If history repeats itself, the Isobel Cup semifinals are prime evidence.
A few hours after the Boston Pride punched their ticket to the title game for the second year in a row, their would-have-been opponent, the Minnesota Whitecaps, did the same with a 7-0 rout of the Connecticut Whale.
Early on, it looked like the Whale were fighting back. A goal was called back that would have made it 1-1, and from there, the Whitecaps shut down the Whale attack.
Veteran Minnesota goalie Amanda Leveille made a season-high 44 saves to earn a shutout, and bring her Whitecaps right back into the spot they should have been in a year ago.
“We’re going to do our best to bring the Isobel Cup to Minnesota,” said Whitecaps coach Jack Brodt. “That’s where it’s been and that’s where we want to keep it.”
The Whale had tough luck
The Whale have had the hockey Gods angry wit them or something. This is the best team they’ve ever put out in franchise history, they played great in Lake Placid, and then 16 players caught Covid and they went home before it got postponed.
Then after having only a few weeks to prepare for a playoff game, they find their head coach, Colton Orr, can’t be there due to Covid exposure. Then when it looked like they had tied the game early in the first period, the goal from rookie Kayla Friesen was called back with no explanation.
“It was a very surprising decision when the ref had a good vantage point on the ice of the puck going in,” said defender Shannon Doyle.
The rout was on from there. Just horrible luck for a team that’s worked so hard to field a strong group on the ice.
“It’s always tough when a goal gets disallowed,” said Whale coach Laura Brennan. “But you just try to power through.”
Rodgers and Richards
When you think of the Whitecaps it’s Amanda Leveille and Allie Thunstrom and whatever player you want in the plethora of all-stars, but Friday night was all about Nina Rodgers and Audra Richards.
👀 wait for the happy dance
— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) March 27, 2021
Rodgers, who started to really break out in Lake Placid, nabbed three assists while Rodgers scored a hat trick. The former Metropolitan Riveters skater has started to come into her own over the past season and a half, but really shone at Lake Placid.
“It’s a cool deal it ends up being the same two teams,” said Rodgers. “It’s always going to be a good game no matter who you’re playing. It’s going to be an awesome game.”
It was no surprise more playing time has seen her blossom into a solid professional player. For a team known for its superstars, it sure feels like Rodgers is in line to be their next one.
Richards clinched her hat trick with under two minutes left to make it a 7-0 game.
“Me and Nina are so positive together, we have success,” said Richards. “We have so much fun. She’s a great playmaker and I’m big and will get in front of the net.”
Friday, March 26
Saturday, March 27
• Boston Pride vs. Minnesota Whitecaps – 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN (livestream)