Metropolitan Riveters 6, Boston Pride 2
The Metropolitan Riveters came into Friday's game as a massive underdog, a full 30 points below the then-first place Boston Pride. The Riveters were also coming off a three-week break, and as it turned out, the rest seemed to suit them as they pulled off a decisive 6-2 upset over the Pride.
After being sidelined with injury, Rachel McQuigge returned to the ice for her first action since November 26, while – somewhat surprisingly – the Pride went with Lovisa Selander. Selander had not played since November 27, simply because Corinne Schroeder has been on an absolute tear this season.
While the game would end in a surprising victory for the Riveters, it was the Pride who got on the board first. Metro fumbled the puck at the other end, and Olivia Zafuto broke up a play to get it up to Loren Gabel. Gabel and Meghara McManus skated down the ice on a 2-on-1, and Gabel scored on the far corner to make it 1-0.
To the Riveters' credit, their response was swift. They started getting some chances, finally capitalizing on a giveaway in the Boston zone from Gabel. She backhanded the puck right to Fanni Garát-Gasparics in the middle of the ice. Garát-Gasparics then beat defender Jenna Rheault and Selander on the blocker side.
Although the Pride looked dangerous as the period went on, the Riveters built off the momentum of Garát-Gasparics's goal and kept the score even heading into intermission. Then, the Riveters really took control of the game, with good pressure and a handful of chances early in the middle frame.
Kendall Cornine eventually gave her team its first lead of the night. A Riveters defender at the blue line kept the puck in the zone, dumping it in deep to newcomer Hayley Lunny. Lunny released a short pass to Cornine in front, who scored with a one-timer high over Selander's glove.
Captain Madison Packer doubled the lead just past the midway point of the game. The Riveters executed a strong forecheck, cycling the puck around the zone. Kelly Babstock released a hard shot from the point, which deflected off Packer's stick in the slot.
Soon after, the Riveters further padded their lead with a power play goal from Minttu Tuominen. Tuominen scored off a tic-tac-toe passing play with Kennedy Ganser and Amanda Pelkey, beating Selander from outside the faceoff circle to the goalie's right side. Metro would go right back to the power play after the goal, and although they didn't capitalize on that one, it was an overall strong second-period effort. The Riveters outshot the Pride 12-5.
Boston attempted to rally back in the third, topped off by a power-play marker from Sammy Davis with under nine minutes remaining in regulation. The Riveters, however, stood tall to defend their lead. Kelly Babstock added a pair of goals in 2:11 late in the game to further pad the score in Metro's favor.
McQuigge made 23 saves, while Babstock (2G, 1A), Anna Kilponen (2A), Packer (1G, 1A), and Ganser (2A) all had multi-point games.
Other Weekend Action
- The Toronto Six swept their weekend in Minnesota with 1-0 and 7-1 wins over the Whitecaps. Tereza Vanišová had the lone goal Saturday, while Elaine Chuli recorded the 36-save shutout. The Whitecaps scored first Sunday, but the Six scored the next seven goals in a decisive win. Michela Cava recorded three points, while Vanišová and Shiann Darkangelo each had two goals. Carly Jackson stopped 22 of 23 shots.
- The Buffalo Beauts and Montreal Force split their weekend series. Buffalo scored three times in Saturday's first period and held on for their fifth win of the season, a 3-1 decision. That luck ran out on Sunday, when the Force charged back for a 6-2 win. Mikyla Grant-Mentis and Jade Downie-Landry each had three goals on the weekend.
- The Riveters capped off their weekend with a 6-3 loss to the Connecticut Whale on Sunday. Justine Reyes notched a hat trick, while Taylor Girard had a three-point effort (2G, 1A). Caitrin Lonergan also scored, while Abbie Ives stopped 23 shots.
News & Notes
- All four Isobel Cup playoff spots have now been clinched, though the playoff positioning will be determined over the next two weekends. Toronto and Boston will host their respective semifinal series, with Connecticut and Minnesota as the other two teams making it to the postseason.
- *Toronto (16-4-2), 48 points
- *Boston (16-3-1), 46 points
- *Connecticut (10-8-2), 32 points
- *Minnesota (10-8-2), 32 points
- Montreal (8-13-1), 22 points
- Metropolitan (7-13-0), 19 points
- Buffalo (5-13-2), 17 points
*clinched Isobel Cup playoff spot