CWHL Weekend Recap: Boston and Brampton split

Only two games happened in the CWHL this weekend, both between Boston and Brampton. I recapped Brampton whaling on Boston (on the scoreboard and also with slashes, hits from behind, and whatnot) here, but on Sunday Boston got some of their own back, beating Brampton 5-0. Having watched the Saturday game, I have to say, I am pretty glad Boston got Ott a shutout.

Boston opened the scoring at 9:38 with a goal from Bolden, assists from Koizumi and Buesser. Aside from a slashing penalty by Boston’s Pickett at 18:53, the teams behaved themselves in the first.

In the second period, the Blades scored twice, opening the period with a Koizumi goal at 3:11. Brampton’s Grey took an interference penalty at 15:24, but Boston failed to capitalize on the power play. Naslund of the Blades took a tripping penalty at 18:23, and Brampton’s French took a kneeing penalty at 18:55. All of this culminated in Boston’s third goal, at 19:28 – Burns scored it on assists from Dempsey and Koizumi.

The third period also saw two goals, the first being a Koizumi tally at 0:17, assisted by Buesser and Bolden. Bolden took a dreaded DOG penalty at 3:11, but (obviously) Brampton’s power play game up empty. Or what they had of one, anyway – at 3:48, Brampton’s Jana Head took a hooking penalty. Scoring was quiet through Koizumi taking a slashing penalty at 5:58, but Boston scored their final goal at 13:04 – Cottrell, assisted by Rambo and Jensen. Boston acted up again at 18:06, a slashing penalty by Cooke, but in the end, Ott still got the shutout.

Does anyone get the feeling these teams might not like sharing the bottom of the barrel? At the end, Brampton remains at the bottom of the league, and Boston jumps to 3rd.

There are five games next weekend, so expect a lengthier recap then. Until then, we’ll have some Olympics coverage for you to chew on. (USA! USA! USA!)

Brampton Thunder v Boston Blades: Jan 25 CWHL Streaming Game Recap

Brampton comes into this game at the bottom of the league, despite having lost considerably fewer of their players than Boston or Montreal. Boston’s near the bottom of the league, with 12 points coming into the game. The last game I watched, they were second in the league. How the tables do turn in a league as young as this! I’ll fetch my cane.

Brampton gets a power play early, after pressing Boston in their zone. Boston has a shorthanded opportunity from Dempsey, but Brampton scores by committee soon after the power play expires, at 4:34, with the goal being credited to Boudreau. Overall, Boston’s defense is somewhat lacking early on.

This is one of just a handful of games I’ve seen Brampton in, and they’re interesting to watch. They’re not particularly flashy, and they definitely play a very group-oriented game, but they gain the zone with efficiency, keeping the game out of the neutral zone for the most part.

Brampton gets another power play on a Duggan penalty. Nothing much arises from it, and Boston gets some momentum back in the last half of the first, getting an odd man rush and spending some time in Brampton’s zone. For all that they have a couple scoring opportunities, they’re pretty hesitant with the puck, and no one’s putting pucks on the net with any particular degree of accuracy. Brampton is definitely the more dynamic team so far, even as Boston starts getting a bit of their own back.

The pace picks up as the game goes on, with more board battles and way more SOG in the last five minutes of the first period. With just over 3 minutes left, Boston rushes into Brampton’s zone, but they don’t manage to sustain any pressure. Dempsey nearly manages to pass for a tap-in, but the puck misses its target, and Brampton carries it back into Boston’s zone. Dempsey is fun to watch, dynamic and decisive.

At 17:33 in the first, the Blades get a power play. For all that they’re the worse team coming into this game, their power play involves a lot more shooting than Brampton’s, and they make it difficult for Brampton to clear. At the end, though, they come up empty.

Play in the second is a lot more even, with Boston getting a lot of chances early. But at 11:26 in the second, Bramptson scores again, on the power play, capitalizing on a total defensive breakdown by Boston. Boston’s chasing the puck after that, nearly giving up another goal just a couple minutes later.

The announcers give some time to talking about how many players Boston’s lost, which is kind of an obvious thing to talk about, even if the coaches are refraining from whining about it.

Late in the second, van der Bliek finally has some work, but Boston’s transition game bites them in the ass, and Brampton gets their third goal late from Skirrow. Boston’s getting more daring as the game goes on, but it’s not a coincidence that Brampton’s scored twice in the second period; for all that Boston is getting more creative, they’re also playing a riskier game. Brampton is more together overall; their goaltender is showing up, their defense is keeping Boston from spending a lot of time in their zone, and their neutral zone play is miles above Boston’s.

