By Jane Norton
If anyone had the thought that the undefeated Pride needed to prove something on the road after playing so many games in Boston, tonight’s rout of the Riveters in New Jersey was their statement.
After an exciting, close first period, the Pride carried the game the rest of the way to an 8-3 victory before a packed crowd at ProSkate Ice Arena. Alyssa Wohlfeiler led the Pride with four points on two goals and two assists. Boston improved to 11-0, while the Riveters dropped to 1-6-1.
“I thought we had a pretty good game, but we definitely didn’t start the way we needed to,” said Boston forward Christina Putigna, who had a goal and an assist. “We addressed it after the first period and then our play really picked up.”
Boston took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission after goals by Putigna and Tori Sullivan sandwiched one by the Riveters’ Kendall Cornine. Metropolitan led in shots after the first period, 13-11, and both Victoria Hansen (Pride) and Sam Walther (Riveters) made big stops in goal.
The tide really turned in Boston’s favor early in the second period. A Riveters turnover led to a goal by Pride captain Jillian Dempsey – the 36th of her NWHL career – just 39 seconds into the period. And then the blowout was on, with Boston out-scoring the Riveters 6-2 in the period. Dempsey and Alyssa Wohlfeiler each had two, while Mary Parker and NWHL scoring leader McKenna Brand added tallies. For the Riveters, Cornine (her second) and Kate Leary scored.
“After the first period, our compete level was a lot higher,” said Pride head coach Paul Mara. “The Riveters play tough and battle hard. We needed a lot more in the second if we were going to win the game, and we got it.”
Dana DeMartino took over for Walther in the third period, which had plenty of feisty play and penalties, but no goals.
Boston returns to action in two weeks with games in Buffalo on Dec. 21 and 22.
“We have to be prepared for those games against the Beauts, who are playing really well, and it’s good we’ve got two weeks to get ready,” said Putigna. “I’m sure we’ll put in a lot of time on special teams, D-zone coverage, and talking about competing from the opening faceoff until the end of the game.”
The Riveters are in Connecticut tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to face the Whale at Danbury Arena. Tickets are available now at NWHL.zone/tickets.
Photo Credit: Kate Frese, Ashley Intile