalry Series games against Canada in December, and Elizabeth Giguère, who played for the Canadians in that series. Aneta Tejralova missed games playing international games with the Czechoslovakia national team.

Flanagan was a mainstay on the Pride defense, using her speed to disrupt the Whale offense with teammate Kaleigh Fratkin, while Giguère had a goal and one assist. Loren Gabel had a goal and two assists for the Pride.

Boston goalie Corrine Schroeder made 38 saves in net to earn her league-leading eighth win in nine starts.

“We played a lot of defense tonight, obviously,” Flanagan said. “We had a great goaltender behind us and a really a great defensive corp. We let it slip a little bit in the second period but we put our heads down got to work and got it done.”

Boston led 1-0 after one period but scored three goals in a little over four minutes to take a commanding 4-0 lead. Connecticut (3-3-1) cut the lead to two goals after two periods on a short-handed goal from leading scorer Taylor Girard and a goal with 2.5 seconds from Justin Reyes.

But the Whale couldn’t muster up any more offense, getting just nine shots on net in the third period.

“It is all about coming together as a team and playing together as a team,” Flanagan said. “We want to have that killer mentality every night we go on the ice.”

Boston’s Kali Flanagan (6) tries to block a shot from Connecticut’s Kennedy Marchment (22) in Friday night’s PHF game in Simsbury. Boston prevailed, 5-3.

“It was more that they could and did capitalize on our mistakes where we just didn’t do that,” Whale captain Shannon Turner said. “We had plenty of opportunities. It was just when they had an opportunity on that golden road of ice in front of the net, they put it in and we didn’t.”

Boston took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Christine Putigna with 1:24 gone in the game right through the legs of Connecticut goalie Abbie Ives, who made some tremendous saves in the game including a point-blank save on Giguère in the first period.

The Pride extended their lead to 4-0 in the second period on goals from Taylor Wenczkowski, Giguère  and Jillian Dempsey. Wenczkowski’s goal came on a pretty rush up ice and Giguère’s score was a power play goal just 31 seconds later.

The Whale got on the scoreboard when Girard scored her third shorthanded goal of the season on a rush with Kennedy Marchment with 5:16 left in the second period. Girard leads the PHF with shorthanded goals and leads the Whale in points (4 goals, six assists, 10 pts.)

Connecticut cut the lead to two, 4-2 on a goal with 2.5 seconds left from Reyes off a nice feed from Melissa Samosevich. Boston added an empty net goal late in the third period.

Ives made 19 saves in net for the Whale, who return to action on Sunday when they head to New Jersey to face the Metropolitan Riveters (4-6) at 1 p.m. The game broadcast is available on ESPN+.

“It was one of those games when you feel you deserve better because you were doing things right and you were playing very well,” Turner said. The Whale remain tied for fifth place in the league.

Boston 5, Connecticut 3
At Simsbury
Boston (8-2)                         1  3  1  — 5
Connecticut (3-4-1)            0  2  0  — 2
First period
Boston 1, Christina Putigna (Allie Thunstrom), 1:24; Penalties: none
Second period
Boston 2, Taylor Wenczkowski (Thunstrom, Putigna), 8:12; Boston 3, Elizabeth Giguere (Loren Gabel, Kali Flanagan), 8:53 (pp), Boston 4, Jillian Dempsey (Giguere, Gabel), 12:53; Connecticut 1, Taylor Girard (Kennedy Marchment), 14:44 (sh); Connecticut 2, Justin Reyes (Melissa Samosevich, Katerina Mrazova), 19:57; Penalties:  Sammy Davis (B), tripping; Emma Keenan (CT), body checking, 8:32; Alyssa Wohlfeiler (CT), hooking, 13:59
Third period
Boston 5, Loren Gabel (Kaleigh Fratkin), 18:31 (en); Penalties: Jenna Rheault (B), holding, 6:48, Olivia Zafuto (B) cross-checking, 19:46
Shots: Connecticut 40 (15-16-9), Boston 24 (7-14-3); Saves: Corrine Schroeder (B) 40 shots (W 8-1), 38 saves; Abbie Ives (CT) 23 shots, 19 saves (L, 2-3); Power play: Boston 1-2, Connecticut 0-3

Premier Hockey Federation standings
As of Friday, Jan. 6, 2023

Boston 8-2 22 6 2 0
Toronto 7-1-2 22 6 1 1
Minnesota 4-4-2 14 4 0 0
Metropolitan 4-6 11 3 0 1
Connecticut 3-4-1 10 3 0 0
Montreal 4-4 10 2 0 2
Buffalo 1-4-1 4 1 0 0
Teams earn three points for a win in regulation and two points for wins in OT or in a shootout. Teams earn one point for a loss in OT or in a shootout
Friday, January 6
Boston 5, Connecticut 3
Saturday, January 7
Toronto at Montreal
Minnesota at Buffalo
Boston at Metropolitan
Sunday, January 8
Connecticut at Metropolitan, 1 p.m.
Minnesota at Buffalo
Toronto at Montreal


Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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