Boston narrows Brampton’s lead to 2 on a sweet play early in the third, driven by a pass from Dempsey. Suddenly I’m more engaged in the game – especially since it was a power play goal. A lot of women’s hockey announcers talk about not wanting games to be decided by special teams (code for “let the girls play”, usually), but special teams are interesting to me because they really highlight the way women’s hockey is developing and the advancement of actual, coherent systems within the CWHL.

Brampton’s still up by 2, but they hand the Blades two power plays in rapid succession. They’re not the most disciplined team in the world. And Boston makes them pay – Dempsey scores from the side of the goal, tapping in a pass from the blue line. For a hot minute it looks like the Blades might tie it up, but Brampton scores almost immediately after winning a faceoff in Boston’s zone. Ott is working her ass off, but there’s not a lot you can do if you’re being screened by 3 Brampton players.

Boston gets a nice scrum going in front of Brampton’s goal, but the play is whistled dead, even as Boston tries to get another shot on van der Bliek. Boston’s lost the momentum as easily as they gained it; after that play being whistled dead, Buesser takes a penalty, putting Brampton on the power play, and taking herself out of the game for the remainder of the third.

An insane play midway through the third, with a breakaway by Boston’s Cottrell, catching van der Bliek out of the net, diving to the ice, and nearly poking it in. Unfortunately, the puck didn’t go, because Brampton has defense or something. They stay up by 2 with 9 minutes to go.

Brampton hands Boston a power play and then a 5-on-3, the latter call being a check from behind. And then Brampton takes another penalty – in an effort to make things more interesting for themselves? Who knows. But people in the audience are heckling the refs, which is actually kind of refreshing.
In the last minute of the third, Boston crashes the net and scores. van der Bliek does her best, but there just aren’t enough Brampton players on the ice to stop Boston from capitalizing. The pace of this game has swung wildly between teams, and between being low-key and intense, so part of me is glad when there’s a time-out with 43 seconds to go.

In the end, though, Brampton pulls out a win, 4-3. – but not before van der Bliek gets an unsportsmanlike penalty. You go, angry rookie goalie. You go.

CWHL Weekend Preview and Link Round Up!

CWHL Weekend Preview:

There are only two games to look forward to this weekend, a back to back between the Boston Blades and the Brampton Thunder. Brampton is currently leading the league in penalty minutes, with 232 over 15 games, while Boston has the least, with 92 over 11 games. I’m looking forward to watching this game, as I have a vague feeling it might be a bit rough. Should be fun to watch. 🙂

Brampton hosts the Blades for the Saturday streaming game, starting at 5:45 pm CST. Brampton hosts them again on Sunday, playing at 1:00 pm CST.

Weekend Link Round Up:

CWHL Weekend Recap: Calgary, Montreal Sweep the Weekend Series

Sorry about the delay in getting this up, guys! Of the two of us, one of us had bronchitis, and the other had epic travel issues. But, better late than never.

CWHL Weekend Recap:

This weekend’s CWHL Streaming Game was Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win by Calgary over Brampton. Our write-up on this game will be up a bit later, and I’ll edit this post with a link then.

Saturday’s other game was a Montreal Stars v Boston Blades match up that ended 7-4 in Montreal’s favour.

There’s a history of rivalry between the two clubs who last year finished first and second in the league, and battled it out for the Clarkson Cup. Both lost key parts to the Olympic teams, and unfortunately, Montreal seems to be rebounding better than Boston, who have had a somewhat rocky season so far. They currently stand at fourth place in the league with 12 points in 11 games, while Montreal is in first with 23 in 13. There’s still time of course to recover, but I’ll be watching them carefully. Anyway, back to Saturday’s game.

Montreal opened the scoring very quickly, with a goal by Vanessa Davidson at :36 into the first period. Fannie Desforges followed it up with another goal for Montreal at 5:06, but Boston quickly responded, with a goal by Ashley Cottrell a minute later. Alyssa Wohlfeiler closed out the period’s scoring with another goal for Boston at 16:52. Montreal got one powerplay chance off a two-minute minor for Jillian Dempsey’s delay of game, but could not convert it into a goal.

