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NWHL: Isobel Cup Finals Game OT Thriller, as Boston Pride Takes Game 1

(Troy Parla / NWHL)

(Troy Parla / NWHL)


Game one of the Inaugural Isobel Cup Finals of the National Women’s Hockey League at the Amerihelath Pavilion in Newark, New Jersey was an overtime thriller between the Boston Pride and the Buffalo Beauts.

The first period turned out to be a tight uneventful 20 minutes with the Pride’s puck control matching up against the Beaut’s strong defense. Boston’s Zoe Hickel’s wrist shot had beat Buffalo’s netminder Brianne McLaughlin, but hit the post. Other than that neither goalie found themselves in trouble in the opening period.

Brianna Decker opened the scoring, at 1:18 of the middle frame, as she streaked down the right side to fire a backhander off of McLaughlin, which Blake Bolden was able to bang home the rebound to give the Pride a 1-0 lead.

The Beauts also found out what the other teams learned if you give the Pride an opportunity they will take advantage of it, as Hailey Browne took a tripping penalty, offsetting a Buffalo power play. Boston was then able to set their offense.

Gigi Marvin, possessor of one of the league’s hardest shots was able to blister a slapper, through traffic, that deflected off of Beauts leading scorer Kelley Steadman, for a 2-0 Boston lead.

With just under three minutes in the second, Buffalo would get on the board as Shelby Bram would find the back of the net.

Emily Phalzer would tie the game 6:18 into the final period changing the momentum allowing the Beauts to feel they caused Boston to tighten up a little making ill-advised mistakes. Boston’s Kacey Bellamy then took a body checking penalty giving the Beauts a two-man advantage for 1:22.

Buffalo would score with 14 seconds left in Bellamy’s penalty, as Steadman was able to slip one past Pride netminder Brittany Ott for the 3-2 lead. Minutes later, Megan Bozak would then be sent to the sinbin allowing Hilary Knight to capitalize on the Boston power play to knot the game at three.

The game would head to a four on four 20-minute sudden death overtime period. In the overtime, the Pride were awarded a penalty shot about two and a half minutes in as the Beauts fell on the puck in the crease. Knight was able to win the game scoring on the ensuing penalty shot.

The Pride have now won nine straight games dating back to January 10. If the Pride can make it 10 in a row tomorrow night in Newark, they will become the first ever Isobel Cup Champions. The Beauts are going have something to say about that though, if they want to even up this championship series.


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