CWHL Streaming Recap: Boston Blades at Toronto Furies

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.

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: 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.

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