The Boston Pride picked up another home win, battling the Connecticut Whale to a 4-2 victory at Warrior Ice Arena on Saturday night.
The Pride improved to 2-0 after defeating the defending Isobel Cup champion Riveters, 5-1, last weekend in Boston’s first game of the season.
The Pride looked prepared to dominate in the early goings, picking up a 2-0 lead, but the Whale (0-3) stormed back to tie it, before rookie McKenna Brand netted the game-winner and Gigi Marvin sealed it with an empty-netter. Whale rookie Katerina Mrázová had a hand in both of Connecticut’s goals, finishing the night with a goal and an assist. Whale goaltender Meeri Räisänen was once again a highlight, making 28 saves.
ALL PHOTOS BY MADDIE MALHOTRA
Emily Field wasted no time getting the Pride on the board, scoring her second of the season just 35 seconds into the game on an assist from Jillian Dempsey. Field’s goal set the wheels in motion, as Boston dominated the remainder of the first period, but lights-out play from Räisänen kept it a one-goal game through the first.
Defender Lauren Kelly pushed the Pride’s lead to 2-0 with a shot from the point on the power play just over five minutes into the second. But the tide soon turned. After being held scoreless for the first 150:51 of the season, Connecticut scored twice in under five minutes to knot the score at two. Mrázová broke the drought with a goal from in tight on the power play. She then set up captain Emily Fluke’s game-tying goal with 4:49 left in the second.
Mrázová nearly put the Whale on top with a shorthanded breakaway midway through the third, but Lexi Bender caught up to her and diffused the threat, allowing Boston goaltender Katie Burt to make the save. The Pride then capitalized just moments later, with Brand scoring her second goal of the season, tipping in a shot at the back post past the outstretched stick of Räisänen.
The Whale had a late power play, looking to find the equalizer once again. Marvin and Amanda Pelkey each had shorthanded chances for the Pride, with Marvin dancing through the defense in a highlight-reel sequence, but her shot missed wide. Pelkey also broke in shorthanded, but Räisänen smothered the shot. Marvin later sealed the win with an empty-net goal.
The Pride return to Warrior Ice Arena for a third straight home game next week, hosting the Metropolitan Riveters on Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. The Whale will have the bye next week, heading into the Four Nations Cup break, and will return to action on Nov. 18, also taking on the Riveters at RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House at 2 p.m.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Katerina Mrázová – 1 goal, 1 assist
2. Lauren Kelly – 1 goal, 3 SOG
1. McKenna Brand – GWG, 3 SOG