By Christopher Vasilas of TXHThockey.com
The Boston Pride started their 2019-20 season off on the right foot with a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Beauts in their home opener at the Warrior Ice Arena.
The Boston Pride came out strong in the first period, out-shooting the Beauts 19-4. However, it wasn’t until late in the period that the Pride were able to break through Beauts goalie Mariah Fujimagari. It was a great drive to the net by Carlee Toews, and with the puck loose in front of the net, Lexie Laing potted her first career NWHL goal with just over a minute left in the first chapter.
In the second period, the Boston Pride came out and built on their momentum from the first. The Pride continued to out-shoot the Beauts, as Fujimagari held own until the six and a half minute mark when the Pride would attack with numbers, and Toews buried her first career NWHL goal. Assists on the play came from Laing and Tori Sullivan.
The Pride would continue the pressure on the Beauts, enjoying wave after wave of scoring chances. It would take twelve minutes before the Pride found a way to solve Fujimagari again. This time around, it was Christina Putigna scoring the first goal of her NWHL career to give Boston a 3-0 lead.
About a little over a minute later, Toews would nab her second goal of the game, with assists coming from Lexie Laing and Tori Sullivan. The Pride out-shot the Beauts 16-8 in the second period. There were two penalties called on the Beauts, and one on the Pride, but neither team would be able to score on the power play.
In the third period, the game finally settled down. In terms of offensive chances and shots on goal it was the most level period in the game. Both Fujimagari and Lovisa Selander made great saves. About halfway through the period, Brooke Stacey was sprung on a breakaway, only to have Putigna hook her as she was about to take her shot. A penalty shot was awarded on the play, and Stacey delivered.
Later on in the period, after some more back-and-forth action between both teams, Iveta Klimášová would gather the puck at center ice. The Slovak wound up a beautiful slap shot that beat Selander to cut the lead to two.
However, that would be the closest the Beauts would get to coming back in the game as the Pride defense shut them out the rest of the way to secure a 4-2 win.
The Boston Pride finish up their series against the Buffalo Beauts on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. EDT at Warrior Ice Arena in Boston. You can buy tickets online at http://nwhl.zone/tickets or stream the games live at http://twitch.tv/nwhl2.