Metropolitan Riveters vs Boston Pride
The Rink at America Dream was filled packed with excitement around the rink, all 3 floors with fans shoulder to shoulder to cheer on the Metropolitan Riveters as they take on the team from Boston. This matchup will see two of the best goalies in the world face off against each other tonight. Katie Burt for the Riveters in her return season, she was signed when the Riveters lost Rachael McQuigge to injury. Burt and Makinen have been a solid duo for the team this season and when Rachael returns the trio will be one of the best in the league. Corinne Schroeder has been Boston's number 1 since day one and hasn't shared the ice much with her partner in crime Lovisa Selander who's only seen the ice once this season. Schroeder leads the league in Wins, Shutouts, GAA, and Save %. The game will be fast-paced and aggressive the big question is how aggressive the officials will allow the game to be between the two sides. These two teams have a long history and rivalry, there is no shortage of bad blood and respect.
"Great weekend for us obviously, it's hard carrying over back-to-back with travel getting in late last night. Our team worked hard and played as a team. We battled and kept our intensity." - Paul Mara Head Coach Boston Pride
The 1st period started with some high-flying action by the Riveters who got the first shot on goal for the game just fifteen seconds in. Packer, Fanni, and Sarah started peppering Schroeder early and often in the opening 3 minutes of action. Boston didn't register its first shot on goal till 3:39 into the opening period. The Riveters are playing a great 1st period so far, they're playing aggressively and bringing the game to Boston. It's been a high-paced game with some good play along the boards and open ice. Neither team is giving up high goal-scoring opportunities in this period keep everything on bad angles and or backhands from distance. Burt and Schroeder are showing why they're top goalies worldwide, with their performances in goal tonight. At the 11:34 mark of the opening period Kali Flanagan is credited with the goal from Olivia Zafuto and Sammy Davis. Her shot hit a few Riveters on its way in from distance. The last deflection was just enough to sneak past the pad of a screened Katie Burt. Gasner tried to get to it to clear it out, but the Prides Sammy Davis get in the way just enough to prevent her from reaching the puck in time. Boston goes up 1-0 with 8:20 left in the opening period. Burt shuts down the Pride Taylor Wenckowski who was wide open in the slot, but Burt said not today keeping the score 1 - 0 Boston with 6:49 remaining. TV time-out gave both teams a break in the action. With 1:21 left in the period Jillian Dempsey is credited with the goal from Loren Gabel and Aneta Tejralova. Jillian just flung the puck across the crease and it, unfortunately, hits Ebba Bergland's skate and goes into the net. That's the 2nd own goal of the period and it gives Boston a 2-0 lead going into the intermission.
Overall, the 1st period was a good performance by the Riveters playing in their first game since the Holiday break while Boston is wrapping up their weekend by having played last night in Connecticut against the Whales and you can see they have their game skating legs, and timing on point. To the Riveter's credit while they're finding their in-game timing and legs they've gone toe to toe with Boston. The only goals scored so far have been deflections off Riveter's defenders and nothing they could do to avoid them.
1st-period intermission interview with team captain Madison Packer
The second period saw the two teams battle hard but unlike the 1st period this period, the referee crew was sending players to the sin bin. Sarah was the first to go at 2:39 into the second period via the call of cross-checking. Given what was allowed in the 1st period kind of a soft call no one even realize a call had been made till it was announced because it was so minor. Inconsistency reaping its head again, and again this isn't the only team we've seen it happen to. It's a league-wide issue, not a team issue. The Riveters kill off the power play chance and play well then Elizabeth Giguere scores technically unassisted on the play, but they've credited Loren Gabel and Kaleigh Fratkin currently with assists. Katie Burt made two big saves and then saw a Boston player laying in her way and was unable to use her arms or legs to attempt another save. The Riveters challenged the goal, but it was ruled the light tap by Rust caused the collision with Burt and therefore a good goal and penalty to the Riveters for losing the challenge. Boston goes on the power play already up 3-0 and none of the goals can you put on Burt. She has been solid in goal tonight for her team, the Riveters would go on to kill the power play and Pelkey with a solid chance turned away by Schroeder. The Riveters Kelly Babstock is the next to go to the bin that's three straight penalties called against them. It was a cross-check but again given what Boston has been allowed to do during the game it's head-scratching at best. Are they penalties? Yes, but if you won't call them in period one or against the other team then swallow your whistle. The game is about the players, not the referees. No one and I mean no one is paying to watch the officials ever. All players want throughout the league is consistency. It doesn't matter what jersey is worn this season every team has come across this. One game, one minute, one period it's okay then the next it's how dare you off for 2 minutes. One would've hoped the break would lead to the problem being addressed but the games this weekend across the league show that not to be the case. The Riveters would rebound and take the game to Boston with Katie making some huge saves along the way. At the 15:59 mark of the 2nd period Boston's Kayala Friesen would capitalize off a rare mistake by the Riveter's veteran defenseman Minttu who just misplayed the puck for a split second and paid the price for it. Boston now with a 4-0 lead after Friesen blasted the puck from the slot past Burt. Not much Burt could do from that distance. Pelky would get a solid chance on goal, but Corinne would knock it aside, it took an odd bounce and found Gasner wide open with an empty net, but she couldn't get a clean shot off the bouncing puck. It's just been that kind of night so far. The game would get chippy after the goal by Boston and Olivia Zafuto with an absolutely dirty hit to the head of a defenseless player on the ice after committing a boarding penalty just milliseconds before and the officials only call a 2-minute minor for boarding. That is 1000% a 5-minute major and game misconduct go to the locker room don't pass go hit. The league hopefully will be reviewing that one. Then Olivia dares to dive when Kelly Babstock gets near her, and the referees buy it and give Kelly 2 minutes for cross-checking yikes. The Riveters would respond with a flurry of shots on Boston's goal while skating 4 on 4. The period would end with Boston up 4 - 0 as the players headed to the locker room Olivia Zafuto started chirping at Minttu Tuominen and Kelly Babstock who were waiting to be interviewed between periods. After a long exchange of words between them finally, Paul Mara and his assistant Marissa Gedman intervened and sent their player down the stairs.
"We possessed the puck really well like we wanted to do, and we were able to break out of our zone well." - Venla Hovi Head Coach Metropolitan Riveters
The second period was eventful, to say the least, the Riveters did look nervous throughout the first two periods so far at times. I would expect a big response from the Riveters in the 3rd period after the team's leading goal scorer and points earner was headhunted by Boston's Olivia Zafuto in the second period.
The 2nd-period Intermission interview with Kelly Babstock
The third period saw a Riveters team come out with anger and fury in their eyes. They finished every hit and started skating like the team we know. Just 3:23 into the third-period permanent villain Olivia Zafuto is called for tripping and the Rivs would go on their first power play and make the Pride pay Kenndy Ganser finds the back of the net off a rebound and makes it a 4-1 game with plenty of time to play. The goal was assisted by Anna Kilponen and Regan Rust. The goal was scored at the 4:23 mark of the third period. The Rivs would play hard all third period but unfortunately couldn't beat Schroder anymore for the night. The score may have looked one-sided, and Boston did have the better scoring chances, but this Rivs team did go toe to toe with them and if not for a few bad bounces could've easily come away with the win tonight. Hopefully, Sarah Bujold and Fanni Garat-Gasparics will be good to go tomorrow against the Connecticut Whales.