The PWHPA will take the ice for their penultimate game on Monday morning. The All-Stars, who are 1-2-0 in Hub City Tampa, will take on the Twin City Thunder in Lakeland, Florida. It’ll be the only meeting of this trip between the sides, but the second meeting of the season between them.
The All-Stars battled the Thunder in their final game back in January. Twin City got a goal from Alexander Ray with just three seconds remaining to tie the game, then Alex Rivet buried the winner in overtime to give the Thunder the 3-2 victory. Delaney Belinskas and Hayley Scamurra scored for the PWHPA.
Puck drop is set for 11:00 am at Lakeland Ice Arena.
Scouting The Thunder
Last time these two teams met, the Thunder outshot the PWHPA All-Stars by a 34-15 margin, winning the game in overtime by a final score of 3-2. In addition to Ray and Rivet, Valeri Rykov found the back of the net in the victory. Devon Bobak made 13 saves in 62:53 to collect the win.
On the season, the Thunder are 11-16-2 in 28 games. They currently sit in fifth place in the North Division, and are fighting for a playoff spot as Hub City Tampa comes to a close. The Thunder will enter today’s game on a difficult back-to-back. They played last night at 9:15 pm against the Connecticut Junior Rangers at AdventHealth Center Ice.
They dropped that game by a final score of 2-1.
Noah Furman leads the Thunder in scoring with 27 points (6 g, 21 a), while Gabe Potyk is second with 23 points on the season (12 g, 11 a). Alex Rivet and newcomer Colton Friesen are tied for third in scoring with 21 points each. Rivet has scored eight goals and added 13 assists, while Friesen had seven goals and 14 helpers. Friesen was acquired from the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs and has two points (1 g, 1 a) in two games with the Thunder entering Monday.
In goal, Connor Leslie (4-7-2, 3.41 GAA, .894 sv%) and Bobak (7-8-0, 3.45 GAA, .896 sv%, 1 SO) have played a majority of the games for coach Dan Hodge.
PWHPA Looking To Create Breaks
For large portions of Saturday’s game, the PWHPA was actually the better of the two teams against Hitmen Premier. A few bounces against and some big saves by the Hitmen rendered it a moot point. A 4-1 loss means there are only moral victories to take away. That said, the PWHPA did play well, and there are in fact things to build on.
“We played really well. We had a lot of opportunities to score but we didn’t do it, didn’t finish,” Coach Bill Flanagan said. “I thought we were just buzzing. I was really proud of the effort, but it was just one of those games where the puck just wouldn’t find the back of the net.”
Defender Savannah Harmon had the only goal in the loss. It was her first goal and point in Hub City Tampa, as she took a pass in the slot from Kelly Pannek and buried it to even the game at one early in the second period.
“I think it was just a fun game, good team game overall,” Harmon said after the loss. “I think we made some adjustments after the first period from coach and I think we just showed what we are able to do and that was exactly how my goal happened. Just good line work all around and I just happened to be the lucky one.”
The PWHPA will go back to the same lineup that beat the Islanders 8-5 last Thursday. That means nine forwards and five defenders will dress. Kimberly Sass and Alex Cavallini will be scratched in goal, while Demi Crossman and Jacquie Greco both exit the lineup. Up front, Delaney Belinskas and Sam Donovan come out, while Gigi Marvin shifts back to defense.
Sophia Shaver – Kelly Pannek – Abby Roque
Haley Skarupa – Brianna Decker – Amanda Kessel
Hayley Scamurra – Hannah Brandt – Sydney Brodt
Megan Keller – Kali Flanagan
Savannah Harmon – Gigi Marvin
Where To Watch
You can tune in to the game live at 11:00 am eastern on HockeyTV. A subscription will be required to view today’s game. The USPHL will have live stats which can be found on their website. Live scoring will be available for all five games during the Hub City Tampa trip. Veteran play-by-play voice Alex Thomas will have the call of all five PWHPA games in Florida.
Stay tuned to ‘The Women’s Hockey Tribune’ and the PWHPA on Twitter for updates throughout the game and postgame!