NWHL recaps: Boston defeats Connecticut to nab control of second place

The Boston Pride were victorious over the Connecticut Whale in the third meeting of the teams this season. The Pride came out strong in the first period scoring two goals. Emily Field got the scoring started, after a huge stop by Brittany Ott on the other end, Anya Battaglino fired a shot Ott slowed, but did not cleanly stop Alyssa Gagliardi cleared the puck from the crease, finding Jillian Dempsey, who eventually connected with Field for the first Boston goal at the 6:56 mark in the first. The Pride would strike again at the 11:03 mark as Dana Trivigno shuffled a pass from Emily Field to an open Jillian Dempsey to make it 2-0 Boston.

Five minutes into the second period, Boston defender Kaliya Johnson played the puck to Emily Field who pushed the puck into the offensive zone.  As Field skated behind the goal to the right of Whale goalie Sydney Rossman, she laid off a beautiful puck to the trailing Dempsey. With Rossman already committed to to her left, veteran forward Dempsey put away an easy goal to give the Pride a 3-0 lead. Rossman tightened up after the third goal, stopping 12 of 13 shots that were put on goal in the third period.  Meanwhile, the Whale offense generated only 5 shots on goal in the middle frame of the contest, despite having two power play opportunities in the period.

With just under four minutes gone in the third period, Trivigno potted the fourth even strength goal for the Pride. Trivigno’s first goal of the season knocked Rossman out of net for the first time in her professional career. Trivigno ended the night with two goals and a primary assist. Kelly Babstock scored the lone goal for Connecticut at the 4:23 mark in the third period; her second of the season.

“I thought we played great,” said Pride head coach Thomas Poeck after the game.  “We had a couple of good battles the first two games against them where we came out on the wrong end of it. So, it definitely felt nice to get the win.”  The Pride will return home Saturday to face the still undefeated Metropolitan Riveters. “I definitely think they are the team to beat right now,” said Poeck.  While he joked he didn’t want to reveal too much strategy before Saturday, he did comment success for Boston would come down to playing their game and doing the little things correctly.

As for the Whale, the little things, especially on defense continue to been an area for improvement. “We worked a lot on d-zone (at practice) and obviously we struggled with that again a little bit today,” said Connecticut captain Sam Faber.

The Whale were able to clean up in some areas, such as penalty minutes (they spent no time in the box Sunday) and shots on goal.

The Connecticut Whale will travel for their last game in 2017 to face the Buffalo Beauts at the HarborCenter on December 16th.

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