Forget the Bruins! Hop Aboard the Boston Pride Bandwagon
The Bruins are not a good hockey team this year. In fact, several hockey sources with knowledge of the situation tell me the opposite: they are a bad hockey team. Its languishing offense just lost veteran Brad Marchand to a concussion. At the top of a threadbare defensive depth chart is an aging Zdeno Chara back from injury and consistent liability Kevan Miller. Who knows if things will change? More importantly, who cares?
The Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League played their first-ever game Sunday, notching a convincing 4-1 win over the Buffalo Beauts on the road at the HarborCenter. (The Bruins defeated the Montreal Maroons 2-1 at the Boston Arena (now Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena) in their first tilt back in 1924). The NWHL, as Boston magazine chronicled back in August, has already made history, becoming the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players.
The Pride, in stark contrast, will likely be an exceedingly good hockey team this year. With blazing speed, a shutdown D-corps, and a stacked rotation in net, the Pride are an early favorite for the Isobel Cup, named after Lord Stanley’s daughter, one of the game’s earliest pioneers.
Star forward Hilary Knight, a late addition to the Pride, scored the first-ever goal in team history.
Later, Knight put the Pride up 2-0 on the rush.
Jordan Smelker, an Alaskan native who, like Knight, helped the CWHL’s Boston Blades to a championship last season, sniped one past Buffalo’s Brianne McLaughlin to make it 3-0.
University of Vermont alum Amanda Pelkey padded the lead with Boston’s final tally of the night, using her notorious speed to blow past the Beauts defender and find the back of the net with a nifty backhand.
Kelley Steadman scored the first goal in Beauts history on the power play in the third period. But Boston’s lead proved insurmountable late in the game.
The Pride’s season debut even got a nod from the inimitable Buccimane.
The Pride will face the New York Riveters, fresh off a 4-1 loss to the Connecticut Whale, in Brooklyn on October 18. They also will host the Riveters at the Harvard Bright-Landry Center in Allston for their home-opener on November 22.