November 5, 2021

PHF Season Preview: Boston Pride and Minnesota Whitecaps

A rematch of the 2021 Isobel Cup highlights the opening weekend of the Premier Hockey Federation season, with the Boston Pride and Minnesota Whitecaps slated to face off in a pair of games.



3 min readby Melissa Burgess



PHF Season Preview: Boston Pride and Minnesota Whitecaps

A rematch of the 2021 Isobel Cup highlights the opening weekend of the Premier Hockey Federation season, with the Boston Pride and Minnesota Whitecaps slated to face off in a pair of games. Both will be broadcast on ESPN+/Hulu for fans in the United States, and on Twitch for international fans.

Boston Pride

What Happened Last Season

The Pride had an okay season, winning three of their seven games. Thanks to the Riveters and Whale dropping out of Lake Placid, standings were tweaked a bit, and in the end, Boston ended up winning the Isobel Cup on home ice months later when things reconvened.

This Season's Roster

(Returning players in bold.)

Forwards: Evelina Raselli, Jillian Dempsey, McKenna Brand, Christina Putigna, Kayla Friesen, Meghara McManus, Taylor Wenczkowski, Tori Sullivan, Katelynn Russ, Sammy Davis

Defense: Amanda Boulier, Abby Cook, Kaleigh Fratkin, Mallory Souliotis, Jenna Rheault, Paige Capistran, Lauren Kelly

Goalies: Katie Burt, Victoria Hanson, Lovisa Selander

Not returning from last season: Mary Parker, Tereza Vanišová, Lexie Laing (MIN), Taylor Turnquist (MIN), Briana Mastel, Carlee Turner, Meaghan Rickard

Staff

Head Coach: Paul Mara
Assistant Coach: Johnny McInnis
General Manager: Danielle Larouco

Team Schedule

Nov. 6-7 vs. MIN
Nov. 13-14 @ CT
Nov. 20-21 @ MIN
Dec. 4-5 vs. TOR
Dec. 18-19 @ MET
Jan. 8-9 @ BUF
Jan. 22-23 vs. MET
Feb. 5-6 vs. CT
Feb. 26-27 vs. BUF
Mar. 12-13 @ TOR

What to Expect

While the Pride have lost a few pieces of last season's roster, they've also added others. The majority of their core is returning, and Paul Mara is back behind the bench as head coach. This team has been good for several years in a row, and on paper, we can expect that to continue this season.

There are so many reasons the Pride can be a dangerous team once again. Kaleigh Fratkin, who had nine assists last season, will lead the blueline once again. Christina Putigna, McKenna Brand, and captain Jillian Dempsey all produced quite well offensively last year and return.

Lovisa Selander has been Boston's mainstay in net for the past few seasons, but with the addition of Katie Burt, it'll be interesting to see how Mara and his staff manage the trio of netminders.

The Pride are one of the strongest teams in the PHF, with depth across their roster. Losing Lexie Laing and Taylor Turnquist isn't insignificant, but additions like Amanda Boulier and Evelina Raselli should make up for it nicely.


Minnesota Whitecaps

What Happened Last Season

The Whitecaps played just four games last season, but won three of them. While it was a short showing, it was a solid one. They made it to the Isobel Cup Final for the third consecutive season, but fell just short of victory.

This Season's Roster

(Returning players in bold.)

Forwards: Jonna Curtis, Audra Morrison, Allie Thunstrom, Lexie Laing, Haylea Schmid, Brooke White-Lancette, Haley Mack, Stephanie Anderson, Meghan Lorence, Nicole Schammel, Alex Woken, Meaghan Pezon

Defense: Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Mak Langei, Winny Brodt-Brown, Chelsey Brodt-Rosenthal, Maddie Rowe, Sara Bustad, Taylor Turnquist, Patti Marshall, Lisa Martinson, Emma Stauber

Goalies: Amanda Leveille, Jenna Brenneman

Not returning from last season: Nina Rogers, Lauren Barnes, Rose Alleva, Sydney Baldwin, Amanda Boulier (BOS), Lynn Astrup, Allie Morse

Staff

Head Coaches: Jack Brodt & Ronda Engelhardt

Team Schedule

Nov. 6-7 @ BOS
Nov. 20-21 vs. BOS
Dec. 4-5 @ CT
Dec. 11-12 vs. BUF
Dec. 18-19 vs. TOR
Jan. 8-9 @ TOR
Jan. 22-23 @ BUF
Feb. 19-20 vs. MET
Mar. 5-6 vs. CT
Mar. 12-13 @ MET

What to Expect

Most of the big names are back for the Whitecaps, who took their sweet time in announcing their roster. (Several of their signings were announced in the days prior to the season opening, but it's unclear when these players actually signed, and whether that could have happened earlier.)

Amanda Leveille's return in net is huge, and signing draft pick Jenna Brenneman, formerly of Penn State, will offset things nicely and allow the Whitecaps to spread the wealth a bit more in regards to ice time.

Losing Amanda Boulier to Boston is big, and Sydney Baldwin not returning certainly hurts, too. But by and large, all their top talent returns for another season, from top scorers Audra Morrison (née Richards) and Allie Thunstrom to defenders Winny Brodt Brown and Maddie Rowe. The signings of a few players from elsewhere in the league is a good look for Minnesota, and adding some of their draft picks supplements more offense.

Like the aforementioned Pride, the Whitecaps are a strong team all around. They've lost a few significant defenders, though, and some of their new players will face high expectations heading into the season.

(Photo: Michelle Jay)



Filed under: nwhl; PHF; premier hockey federation; boston pride; minnesota whitecaps

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