Boston Pride - Isobel Cup Champions 2016
Kacey Bellamy, Blake Bolden. Corinne Buie, Kelly Cooke, Brianna Decker, Jillian Dempsey, Emily Field, Kelsie Fralick, Alyssa Gagliardi, Marissa Gedman, Zoe Hickel, Hilary Knight, Denna Laing, Rachel Llanes, Gigi Marvin, Brittany Ott, Amanda Pelkey, Lauren Slebodnick, Jordan Smelker
Head Coach - Bobby Jay
General Manager - Hayley Moore
The Buffalo Beauts and Boston Pride squared off on Saturday night in game two of the Isobel Cup Finals at the Hockey House at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Buffalo needed a win to stay alive in the series, while Boston was looking to take home the trophy. Brittany Ott and Brianne McLaughlin started in goal for their respective teams. The Beauts had an important player back in their lineup in Meghan Duggan, who made her Isobel Cup Finals debut.
The opening half of the first period was 10 minutes only a goalie could love, with the score remaining 0-0 despite several close calls for both teams. 7:23 into the game, Marissa Gedman would take a delay of game penalty and give the Beauts a power play, but they were unable to get any real chances. It would take nearly 12 minutes for the first goal to be on the board, with Blake Bolden and Kacey Bellamy feeding Brianna Decker, who was off to the races. Decker split the Beauts’ defense and moved in on a breakaway, roofing her shot past McLaughlin and putting the Pride up 1-0. Although both teams would have rushes to close out the period, Buffalo would head back to the room down by 1.
The second frame matched the first through the first ten minutes. Although Boston and Buffalo played back-and-forth hockey with chances for both, goalkeepers Ott and McLaughlin stood tall in their nets. Chances were present in the period though, with the goal creases becoming busy with traffic multiple times through the period. Even power play chances couldn't solve the goalkeepers, with Gedman and Hailey Browne both taking hooking penalties halfway through the period. Duggan would also take a interference penalty with 4:52 left in the period but despite good shots, the score remained 1-0.
The Beauts came out in the third period knowing that it truly was do or die for them. The Beauts had been in the same position in their last series against Connecticut, but they had a much bigger hole to dig themselves out of going into the third. Jillian Dempsey would give the Beauts a chance to tie the game less than 4 minutes into the third, taking a body checking minor penalty. Although there would be opportunities, including a Megan Bozek slap shot barely stopped by Ott, Buffalo was unsuccessful on their power play. They would get yet another chance when Gedman took her third penalty of the night, but the Beauts would not be the team putting one in the net on the power play. Off the face off the puck would split the Buffalo defense and go to center where it would be retrieved by Hilary Knight, who would hustle in on a breakaway and would be the victim of robbery by Brianne McLaughlin. On a second chance, though, Brianna Decker would score her second of the game with 10:35 left on the clock.
Although the Beauts had some chances, a goal by Hilary Knight with 8:17 left would be the final nail in the coffin for them. A comeback attempt would start for the Beauts with a goal from Erin Zach within the final minute, but the Pride would be able to hold the Beauts off and take home the win 3-1.
With this win, the Boston Pride swept the Buffalo Beauts 2-0 in the three game final series. Boston takes home the Isobel Cup and the Pride will forever go down in the record books as the first league champions of the NWHL. Brianna Decker was named the MVP of the playoffs in the postgame ceremonies. Both teams will now join the Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters in the off-season, looking to build on this fantastic year.
Original Article from http://nwhl.co/
NOTE - One year after winning the CWHL’s Clarkson Cup, Brianna Decker and Hilary Knight have again led a Boston-based women’s Hockey team to a championship.