Winning two games in a row is nice. Only having one regulation loss in your first 4 games is extra nice.
Elaine Chuli saw that she had a rookie backup with lots of talent coming up and said “I have no fears.”
What a difference she makes. The 6ix have been strong defensively, don’t get me wrong, but she thwarts the majority of the few mistakes they do make with such ease. The sense of confidence she must give the roster is such an underrated aspect of goaltending. It is only amplified by the fact that the coaching staff continues to employ this high pace system.
They know she can keep them afloat, and if she goes down, Ridgewell has the talent if needed.
I see the 6ix took my criticism about penalty trouble to heart. Taking only 5 penalties in game 4.
……………………………I still think that’s too many *ducks and runs for cover.*
The opening draw was only 2 mins away when Brooke Boquist decided to commit a war crime.
Brooke, she has a family, you don’t need to murder the defenders whole career.
It’s the nicest goal of the bubble so far. That is world class.
Unfortunately for the 6ix the Buffalo Beauts have some talented players too.
Curmova enters the 6ix’s zone about 8 minutes into the first period. She performs the perfect spin move between two 6ix defenders and takes a backhand which Chuli blocks. Unfortunately the rebound goes right to McDougall and she makes no mistake, 1-1.
The rest of the period is a back and forth affair, with the goalies duelling at the highest of levels.
As the clock winds down, there’s a mixup on the boards in the Beauts zone. The scramble leads to the Beauts stealing the puck and barrelling down on Steele 2 on 1. The Beauts take advantage. 2-1 with 6 seconds left in the period.
The second period is much like the first. LOTS of pace. Both teams flying, and goalies stealing the show. The high pace and aggressive game starts the get heated. We love to see it.
Not long after the scrum Grant-Mentis does what she does best. Fires a wicked shot on net. The shot is saved, but the rebound cannot be contained. Taylor woods finds that rebound. 2-2! This team does not quit. 5 minutes to go in the second.
Momentum swing in full force here.
The 6ix keep pushing.
After maintaining pressure in the Beauts end, the puck ends up on the right half-wall. Megan Quinn hustles to get there first and absolutely uncorks a laser top shelf. This thing grazed the crossbar and the goalies head. I am positive the Beauts goalie saw her life flash before her eyes.
3-2 lead heading into the third.
The third period is the Elaine Chuli show. The Beauts get nothing.
The 6ix stand strong all period. They get their own chances, refusing to play the tried and true “Barry Trotz Hockey.” The 6ix never take their foot off the gas. They can’t score on any of their chances either.
Or so we thought.
With the Beauts goalie pulled, Emily Fluke uses that speed and tenacity she’s famous for.
She fights off two defenders to bury that empty net goal with a wraparound. The refs originally refute that it crossed the line, but came to their senses and gave Fluke the goal. With 12 seconds left in the game, the 6ix lead 4-2.
Another huge W. In a shortened season, every win counts. Especially with the Riveters having left the bubble (due to health concerns), the margin for error is zero now.
A few notes:
The only thing more impressive than Grant-Mentis in the #NDubble is the love of Aaron the Zamboni driver. The fans love and admiration for the Zamboni we see cleaning the ice between periods is seriously wholesome content.
Having now seen all three jerseys in action, the definitive ranking of 6ix jerseys is as follows:
I hope all the best for the Riveters, it’s tough to make all that effort to get into the bubble only to have to leave early. They will come back next year with something to prove. Especially Soroya Tinker. She deserved more in her first season. She’s stuck her neck out to make more people feel included in hockey. The game needs more players willing to do what she did.
GO 6ix! Let’s get those damn pancakes.