By Daniel Tamer – National Women’s Hockey League
Coming off a narrow victory against Boston College, the Boston Pride took on the Russian Women’s National Team in a pre-season match up at Warrior Ice Arena Saturday night.
Both teams came out with a nervous energy and were unable to generate much zone time for the first few minutes of the game.
It wasn’t until 10:49 of the first period when a deke and finish from Meghan Duggan in the slot put the Pride up 1-0.
A crosschecking penalty committed by Kacey Bellamy at 16:31 of the first would allow Team Russia to produce some scoring opportunities. Russia’s power play led to a controversial goal on a rebound, scored by former Connecticut Whale forward Ekaterina Smolentseva, knotting the game at one going into the second.
On an early 2-on-1 rush in the second period, Brianna Decker scored on a pass from Zoe Hickel. Russia would take a penalty right after, leading to another Pride goal scored by Alex Carpenter less than a minute later to put them up 3-1 early in the second.
Halfway through the second, Brittany Ott replaced Lauren Slebodnick in net for the Pride. A few minutes later, a turnover at the blue line by Kacey Bellamy led to a breakaway for Fanuza Katirova, but she was hooked and awarded a penalty shot. Katirova’s backhand attempt was denied by Ott and went wide, as she was unable to make the Pride pay for their mistake.
Just forty seconds into the third a loose puck squirted out to the point and Decker buried her second goal of the game, making it 4-1.
Later on in the period, Kacey Bellamy took her second penalty of the game but upon returning to the action, she was able to pick up the puck on an offensive rush and put one past the Team Russia goaltender to put Boston up 5-1. Both goalies stood tall for the remainder of the period, and when the clock hit triple zeros, the final score was 5-1 in favor of the Pride.