Welcome to another CWHL recap, this one of the streamed game from Toronto. Will Boston prevail and inch forward in the standings? Will Toronto grind them into the dust, as has been a common theme for Boston lately? I’m as excited as you are to find out!
Boston stumbles out of the gate, in the hole by a goal from Aarts less than five minutes in. Buesser gets a good change on a rush into Tortonto’s zone, but Sami Jo Small kicks it aside. After the whistle, things get a little rough. Never let it be said these players don’t care.
Play is a little disorganized, overall. Things only really pick up when either team manages to get a shot on goal, but there’s not exactly any flashy sniping going on.
A turnover leads to a Boston goal at 4:58; Boston’s still not playing that well (this appears to be a theme this year) but they do have some players who, when they get the puck, will go streaking down the ice without a second thought. It makes for an entertainingly instable game.
Whitney Naslund is back on the blue line for Boston; apparently, Boston’s coach, Murphy, put her there more or less because Boston needs puck-moving defense, even if Naslund doesn’t normally play defense. It’s an interesting strategy, but Boston’s still in the middle of the league, so they might as well try it.
There’s a flurry of movement in both ends midway through the first – lots of stretch passes and odd men rushes for both teams. Boston’s largely firing shots at Small’s crest, whereas Toronto’s making Ott scramble.
And, sure enough, at 11:43, Carolyne Prevost gets one past Ott. An attempted clear by Boston goes straight onto Prevost’s stick, and she makes Ott pay – it looks like five-hole, but I could be wrong. Either way, it’s a nifty bit of stickhandling; she makes Boston’s defense look silly.
Toronto takes a hooking call in their zone, but Toronto clears the puck almost right away, and spends a good amount of time in Boston’s zone. Bboston regroups but stumbles around their blue line, ending up passing the puck a LOT in their zone before finally entering Toronto’s zone. Are you getting that lack of organization is a big deal for these teams? It is. Boston finally gets a play set up, but Sami Jo Small ruins Boston’s scoring chance with a diving save. Toronto cleverly takes another penalty, giving Boston :23 of 5-on-3.
Boston’s power play is full of a little too much passing; the Furies collapse on the PK, crowding the goal mouth, and Boston’s passing appears to be an attempt to draw them out. In the end, though, they end up squandering shooting lanes in favor of one too many fancy passes, and Boston’s powerplay comes up empty.
In the dying minutes of the first, Rambo scores a goal for Boston that’s the opposite of what they’ve been trying to get – messy, right in the slot, backhanded past Small with no small (HAH) amount of effort. Boston’s got much more jump in their step after that, getting a couple good looks in Toronto’s zone before the period ends. In the final 60 seconds, Toronto puts it on Ott, causing a faceoff in Boston’s zone. Boston takes a dumb penalty with 13 seconds left in the period, a hooking penalty on Cottrell. Ott has to cover the puck with 4 seconds left to go, and at this point I’m wondering if this period is gonna be like Zeno’s paradox – but no, the period finally ends with the game tied.
Both teams come roaring out of the gate in the second period. Toronto gets an early goal, from Baldin to Wilson; Boston’s defense just kind of collapses, and doesn’t cover Wilson at all. Boston’s had some good flashes, but overall, they can’t really touch Toronto’s passing.
Boston takes a bad penalty right after Toronto’s goal, a penalty on Buesser for running Small. And just like that, it’s 4-2 Furies – a 3-on-1 for Toronto, a cross-ice pass, and Prevost scores.
Ott’s coming up big for Boston in the second, jumping on the puck when Toronto gets a scoring chance. Toronto takes a penalty, Wilson for slashing, so it’s another power play for Boston. On the power play, Boston is once again passing too much, not getting many shots on Small at all.
It’s worth saying, Prevost has been a massive presence in this game so far. She’s constantly pickpocketing Boston players, especially in the neutral zone.
Wilson gets a breakaway at the end of Boston’s powerplay, and very nearly puts one past Ott, but the post helps Ott out a little and she dives to attempt to cover the puck. Excitement! Desperation from Boston! They’re in enough of a hole to warrant it.
The announcers are talking about Boston’s need for defense and, well, yes. It’s not great. Though I’d argue a bigger problem is that Boston’s defense is absent AND their offense just isn’t there.
In the last half of the second, Boston’s spending a lot of time in Toronto’s zone, but they’re not really getting much traction. The announcers go off on a massive tangent about Prevost and I can’t even be mad, because nothing much is really happening – Boston’s offense can’t get anything set up.
Early on, Boston’s got a lot of momentum – Toronto is largely playing a defensive game, not taking any risks. But again, Boston’s having trouble just putting shots on net. For all that the game is very north-and-south, Sami Jo Small doesn’t have that much work to do.
Both Zamora sisters end up in the box, Kelly Zamora serving one of Kristy Zamora’s two penalties – a minor for head conduct, and a 10-minute misconduct on top of that. But Boston doesn’t do much of anything with it.
The announcers go off on a tangent about how Shannon Moulson for Toronto is related to Matt Moulson. Man, why do women’s hockey announcers always do this? For many, many reasons, I don’t care about Matt Moulson. Tell me about how Shannon Moulson plays the game.
Boston gets a lot of scoring chances late in the third, finally putting shots on Small, cycling in Toronto’s zone. They’ve got Toronto chasing the puck, one of those flashes of competence that Boston tends to show before the other team beats them soundly.
But it’s all for nothing – Ott can’t cover the puck on a rush from Toronto, and Cheverie gets one past her on a rebound.
Right after that goal, Ott has another huge save on Aarts. Most of Boston looks defeated, but Ott is still hanging in there, as usual.
And just like that, the game’s over. Toronto wins, 5-2. Rough for Boston, but at least it was an exciting game. IMP OUT.