Home US SportsNHL Viewer’s guide – Boston Pride vs. Connecticut Whale in Premier Hockey Federation final

Viewer’s guide – Boston Pride vs. Connecticut Whale in Premier Hockey Federation final

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The Premier Hockey Federation hosts its Isobel Cup ultimate on Monday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2), pitting the reigning league champion Boston Delight towards the Connecticut Whale of their first-ever ultimate look.

Your entire playoffs had been held on the AdventHealth Heart Ice in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Every of the PHF’s six groups had been a part of the sphere, with the league’s high two seeds — No. 1 Connecticut and No. 2 Toronto Six — incomes first-round byes.

In Friday’s preliminary-round motion, the Delight eradicated the Buffalo Beauts in a dominating 6-0 shutout, and the Minnesota Whitecaps defeated the Metropolitan Riveters 4-1.

Ahead McKenna Model had a three-assist evening for the Delight, supporting Katie Burt’s 32-save shutout in web. Minnesota had two forwards — Jonna Curtis and Audra Morrison — with three helpers every of their win, as netminder Amanda Leveille tossed out a 32-save efficiency.

These outcomes set the desk for Sunday’s semifinal motion, with Minnesota pitted towards Connecticut, and Toronto dealing with Boston.

The Whale had been first to achieve the ultimate, downing the Whitecaps 4-2. Connecticut will play for its first title having already earned the franchise’s first regular-season championship (15-3-2 within the common season).

Within the second semifinal, Boston jumped throughout Toronto early and would by no means relinquish its lead in a 5-1 victory. Defensemen Kali Flanagan and Kaleigh Fratkin paved the way with two factors every. The Delight completed third in league standings this season, with a 10-5-5 file.

Boston is the one PHF workforce to win the Isobel Cup a number of occasions, hoisting the trophy in 2016 and 2021. To make it three titles, the Delight should knock off the Whale, who’ve put collectively one of the best season in franchise historical past.

Connecticut additionally gained the regular-season collection towards Boston 3-1.

Forward of Monday’s marquee matchup, this is a primer on each golf equipment and an influence participant to observe for each.

Connecticut Whale

The Whale have come a great distance in an impressively brief time.

Within the PHF’s final common season earlier than the coronavirus pandemic (2019-20), Connecticut went 2-20-2 with a purpose differential of minus-61. Within the mixed three seasons prior, the Whale gained a complete of 10 video games.

Then the Whale’s fortunes modified. Connecticut drafted ahead Taylor Girard No. 1 total in final June’s draft — the franchise’s first time selecting from the highest spot — and Girard’s 24 factors had been fourth-most within the league this season.

All the pieces clicked in place from there. The Whale led the PHF in virtually each class offensively, and the goaltending tandem of Abbie Ives (10-3-2) and Mariah Fujimagari (5-0-0) has been an actual asset in supporting Connecticut’s success up entrance.

It has been a particular run for the Whale, and particularly for captain Shannon Turner. She’s one in all solely 5 gamers who’ve been with the PHF because it began in 2015, and Turner’s solely suited up for the Whale. The 29-year-old blueliner basically introduced her retirement in Might, however got here again for one final run at an Isobel Cup.

Now, she’ll have her likelihood.

Participant to observe

Connecticut ahead Kennedy Marchment saved constructing off her terrific common season with a purpose, an help and 9 pictures on purpose in Sunday’s semifinal. Marchment led the PHF in factors (33) and assists (20), and she or he was second in objectives (13).

That made Marchment the Whale’s first-ever scoring champion. The 25-year-old can also be the franchise’s single-season file holder in objectives, factors and assists after main her workforce in all three classes.

Boston Delight

The Delight know easy methods to win. And so they know easy methods to get well.

In an odd twist, Boston ended its common season with 5 additional time losses in a row. That is not precisely the excessive be aware the Delight needed to enter to playoffs on.

However they weren’t rattled. Their third-place end did not benefit a first-round bye, however the Delight have performed like potential champions by dominating opponents 11-1 in two video games in Florida.

It is the Delight’s depth that is most spectacular. Nobody from Boston ranked top-10 total in an offensive class this season, however the Delight relied on contributions from gamers all through the lineup to place collectively one other sturdy marketing campaign.

Now that collective success will probably be put to the take a look at in one other ultimate. All instructed, the Delight have 18 gamers with postseason expertise — led by captain Jillian Dempsey, who’s the one skater to have been a part of each earlier Delight Cup wins.

It was goaltender Katie Burt who could effectively have been Boston’s finest participant. She led the PHF with an .958 save proportion and 1.41 objectives towards common. Her numbers are even higher within the postseason, the place she sits at a .980 SV% and 0.50 GAA.

Participant to observe

Boston defenseman Kaleigh Fratkin did not have an impressive common season (though she did lead the league in penalty minutes with 34). However solely final yr, Fratkin was the PHF factors chief with 9 over seven video games. That is the power Fratkin has channeled to come back alive as soon as once more on this postseason.

Fratkin notched back-to-back efforts with a number of assists towards Minnesota and Toronto, whereas making standout performs defensively to breathe confidence into Boston’s recreation. She’s the PHF’s all-time highest-scoring defenseman, and that two-way means cannot be understated when the Delight are about to face high-flying Connecticut in a winner-take-all tilt.

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