We'll Take Our Chances: New York 4, Boston 1
- 4 min read

We'll Take Our Chances: New York 4, Boston 1

We'll Take Our Chances: New York 4, Boston 1 by Zoë Hayden

The first matchup between New York and Boston became another edition of the traveling Corinne Schroeder show, as New York took down the home team with confidence.

What happened?

Boston's forecheck dominated the early going of this game with all of Boston's lines getting involved for some quality chances on Corinne Schroeder, though Emma Söderberg, starting again for Boston, had to hold her line as well.

Olivia Zafuto went to the box for interference and we got another look at Boston's power play, which hasn't lit the world on fire as of late – they can look electric in the offensive zone 5-on-5, but the specialty unit seems to take the starch out of them. The pace slowed down a bit after the penalty, too, and after a long period without a whistle, Jade Downie-Landry foiled a Boston clearing attempt and got two tries at it from the high slot after her initial shot was blocked. The second one beat Söderberg high through multiple bodies, and it was all of a sudden 1-0 for the visitors.

Things fell apart quickly for Boston in the second period. Alex Carpenter expertly carried the puck into the zone, beating Megan Keller and stopping up to get a quality shot on Söderberg. Jessie Eldridge swooped in to pick up the rebound, making it 2-0. About 90 seconds later, Downie-Landry came off the boards with the puck and beat Söderberg again. That would be the end of Söderberg's outing as Aerin Frankel came in to relieve her.

New York kept buzzing, but Downie-Landry ended up in the box after taking down Alina Müller. The Boston power play showed good movement but couldn't capitalize on some loose pucks in Schroeder's crease, and that was the theme of the rest of the second period. Boston got their shots in, including swarming in the crease from Knight/Müller/Gabel, but Schroeder was beating them to every rebound along with New York defenders. The loose pucks must have felt tantalizing; it was like Boston couldn't get a touch on a single one.

Loren Gabel finally broke through for Boston early in the third, taking a perfect pass from behind the net by Müller to backhand it over Schroeder from in tight. Boston basically owned the puck from the moment Söderberg was pulled, extending well into the third period, and forced multiple icing calls with tons of zone time. But New York weathered the storm after Gabel's goal and slowed the pace, and while Boston generated several quality scoring opportunities, they never recovered. Downie-Landry completed her hat trick with an empty-netter, and that was all she wrote for this Saturday matinee in Lowell.

Three up, three down

↑ Goalies – It's hard to win a game in this league if you aren't getting lights-out goaltending that can bail out defensive lapses. New York only had 19 shots on net and was able to comfortably rely on Schroeder to keep them in the game. There's a lot of trust between the pipes for New York and it's evident in how collaborative and responsive her teammates are in her crease.

↓ Defense-minded Boston – Early in the game, Boston was getting a ton of opportunities and limiting New York's chances on Söderberg by trying to force them to dump and chase from the neutral zone, closing the gap hard on puck carriers and potential pass recipients. New York protected and distributed the puck well on their zone entries to thwart this and it essentially lead to three quick goals in less than five minutes of clock time (admittedly with an intermission in there, too). While Boston found a puck possession game for the rest of the afternoon, they'd already gotten in too deep a hole against Corinne Schroeder.

↑ Jade Downie-Landry – Downie-Landry had no goals headed into this game and now she has three. She's proving to be a versatile depth forward for New York; she can win faceoffs, she goes hard to the net, and her shot is nothing to sneeze at. Boston did a great job at shutting down Abby Roque's line throughout the game, and Carpenter's too for that matter despite their early second period goal. Downie-Landry stepped up in a big way.

↓ Arena music – The Tsongas Center DJ needs an intervention. "We Found Love" and "Shape of You" are not "inspire the home team to a comeback" tunes. The vibes were off.

↑ Settling in – New York has now played the most games together of any PWHL squad so far and they seem to have found a certain rhythm to their game. Howie Draper has to like the way chemistry is developing as they've been tough to play against even in losses. While they shouldn't get too comfortable with Schroeder stealing games for them, it certainly doesn't hurt.

↓ Whistles – This game went quickly without a lot of whistles or penalties, and there wasn't much that seemingly should have been called either. It was a less frenetic pace than some of the PWHL hockey we've been seeing lately, but not without its excitement and physicality.

VP's Player of the Game

Alina Müller – Müller is Boston's spark plug; her pass to Gabel from behind the goal line is a bread-and-butter aspect of her game that very few people can do as well as she does. Her frustration at a quick whistle in the third period when she nearly had her stick on a rebound was something to behold. I would not want to be a goalie playing against her in Boston's next matchup.

(Photo: Michael Riley/PWHL)