“We haven’t finished,” coach Paul Mara said. “We are here for one goal and that is to win the Isobel Cup. We are excited to take on this challenge tomorrow.
After a pair of three-goal periods in Friday’s 6-0 preliminary round win over the Buffalo Beauts, the Pride continued to score in flurries on Sunday, scoring three times in 2:14 at the end of the first period at Wesley’s AdventHealth Center. Chapel, Florida.
“I think we retained the emotion of our game against Buffalo,” Mara said. “We brought that tone. When we play with heart and passion, as we talked about, and when we are focused, there is no better team in this league. We haven’t finished.
With three more power-play goals, Boston is six of two in the playoffs after making just four games in 20 regular seasons and finishing last in the league in converting power play (0.056%).
“I think confidence is the biggest piece we needed all season,” said Taylor Wenczkowski, who scored a power-play goal in the third period. “Now we are driving. I think we feel pretty good about it.
With seconds remaining on a 4-3 advantage late in the first period, Providence College alumnus Christina Putigna opened the scoring at 15:39.
“It was a huge goal,” Putigna said. “It was great to have the first one. I love scoring the first goal. It ignited the bench which was great. I made eye contact with Lauren Kelly for the backdoor pass, but it wasn’t open and it bounced back just at the perfect moment and I knew I had to get it out fast.
Just 28 seconds later, with Boston still a woman, Burlington’s Kali Flanagan used her speed to go coast-to-coast before beating Toronto goaltender Elaine Chuli.
Less than two minutes later, former Boston University defender Kaleigh Fratkin’s goal to make it 3-0 was upheld after a lengthy review for possible goalie interference. . Fratkin finished with a game-high 3 points, including two assists.
“Fratty is Fratty,” Mara said. “She is, in my opinion, the best defender in this league for a reason. It shows up when we need it. She’s been amazing to us for many years now.
Toronto recovered one on a power play with 35 seconds left in the first period, but Evelina Raselli renewed Boston’s breath when her shot ricocheted through the air and off Chuli (28 saves) less than four minutes into the start of the the second stanza.
Wenczkowski, a New Hampshire graduate, scored her second goal of the playoffs 8:07 of the third to send Boston into the Finals with an 11-1 playoff advantage in two games. Former Boston College goaltender Katie Burt stopped 19 shots, making 51 saves in two games.
The Whale, who scored twice in the final four minutes of the second period to break a 2-2 tie and beat the fifth-seeded Minnesota Whitecaps 4-2 on Sunday, went 15-3-2 during the regular season to earn the No. 1 seed.
Led by league scoring champion Kennedy Marchment (13-20-33) and first draft pick Taylor Girard, who led the rookies in scoring, Connecticut is playing its first championship game, despite being founding member of the league.
Boston, meanwhile, will compete for its third league crown, in addition to making the 2020 Finals, which was canceled due to COVID-19.
“Obviously we want to win,” Wenczkowski said. “It will be a good battle tomorrow. We’re pretty confident and we trust each other on and off the ice. I think that’s the most important thing that will contribute to our success.