BOSTON (AP) — Tereza Vanisova scored the opening goal and added an assist, and six different players scored for the Boston Pride to open the delayed NWHL playoffs with a 6-2 win over the Toronto Six on Friday night.
The Pride scored in bunches with Jillian Dempsey scoring 38 seconds after Vanisova in the first period, and Mallory Souliotis and McKenna Brand scoring 31 seconds apart early in the second. Sammy Davis and Mary Parker scored 3:04 apart in the third.
“I think we did a great job,” Brand, who also had an assist, said. “I think we have a couple of things that we can clean up and look to get better at tomorrow but I think overall we showed up and stuck to our game plan.”
Boston, the fourth seed, will play for the Isobel Cup championship on Saturday against the winner of the Connecticut-Minnesota semifinal.
The Pride was scheduled to play defending champion Minnesota for the Cup last year before COVID-19 shut down the league to days before the finals.
Top-seeded Toronto trailed 2-1 early in the second period when Boston was called for a penalty. The Six couldn’t take advantage and shortly after the penalty expired, Souliotis unleashed a slap shot from just inside the blue line for a 3-1 lead.
When Boston went on a power play late in the second period, Pride goalie Lovisa Selander came up with a save on a short-handed breakaway and that seemed to decide things.
Breanne Wilson-Bennett scored for the Six a little more than a minute after the Pride took a 2-0 lead but didn’t get on the board against until Mikyla Grant-Mentis scored with 7:42 to play in the game.
Selander made 23 saves while Toronto’s Elaine Chuli stopped 19 shots.
Even the abbreviated season, played in a bubble in Lake Placid, New York, was shut down in early February with the six teams playing between three and seven games. The teams haven’t played since early February. Toronto had the best record in the regular season at 4-1-1 and defeated Boston 2-1 in the only meeting.