Boston Pride successfully defend Isobel Cup women’s hockey title, defeating Whale

Posted: 29/03/2022 in NWHL
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Evelina Raselli and Taylor Wenczkowski scored 18 seconds apart in the third period, and the Boston Pride won their second consecutive Premier Hockey Federation Isobel Cup, beating the Connecticut Whale 4-2 on Monday night in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

The Pride claimed their third championship and became the women’s hockey league’s first team to defend its title after beating the Minnesota Whitecaps a year ago. Boston also defeated the Buffalo Beauts to win the 2016 championship in the then-National Women’s Hockey League’s first season.

Boston captain Jillian Dempsey, a member of the Pride since their inaugural season, had a goal and assist, and Jenna Rheault sealed the victory by scoring into an empty net with 90 seconds remaining. Katie Burt made 26 saves for the Pride, who squandered a 1-0 lead and rallied from a 2-1 deficit.

Amanda Conway and Taylor Girard scored for the Whale, who were making their first final appearance in their seven-year history. Abbie Ives stopped 24 shots for Connecticut.

Playing their third game in four days, the Pride scored three times on four shots in the third period.

Wenczkowski, who was named playoff MVP, scored the go-ahead goal 6:57 into the period when she drove up the left wing and was in position to tap in a rebound after Ives stopped Canadian Christina Putigna’s shot from a bad angle to the right of the net.

The goal was similar to Raselli’s, which she scored seconds earlier. This time it was Mary Parker’s shot from the right circle getting stopped by Ives, with the puck bouncing to Raselli, who tapped it into the open left side.

Boston clamped down on defence, limiting the Whale to one shot on goal over the final 20 minutes. The Pride outscored their opponents 15-3 in the playoffs.

It was a disappointing end for Connecticut (15-3-2), which won its first regular-season title and led the PHF in goals scored (74) and fewest goals allowed (44).

Formerly known as the NWHL before rebranding last year, the PHF is the lone professional women’s hockey league in North America. The league has plans to expand from six to eight teams and increase its salary cap to $750,000 US per team next season. 

The Toronto Six earned a first-round bye in the playoffs as the No. 2 seed, but they suffered a 5-1 loss to Boston in the semifinal on Sunday.

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