The second period opened with a goal by Dempsey for Toronto at 3:30 shortly after a Montreal powerplay expired, but Ann-Sophie Bettez tied it up again shortly there after, until Dominique Thibault got the go-ahead goal unassisted for Montreal. Montreal picked it up in the third, with first Sarah Vaillancourt scoring a goal to go with her two earlier assists, then Ann-Sophie Bettez scoring a short-handed goal. Boston’s Rachel Llanes managed to get a goal later in the period, but it wasn’t enough. Bettez scored an empty net goal unassisted for her third goal of the game in the final minute of the game.

The third period was also the most physical for Montreal, with 8 PIM on three players, whereas they had taken no penalties in the previous periods. Brittany Ott made 39 saves on 45 shots for Toronto, while Catherine Herron made 28 saves on 32 shots. Ann-Sophie Bettez and Sarah Vaillancourt got first and second star for Montreal, while Jillian Dempsey got the third star for Boston.

On Sunday, Boston and Montreal met again, and Montreal walked away with a win 6-2 and a sweep in the weekend’s series. Boston started the game strong, holding Montreal off the score sheet and scoring two goals towards the end of the period. The first by Jillian Dempsey came at 15:35, and the second, short-handed, came at 18:07.

The second period, however, Montreal picked up four goals. Sarah Vaillancourt picked up the first in the first two minutes of the game, and then scored unassisted a few minutes later. Then Ann-Sophie Bettez picked up another two, the first assisted by Vaillancourt, and the second by Virginie Bouetz-Andrieu and Catherine Herron.

In the third, Montreal finished things out with two more goals scored fairly early on in the period, first by Fannie Desforges (assisted by Vaillancourt) and the second by Dominique Thibault (also assisted by Vaillancourt).  Overall, Montreal outshot Boston 49-34, but Boston did manage to keep Montreal from converting any of their power play opportunities into goals. Sarah Vaillancourt picked up first star of the game with five points, two goals and three assists. Ann-Sophie Bettez got the second star, with two goals. Catherine Herron got the final star, with 22 saves on 24 shots.

The other game on Sunday was a rematch between the Calgary Inferno and the Brampton Thunder. Calgary took it handily, winning 5-1.  Calgary opened the scoring with two goals early in the first, one scored by Erin Duggan at 3:00, the second by Julie Paetsch at 6:01. Calgary continued in the second with a third goal by Danielle Stone, who had earlier assisted on Paetsch’s second period goal.

The third period got a bit rough. Calgary got another goal early on in the period, another by Paetsch, but towards the 15 minute mark, Brampton picked up three penalties in short order, including a minor for head conduct on Laura MacIntosh, who also got a ten minute major and a game misconduct for head contact. Brampton’s Danielle Bourdeau also got a game misconduct and a ten minute major for unsportsmanlike conduct. Calgary then got another goal on the powerplay, scored by Emily Berzins. In the dying minutes of the game, Lindsey Vine got the only goal for Brampton, on a powerplay generated by Calgary’s Kelsey Webster, who got a minor for body checking.

Despite the end result, Calgary only managed to score on one of their seven powerplays, which bodes well for Brampton’s penalty kill. Shots were not as outsizedly different as the final score, with 24 shots for Brampton and 37 shots for Calgary. Delayne Brian, the goaltender for Calgary, got the first star of the game, with Julie Paetsch, and her two goal for Calgary, got the second star, and Lindsey Vine, who scored the sole goal for Brampton, getting the third star.

 

CWHL Weekend Preview: Calgary v Brampton, Montreal v Boston

CWHL Weekend Preview:

This weekend’s CWHL streaming game is Calgary vs Brampton, at 5:45 pm CST, on Saturday January 18th! It’s their second meeting of the season, with their last game, early in November, ending 3-2 for Brampton in a shoot out. Imp will have a write-up of that on Monday. (Check out her post on Where to Watch Women’s Hockey if you need help figuring out how to stream the game, or at-reply us on twitter @watchthishockey

The other Saturday game is the Montreal Stars vs the Boston Blades, 6:35 pm CST. Montreal won their last meeting, 5-2, but Boston won their only other game against Montreal yet this season, 2-1. With both teams working hard to fill the gaps left by their players lost to Olympic rosters, and a rivalry built on multiple Clarkson Cup finals appearances, it should be an interesting game.

On Sunday, January 18th,  we have the Montreal Stars taking on the Boston Blades again in a back-to-back game, at 12:15 pm CST. Then it’s Calgary vs Brampton again, at 1:00 pm CST. Remember, Calgary streams an audio feed of all their home games, so check that out to listen to their games.

