This weekend saw the final two games of the 2016/17 regular season, and what a weekend it was. The number 2 seeds, the New York Riveters, had one last chance to deny Boston the perfect season after coming close many times before. Meanwhile, the showdown between the Whale and Beauts would decide who would clinch the number three seed and avoid Boston in the semi-finals.
Boston Pride 2 – 3 New York Riveters
Buffalo Beauts 4 – 3 Connecticut Whale
3rd Star – Madison Packer (New York Riveters, 1G)
Scoring the game winner against Boston Pride is one thing, but the manner in which Madison Packer did it was just out of this world. A sharp angle shot, timed and fired to perfection bested Brittany Ott, and gave New York the go ahead goal. The result, Boston suffered their first loss since 4th January 2016- over a year ago.
2nd Star – Shiann Darkangelo (Buffalo Beauts, 2G)
— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) March 12, 2017
Having fallen to the Whale a few weeks ago, entering the final game of the season in a slump and being winless in four games, it was crucial for Buffalo to claim the win. One of the key reasons they picked up the two points was Shiann Darkangelo, who netted two goals, including the game winner with just 5 minutes left to play. She was also +4 on the night, showing how she makes the offense fire and isn’t too bad at defence either.
1st Star – Katie Fitzgerald (New York Riveters, 44 Saves)
There was a reason that #BRICKWALLFITZY was all over Twitter, and it was because this woman was on fire. She made 44 out of 46 saves, pulling out all stops and bailing her team out on multiple occasions. It seems a fitting way for her to finish the season, starting off as the number three goalie, but after this performance I’m sure she will be starting in the Isobel playoffs.
Proof that you can do anything 💪 pic.twitter.com/S6b7TCWGnE
— New York Riveters (@NYRiveters) March 12, 2017
Amanda Kessel picked up yet another assist, continuing her amazing record of having at least one point in every game she has played in.
Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel are both on 9 game point streaks: a league record.
Hayley Scamurra, making her professional debut, scored her first goal in the league- a fluke from neutral ice.
Brianne McLaughlin rounded off her regular season with a win and a 0.921% on the night. She has announced that she will retire after this season.
Kelli Stack surpassed the 10 goal plateau with two goals in her final game, making her the third Whale to reach this milestone (only 6 players in total have achieved this, this season).
The Boston Pride’s power play was operating at 25% while the New York Riveters’ was operating at 50%.
Not So Honourable Mentions:
Neither side in the Connecticut v Buffalo matchup could take advantage of the extra women on the ice. They both went 0 for 5 on the power play.
With these results, the seed are set. Boston will face Connecticut on Thursday while New York will host Buffalo on Friday. New York’s victory over Boston was the perfect result for the league as a whole, many would have written off the playoffs, claiming Boston will win with ease. Now things are up in the air, any team could win with two solid performances. Will Boston be able to defend their title or will we have a new champion?