I expected to see a goalie battle in the Whitecaps/Pride game but oh boy was I shocked by this one. Tonight, the Buffalo Beauts and Connecticut Whale had a goalie showdown that was rockin’. The most amazing part? Both goalies were playing in their NWHL debut.
Then they reloaded for the 2nd and that’s when the real competition started. Jackson stopped 12 shots on net but a top shelf shot from Kayla Friesen got past her to give the Whale a 1-0 lead. Meanwhile, Ives kept her streak going and stopped another 9 shots.
Then, in the 3rd, a power play goal from Kristin Lewicki of the Beauts tied up the game. Despite that one goal, Ives stopped another 9 shots. Jackson stopped all 16 the Whale tried to get past her that period. With things tied 1-1 on the scoresheet, we headed into the first OT of the NWHL season.
Check out this insane save by Ives at the end of the 3rd:
Into OT, the goalies continued to stand tall (shocking no one). Sure there were some decent chances but nothing that got past these two. Just 2 shots on each goalie before we headed into the biggest test a goalie can have — a shootout. I’ll be honest I HAAAATE shootouts. I’ve seen so many of them, especially this season, and I’m sick of it. Irregardless, it fit the theme of this game very well.
Just one goal was made in the entire shootout. Jackson let in the first shot from Katelynn Russ. Jackson went onto deny Janine Weber and Kayla Friesen. On the other hand, Abbie Ives stopped every skater she faced: Kristin Lewicki, Brooke Stacey, and Dominique Kremer! With that the Whale pulled out the “W” in this intense game.
What a fantastic way to start your NWHL career, for both sides. We knew that these players were going to bring intensity where it was needed and they did just that right off the bat. Honestly, I love it. We had so many great games today and what a way to end it!
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Featured Image: The NWHL's Twitter