If Saturday wasn’t enjoyable sufficient for you, I elevate you Sunday’s slate of NWHL bubble hockey motion.
Minnesota pulled by means of following a four-goal surge to sit down on the high of the standings, the Satisfaction lastly confirmed their offensive may and the Riveters pulled out a dramatic win over the upstart Whale.
We’ll all get a breather on Monday earlier than Tuesday’s motion includes a matchup of the undefeated groups between Metropolitan and Minnesota and the beginning of the much-anticipated Boston and Toronto rivalry.
However first, takeaways from an excellent Sunday in Lake Placid.
Minnesota Whitecaps (2-0-0) 6, Toronto Six (0-1-1) 5, (shootout)
MIN: Haylea Schmid, Sydney Baldwin, Haley Mack, Audra Richards, Meaghan Pezon
TOR: Lindsay Eastwood, Breanne Wilson-Bennett (2), Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Emily Fluke
Key takeaway: Most groups went with their backup goalies on the back-to-back, together with Toronto with Sam Ridgewell making her debut.
Minnesota went the opposite means, beginning Amanda Leveille following her 36-save efficiency in opposition to Boston on Saturday. Early on, it appeared like that call would price them.
Leveille bought banged up after three objectives and Allie Morse noticed the ice, however head coach Jack Brodt went again to Leveille later within the second body and Minnesota’s offence got here by means of with 5 objectives, and a shootout win.
What a short-handed purpose by Audra Richards pic.twitter.com/3xuqHaqTmE
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 24, 2021
It certain feels just like the Whitecaps bought away with one they trailed 5-1.
However hey, the bubble format is new for everybody, and each group is studying how they reply to the quantity of hockey they’re taking part in in a brief period of time.
Fortunately for Minnesota, their offence bailed them out.
“Within the second interval, the final two minutes, these huge objectives have been a giant momentum changer for us,” stated Whitecaps ahead Winny Brodt-Brown. “It most likely put Toronto somewhat on their heels heading into the third, and we took that momentum and rolled with it.”
Participant of the sport — Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Toronto: Positive, Minnesota gained however Grant-Mentis actually wants loads of hype for her play thus far.
She nailed down her first purpose with the Six and nabbed one other snipe within the shootout that gave Toronto an opportunity at its first ever win. She took 9 pictures on web within the first recreation in opposition to the Riveters and 4 extra Sunday, when she was additionally a plus-3.
— The Ice Backyard (@TheIceGarden) January 24, 2021
It’s clear she’s the offensive coronary heart of the Six, and among the best younger up-and-coming gamers within the recreation.
In simply two video games with Buffalo final season, Grant-Mentis scored twice and had an help. She’s the kind of participant who makes noise each time she’s on the ice, and whereas Toronto won’t have essentially the most expertise within the league, high-energy gamers like her make up for that.
What’s subsequent: After an off-day Monday, the Whitecaps will face the one different undefeated group, the Riveters, on Tuesday.
It’s a bit early to hype up a single recreation a lot, however the Whitecaps have had a gauntlet early. Taking down Boston took loads of vitality they usually appeared burnt out in opposition to the Six earlier than their depth got here by means of.
Perhaps a well-rested Caps membership comes out with related vitality to Saturday.
Toronto faces their Twitter rival Boston Satisfaction on Tuesday of their first ever matchup. Toronto, as properly, has had an actual robust schedule early, being shut out by the Riveters in Recreation 1 and falling within the shootout to Minnesota.
There’s been loads of discuss between the social media managers for months, it’ll be enjoyable to lastly see the groups on the ice.
Metropolitan Riveters (2-0-0) 4, Connecticut Whale (1-1-0) 3
MET: Mallory Rushton, Cailey Hutchison, Rebecca Russo, Theresa Knutson
CON: Amanda Conway, Emma Vlasic, Kaycie Anderson
Key takeaway: The Whale aren’t going quietly. There’s loads of time to interrupt down how the Riveters have powered by means of to win their first two video games, however this has been the very best the Whale have appeared perhaps in franchise historical past.
Saturday they peppered Buffalo goalie Carly Jackson they usually did the identical to Riveters rookie Tera Hofmann with 36 pictures on Sunday. Connecticut’s offence has ranked close to league-bottom since franchise inception, so it’s refreshing to see the Whale offence surging because it has.
A part of that’s rookies like Conway and Katelynn Russ making an affect early, however Vlasic and Anderson have paid their dues with the Whale and are benefiting from taking part in with a far deeper roster than in years previous.