Link Round-up:

  • The US Olympic team has been scrimmaging with several New England high school boy’s teams, in order to get some more practice in before the Olympics. They’ve won two of the three games. Take a look at this article to find out some more, and make sure to check out the video of interviews with both some of the women and some of the boys that they’ve been playing.

  • The US Olympic team also got a chance to practice at Fenway Park, which was flooded and frozen for the Frozen Fenway events, including several outdoor college hockey games. See a nice round-up of the women’s practice, including a round-up of pics, here.

  • Several more women’s national teams announced their Olympic rosters this week, including Germany and Sweden.

  • It’s a little hard to track down, complicated by the fact that we’re both only really fluent in English, but we’re pretty sure the only nation who hasn’t officially announced their women’s roster for Sochi yet is Russia. Once all the women’s rosters have been announced, we’ll be doing an overview of the non-US or Canadian players, so look forward to that! (If only I had known in high school, I would have applied myself to my German better; alas, my second best language after English is Latin, and that’s not really applicable to much of anything.)

  • Tessa Bonhomme went on Calgary’s Breakfast Television to talk about how to support the Canadian Women’s team, and about how important it is for the players to get support of their country. It’s specifically to support an event the Canadian team did in partnership with Proctor & Gamble, but I had A Strong Feeling listening to her talk about her experience of getting the gold medal in Vancouver, even as a dirty American.

Weekend CWHL Recap: Montreal beat Brampton twice, Calgary Toronto series a split.

Of Saturday’s games, Toronto beat the Calgary Inferno 3-2, while Montreal took Brampton 4-1. The Toronto vs. Calgary game was the CWHL Streaming Game of the Week, but unfortunately, due to technical issues (entirely on our end, I’m afraid), I wasn’t able to watch the game live, and the game wasn’t up in the archive before I had to write this. (I’m SUPER annoyed because Sami Jo Small was in net for this game, and I had been really excited to see her play again. /o\) So, in lieu of our normal write-up for the streaming game, I’m just going to include it in the weekend CWHL recap.

Continue reading Weekend CWHL Recap: Montreal beat Brampton twice, Calgary Toronto series a split.

CWHL Weekend Preview: Calgary vs Toronto, and Brampton vs Montreal

CWHL Weekend Preview: Calgary vs Toronto, and Brampton vs Montreal

  • This weekend’s CWHL streaming game is the Calgary Inferno vs. the Toronto Furies, Saturday January 11th, at 6:30pm CST!
  • Brampton and Montreal play a set of back to back games, first on Saturday January 11th at 7:30pm CST, and second on Sunday January 12th, at 11:30 am CST.
  • Calgary plays Toronto again on Sunday, January 12, at 11:45 am CST.

Look for our game recaps on Monday!

Weekend Link Roundup:

  • The Montreal Gazette had an article about the Eastern Ladies Hockey League, a women’s hockey league that sprouted up first in Montreal and eventually expanded to as far as Pittsburgh and Boston during the first World War. It’s a really fascinating look at early women’s hockey, and I gotta tell you, I would love a novel about Albertine Lapensée, the 16-year old star forward of the league.
  • This was the Sunday Long Read on nhl.com, but in case you didn’t already see it, the article about Hwangbo Young is really great. Young, a female hockey player who escaped North Korea to become a star player in South Korea, has become a huge ambassador and advocate for women’s hockey in South Korea. Prepare for some feelings.
  • On a lighter note, Second City Hockey has taken a break from their normal coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks to assemble a list of all the Team USA players on twitter. If you’re looking for some good follows, I’d recommend starting with Julie Chu (@juliechu13), who’s always quality, and Jessie Vetter (@vetter31), who likes to post a lot of vines of her teammates being goofs. 🙂
  • Not even Team Japan can escape the dreaded fake laces.
  • As you saw, Lindsay Fry was named to the US Olympic team last week. She’s the first Arizonan to play ice hockey for Team USA at the Olympics, male or female, and the Phoenix Coyotes interviewed her back in September about being on the national team and possibly going to the Olympics. It’s some cute. 🙂
  • As you might have heard, Tessa Bonhomme was cut from the Canadian Olympic roster, much to fairly widespread shock and surprise. James McClure over at Rink Rover has an article about just why that’s such a snub.

CWHL Weekend Recap: Brampton, Toronto cross-town rivalry heating up, Montreal takes the Blades

Of the two CWHL games on Saturday, the Montreal Stars beat the Boston Blades 5-2, while the Toronto Furies beat the Brampton Thunder 1-0.

