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Women’s Pro Hockey: Minnesota Whitecaps fall to Boston Pride, 5-1

whitecapsMINNEAPOLIS, MN – Excited fans gathered at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis and around their television sets this Saturday night to witness history in the making – the first professional women’s hockey game ever played in the state of Minnesota. Although the Whitecaps fell 5-1 to the Boston Pride, many players from made the trip back to Ridder Arena with fond memories of their college hockey-playing days. In particular, Gigi Marvin was making the trip from Boston back to her old home ice.

The Pride scored first in this history-making game as Rachel Llanes put up an unassisted goal 10 minutes and 42 seconds into the first period. Picking up the puck at the blue line, she skated into the zone and placed a backhanded shot over Minnesota Whitecaps goaltender Alex Rigsby’s right pad to give the Pride the lead that they would hold onto for the rest of the game.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson headed for the box on a hooking call 15:11 into the first, which put the Pride on their second power play of the night. Boston made the most of their advantage when Amanda Pelkey deflected a shot from Jillian Dempsey into the back of the net with 32 seconds still on the penalty clock. Hilary Knight earned the second assist on the play that gave the Pride the 2-0 lead.

Six minutes and 26 seconds into the second period, the Pride found themselves on the power play once again when the referees called Monique Lamoureux for slashing. But just 10 seconds later, Pelkey got sent to the sin bin for her two minutes on a cross checking call.

Near the end of this 4-on-4 play, Knight fired a shot from the blue line off a pass from Alyssa Gagliardi that made it past Rigsby at 8:14 in the second. Jordan Smelker earned the second assist on the third goal of the night.

Dempsey closed out the second period scoring to give the Pride a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes of play. She drove to the net up the left side of the ice and made a nice move before flipping the puck over Rigsby’s right shoulder.

Allie Thunstrom came out of the gates hungry and found her opportunity early in the third period. Just one minute and four seconds into play, she raced through two Pride defensemen to connect with the puck past the blue line. Ott came out of the Boston net to play the puck, but Thunstrom managed to push the puck into the back of the net despite being tripped up. This goal put the Whitecaps on the board and invigorated the team for the rest of the third period.

Shortly after, the Pride’s Llanes collided with a Whitecaps player and received a double minor and a 10-minute misconduct penalty for checking from behind. While the Whitecaps could not capitalize on their four-minute power play, they garnered momentum and played with enhanced speed and tenacity.

The Whitecaps pulled Rigsby for an extra skater after the Pride’s Marissa Gedman headed to the box on an interference call with 2:12 left to play in the game. Despite strong efforts to drive the puck to the net, Brianna Decker got ahold of the puck in the neutral zone and sealed the Pride’s fate with an empty net goal.

The Pride outshot the Whitecaps 38-23 in their 5-1 victory. Both teams will be back in action tomorrow at 1 pm at Ridder Arena.

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