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Explosive First Period Seals Minnesota’s Fate, Fall 4-5 to Pride

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Despite mounting a two-goal comeback, Minnesota couldn’t surmount Boston’s five goals first period and lost 4-5.

Denisa Krizova (#41) had what would ultimately become the game winning goal in today’s game between the Minnesota Whitecaps and the Boston Pride.
Cat Lenander

Saturday night the Boston Pride hosted the Minnesota Whitecaps at the Warrior Ice Arena in Boston Massachusetts. After getting swept by Boston back in December Minnesota was out for revenge and though the Pride was on the attack from the moment the puck dropped, Jonna Curtis had the first solid attempt on goal when she nearly poked the puck past Katie Burt. A little later the Whitecaps carried the puck back into Boston’s zone and it got stuck along the boards until Amy Menke popped it out to Amanda Boulier. Boulier made a lateral pass to Kendall Coyne Schofield at the left circle and she slid the puck home just inside the pipe at 3:25.

Less than a minute later the Pride had caused a lot of chaos in Minnesota’s zone and while Amanda Leveille was still down on the right side of her crease from a save Kaleigh Fratkin’s shot slid through the slot into an open net at 4:00. Amanda Pelkey and Haley Skarupa assisted on this tying goal. Schofield flew up the left side for an attempt and then Boulier shot into Burt’s logo. Boston brought the game back to the opposite end of the ice and while Leveille was down and stopped the initial shot, the rebound was fed back to Pelkey for a shot into the far side of goal of 6:24. Gigi Marvin and Skarupa had the assists.

Haley Skarupa (#22) and Lee Stecklein (#2) spent a lot of the game making their presence felt on the ice.
Cat Lenander

Soon after Lee Stecklein fed the puck to Amy Menke, who not only carried across Boston’s blue line, but swooshed through the zone until she skated through the left circle, whereupon Menke fired on goal, hitting the crossbar as she retied the game at 8:05. Kate Schipper had the second assist. Play became a frantic back and forth from zone-to-zone. Denisa Krizova had a hard close try, which Leveille denied. The same happened with a Menke feed to Schofield against Burt. Minnesota maintained a fairly solid attack for a while, only broken up by Leveille having to make a quick pair of saves, which was fueled by catching their rebounds off Burt.

The tie was eventually broken when Jillian Dempsey made a far shot through traffic into the back of the net at 13:33. Minnesota’s troubles were compounded by Amy Schlagel going for interference at 14:20, which resulted in a lot of dangerous shots by Boston. Eventually a defender blocked a Pride shot, but then the puck was on McKenna Brand’s stick and she tapped it into goal at 15:55. Alyssa Gagliardi and Lexi Bender assisted on the power play goal. Later Leveille went down for the save, but couldn’t stop Krizova’s shot from the left side sliding into goal at 18:00. Dempsey assisted.

There were far too many Boston celebrations on the ice for Minnesota fans first period.
Cat Lenander

Second period started with a lot of rink racing as both teams were having difficulty getting the puck directly on goal and overall the play shifted to a slower defensively minded focus. Boulier had a shot after a number of half cocked Whitecap attempts. Krizova had a high shot as well. Dana Trivigno cross-checked Emma Stauber at 5:48, and while the Whitecaps got some nice puck cycling going on the resulting power play, they were unable to convert. Burt’s net got knocked off its moorings and once play resumed skaters chased the puck from end-to-end with only Boston’s shots going on goal.

Minnesota put up sustained pressure on Boston, which created some excellent chances. Schipper’s right circle shot bounced across the top of the crossbar. Hannah Brandt had a wraparound attempt that ultimately knocked the net off its moorings when Burt slid across the crease. There were more attempts as the Whitecaps boxed in the Pride before Schlagel fired from the dot of the right circle and hit Burt’s water bottle as she scored at 13:15. After that there was a mess at Minnesota’s crease, but Leveille managed to cover up. Kali Funk carried the puck down the left side and fed it to Allie Thunstrom for a tip in attempt. Schipper made a slap shot into Burt’s logo and the rest of the period had the Pride on the prowl.

The Whitecaps were ready to attack third period. The Pride got into Minnesota’s zone, but all they managed was to get stuck with the puck in a corner before play turned back into racing from end-to-end. The Whitecaps made several more attempts on goal before Curtis made a falling shot from the slot to score at 7:34. Schipper had the lone assist. Minnesota was buzzing and Funk shot just wide of goal. The Pride made a flyby attempt, which Leveille denied, before Fratkin made a wide blue line shot. Brandt flew up the right side and made a midrange shot into Burt before Boulier hit the post. Leveille denied Marvin with a sliding save and immediately after Marvin wound up in the box for interfering with Brandt at 9:16. Boston killed this penalty as well.

Jonna Curtis (#3) had the last goal of the game, though she certainly must have wished there had been one more Minnesota goal in the latter half of the period.
Cat Lenander

At this point play had gotten frantic with the Pride taking out Whitecaps without calls. Boston caused chaos in Minnesota’s zone as they tried to widen their one goal lead, but Leveille stopped everything they threw at her. The Whitecaps continued to struggle, but they couldn’t get anywhere near goal, despite their best efforts. Their best efforts simply ended up in Burt’s outstretched glove. Leveille was pulled with 1:35 left in the game, but the extra skater couldn’t find an equalizer and Minnesota’s comeback fell short. The Whitecaps lost 4-5 to the Pride. Tomorrow they play the Connecticut Whale for the first time this season.