Sunday was concerning the Riveters, but it surely wasn’t *not* concerning the Whale, and the way far they’ve come of their quest for Isobel.
Participant of the sport — Rebecca Russo, Metropolitan: The Riveters’ offence struggled at occasions after Russo took final season off. In her two video games again with Metropolitan, although, she’s exhibiting her worth.
Dubbed as one of many quickest skaters within the league for a cause, her pace helped create Knutson’s purpose, as she negated an icing and gave room for her teammate to place the Riveters forward for good.
There’s arguably extra pace within the league than any earlier season, so Russo is a significant asset to the Riveters to fight that, particularly in opposition to a young-leaning group just like the Whale.
Her redirect on the facility play earned the Rivs a purpose earlier within the recreation, too. As if Metro wasn’t deep sufficient with Kelly Babstock’s return to the league, Russo has given them a ridiculous benefit.
Of word, Knutson herself generated seven pictures on purpose Sunday and has taken a noticeable leap from a yr in the past. The Riveters offence is reputable.
What’s subsequent: Metro will get a enjoyable problem within the Whitecaps on Tuesday, not that the Six and Whale weren’t respectable opponents.
Minnesota is on a special stage, although, as we noticed on Saturday with their shut down of the Satisfaction and once more with a four-goal surge in opposition to the Six on Sunday.
Sonjia Shelly will doubtless step again within the Rivs web after her shutout of Connecticut within the first contest.
The Whale gained’t see the ice once more till Wednesday once they face Boston, the group that ousted them from the 2020 post-season.
Connecticut is a special membership than they’ve been, however the Satisfaction have traditionally dealt with them. It’s additionally an Alyssa Wohlfeiler revenge recreation particular.
Boston Satisfaction (1-1-0) 5, Buffalo Beauts (0-2-0) 1
BOS: McKenna Model, Taylor Wenczkowski, Sammy Davis, Jillian Dempsey (2)
BUF: Jordan Juron
Key takeaway: The Satisfaction energy play went 0-for-7 in opposition to the Whitecaps on Saturday, which was a priority for everybody concerned.
After a tricky begin once more in opposition to the Beauts, it felt like deja vu.
That modified on Dempsey’s energy play tip in to place Boston forward 3-1, after which when Davis nabbed an influence play tally for her first profession NWHL purpose.
Sunday appeared much more acquainted to long-time Satisfaction observers, from the late-first interval purpose from Model that took the wind out of the sails of the Beauts, to the facility play dominance.
Boston’s 20-5 shot benefit within the second interval was paying homage to the group that bought to the Isobel Cup a yr in the past. It made it simpler for Victoria Hanson who made her first begin of the season in web, making 20 saves.
It’s one recreation to attract one thing from, however so was Saturday, and Sunday’s recreation felt rather a lot completely different. Maybe the Satisfaction simply wanted to shake somewhat little bit of rust off.
Participant of the sport — Jillian Dempsey, Boston: She scored her one centesimal profession NWHL common season level, how can’t it’s her?
The Satisfaction captain turned the primary participant to succeed in 100 profession factors in league historical past together with her energy play purpose within the second interval, her second of the sport, and the one which appeared to flip the swap for the Satisfaction offence.
As Dempsey goes, so does her line as Model discovered her stride as properly. When performing at full power, that high line is the very best within the league, statistically, over the previous two seasons.
Dempsey’s 5 pictures on purpose led the Satisfaction, as did her .643 faceoff proportion to dominate possession.
Of word for the Beauts, rookie defender Whitney Dove was a standout in opposition to the aggressive Satisfaction offence, because the new-look Buffalo defence had their work minimize out for them to handle an indignant Boston membership.
What’s subsequent: The Satisfaction face the growth Six on Tuesday in primetime. A much-anticipated matchup — and an Emily Fluke revenge recreation, don’t overlook — that can certainly have each groups fired up.
Boston figured rather a lot out on Sunday however so did the Six, who put up 5 objectives on the drained Whitecaps. Boston will likely be well-rested, and it’ll be a hefty problem for the Six.
Jenna Rheault left the sport after being hit within the arm and didn’t return, which might be a tricky blow to Boston after she’s damaged out in Lake Placid. If she misses time, Briana Mastel can come off the bench after being a daily blue liner a yr in the past.
Buffalo will face off with the Rivs on Wednesday after an additional day of relaxation, and perhaps catch a break that they’ll have Metro coming off a recreation with the Whitecaps on Tuesday.
Jackson handled taking part in two video games in a row and the remaining will definitely profit her and the defence in entrance of her.