Montreal *massively* out-shot Boston, 51 to 26 at the end of the game, including a second period where Boston had 5 shots on goal, despite a power play opportunity. We have a full recap of the Stars v Blades game here, as it was the streaming game of the week. The three stars of the game were Mariève Provost and Casandra Dupuis for Montreal, with the third star going to Jillian Dempsey of Boston.

The game between the two Toronto-area rivals however, was tight, with Katie Wilson of the Furies scoring the only goal of the game within the first two minutes of the first period. Toronto had some good shooting chances, however, out-shooting Brampton 31-16, with 22 of those coming in the second period.  The game was a rough one, with 32 PIM between the teams. Most of the penalties were for roughing or holding, with a couple body checking or hooking calls for spice. The three stars of the game were Carolyne Prevost of the Furies, Sonja van der Bliek, the rookie goalie for Brampton, and Katie Wilson, the goal scorer for Toronto.

Things didn’t get a lot better for Brampton when they met Toronto again on Sunday, as Toronto beat Brampton 9-1.

Shots were 39-25 in favor of Toronto. Brampton’s Tara French opened the scoring with an unassisted goal early in the first period, but then the Furies picked up three , with two coming in the last two minutes of the period. The Furies clearly carried the momentum into the second period as well, because they picked up four in that period. Three were scored on the power play. In the third period,  the Furies picked up their final two goals, including a short-handed goal by Carolyne Prevost. Two of the Furies had three-point nights, with Carolyne Prevost getting a goal and two assists, and Britni Smith getting three assists. Alyssa Baldin had a four point night, with two goals and two assists. Penalties were much lower, with only 16 PIM between the teams. Carolyne Prevost once again had the first star of the game, with Alyssa Baldin and Christina Kessler taking the second and third stars.

January 4: Boston Blades vs Montreal Stars Recap

Welcome to our weekly CWHL recap. This week’s is a joint recap, since both of us watched the game.

During the first period, Boston’s Bolden was penalized on a body check, and Montreal’s Tardiff tallied the game’s first goal on the power play. Coming into the game, Montreal had the second-ranked power play in the league, while Boston had the last penalty kill, and, sadly, it showed. Dempsey tied the game with 1:36 left to go in the first period, a goal Boston scored by crashing the net. Boston pretty much lived in their zone in the first period, but their communication was good enough to allow for that; they covered players instead of chasing the puck.

Continue reading January 4: Boston Blades vs Montreal Stars Recap

Friday Round Up

Upcoming CWHL Games: 

  • Montreal Stars v Boston Blades, Saturday January 4th, 4:30pm CST (Game will be streamed online!)
  • Toronto Furies v Brampton Thunder, Saturday January 4th, 6:30pm CST
  • Brampton Thunder v Toronto Furies,  Sunday January 5th, 11:40am CST

In case you didn’t know, the CWHL streams (for free!) one game a week on their website! This is a great chance to get to watch some women’s hockey fairly easily. To watch, go to this page and look for the “Live” tab in the video player.

This week’s game is the Montreal Stars versus the Boston Blades, who played against each other last season for the Clarkson Cup. The two teams are currently battling for the top of the league, with Montreal in first with 13 points in 8 games, and Boston in second with 12 points in 8 games. This is despite Boston having lost 8 of their players to US and Canadian Olympic teams, while Montreal lost 5 of their players. It should be an exciting game. 🙂 Look for a recap of this weekend’s games on Monday.

Other Thing of Note: 

  • If you’re in or around Boston, the Boston Blades will be hosting an event where you can meet Meghan Duggan, currently the captain of the US Women’s Olympic Hockey team, and member of the Boston Blades. The event will be January 16th, and you can find more details here.
  • The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota have released a documentary about the amount and type of media coverage given to women’s sports. Although fascinating in its own right, the documentary also includes extensive interviews with female athletes such as Noora Räty, two-time Olympic goaltender for Finland and two-time National Champion with the Golden Gophers,  and Digit Murphy, head coach of the Boston Blades who coached them to the Clarkson Cup last season. Watch it here.
  • The CWHL did a feature on Sonja van der Bliek, the rookie goaltender playing for the Brampton Thunder, who had to take up the reins after both of Brampton’s previous goaltenders left for other leagues.
  • Some interesting articles on Team USA– first, one from ESPN, and another from Rachel Blount of the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the distinctly Minnesotan flavor of the team.