Game of the Week
Metropolitan Riveters 6, Toronto Six 3
The Metropolitan Riveters opened their new home rink with a bang, notching their first win of the season and handing the Toronto Six its first defeat since March. Two goals each from Sarah Bujold, Kelly Babstock, and Madison Packer helped the Riveters, who prevailed through plenty of Toronto chances, to victory.
The Six dominated play early, thanks in part to a pair of power play opportunities. An early push from Toronto left Metropolitan with little zone time, which only got worse when the Six headed to its first power play of the afternoon. To their credit, the Riveters had phenomenal defensive coverage and limited Toronto's chances.
Bujold's first goal of the afternoon came on a shorthanded breakaway. With Kendall Cornine in the box, netminder Rachel McQuigge attempted to clear the zone with a shot. Instead, the Six initially intercepted it, but couldn't hold on. Bujold broke up an attempted pass at the blueline and sped off on a breakaway, beating Elaine Chuli on her glove-side.
Despite the goal, Toronto continued to dominate. They went on the advantage soon after and kept putting shots on net. Amanda Pelkey had the Riveters' best chance of the first period outside of the goal, but otherwise, Metro really didn't have a lot of high-quality opportunities.
Kati Tabin tied the game with just over six minutes left in the period. McQuigge was screened in front by Brittany Howard as Tabin took a shot from the point. The momentum continued to flow, as the Riveters headed to a power play soon after – similar to how the Six did after Metro's goal.
The Riveters stepped up in the second period, but the Six continued to dominate zone time early on. Howard, ever the offensive threat, gave Toronto its only lead as the game approached its midway point. As the Riveters defense got caught deep, Howard picked up a nice feed from Emma Woods behind the play and came into the zone with speed. She beat the defense to the net, got McQuigge down and roofed it into the net.
The lead lasted only 1:17 before the Riveters began to rally back. After Toronto had some sustained pressure, Madison Packer broke up the play along the boards to get it loose and took it to the other end. Although that chance didn't materialize, the resulting offensive zone draw led to good things.
Kelly Babstock took the faceoff and got the puck free. She didn't score on the initial chance, but fought for the puck in front, maintained possession and dragged it across the crease as Chuli went down, putting it in the net.
Exactly two minutes later, Bujold picked up her second goal of the afternoon, waiting in front of the net for a tap-in pass from Babstock on the power play. From there, the Riveters seemed to never look back.
Packer, coming in on a 2-on-1 with Amanda Pelkey, upped Metro's lead to two goals just a few minutes later. Anna Kilponen found Packer along the boards with a long pass; Packer carried it in and whiffed on her initial shot from in front. She pounced on the rebound, throwing an innocent-looking shot on net that found space between Chuli and the post.
The Riveters found themselves once again on the power play to finish up the second period and start the third, and maintained that momentum early in the final period. Babstock scored her second of the game after a defensive zone draw, carrying the puck out along the boards and flicking it into the back of the net on a high shot from just above the goal line.
Carly Jackson came in to relieve Chuli after the fifth goal, with 15:35 left in the game. With that, Toronto tried to turn things around and had several power plays. Just one example of how much they dominated that final 15:35 is that Jackson saw only four shots in that time frame. Full credit to Rachel McQuigge for standing tall in net to keep the Riveters' lead.
Emma Woods did get one goal back for Toronto on a rebound on the power play, but it wasn't enough to push for the comeback. The Six had a few other good chances, including a power play late, but the Riveters captured the win. Packer also scored an empty-netter late in the game.
This was the Riveters' debut at The Rink at American Dream, which is certainly a unique venue. Playing pro hockey in the middle of a mall in New Jersey comes with its challenges and advantages. The glass ceiling allowed a lot of daylight in, something the Riveters can get used to but which other teams will likely be fighting, with glare and shadows. The rink also had decorative snowflake decals around half of it, which is cute for a family skate but seemed a bit distracting. Camera coverage also leaves something to be desired, as part of the rink wasn't visible at all on the broadcast.
Other Weekend Action
- The Boston Pride remain undefeated after sweeping their weekend series with the Minnesota Whitecaps. Corinne Schroeder set a new PHF record with three consecutive shutouts as the Pride won 2-0 Friday. The Pride then won 5-4 in overtime on Saturday.
- The scheduled series between the Buffalo Beauts and Connecticut Whale was postponed due to inclement weather in the Western New York region. No makeup dates have been announced yet.
- Boston (4-0-0), 11 points
- Toronto (3-1-0), 8 points
- Buffalo (1-0-1), 4 points
- Metropolitan (1-2-0), 3 points
- Montreal (1-1-0), 2 points
- Minnesota (0-2-2), 2 points
- Connecticut (0-1-0), 0 points
- Goals: Brittany Howard (5)
- Assists: Anjelica Diffendal, Dominika Lásková, Emma Greco, Emma Woods, (3)
- Points: Brittany Howard (6)
- Shots: Brittany Howard (18)
- PIM: Sarah Lefort (19)
- GAA: Corinne Schroeder (1.00)
- Save Percentage: Corinne Schroeder (.972)
News & Notes
- With a few players out on National Team duties, the Boston Pride signed a few players to PTOs. The biggest surprise? Former Beauts captain Taylor Accursi. Lexie Laing and Taylor Turnquist also joined the Pride for their games in Minnesota. For those keeping track at home, that means Boston has used six of its 10 PTO slots for the season.
- Boston Pride netminder Corinne Schroeder's historic shutout streak ended at 183:15. Not a bad way to start off your PHF career!
- Another little tidbit, courtesy of the PHF league office: Boston head coach Paul Mara is the first in league history to win 50 games behind the bench.
- Saturday, November 26: Metropolitan at Montreal, 2:33 PM Eastern
- Saturday, November 26: Toronto at Boston, 7:00 PM Eastern
- Sunday, November 27: Toronto at Boston, 7:00 PM Eastern
- Sunday, November 27: Metropolitan at Montreal, 2:00 PM Eastern
(Photo: Nathan Fernandes/PHF)