Dahm Dominates Despite Shootout Loss to Vanke

The Boston Blades (0-4-1) hosted the Vanke Rays (2-1) for their first matchup of the season on Saturday November 4 where the Blades scored first, but would eventually fall in the shootout, 2-1.

Lauren Dahm started for Blades where she faced Rays goaltender Elaine Chuli. Chuli faced 27 shots, making 26 saves and Dahm would save 54 of 55, as recorded on the CWHL game report.

First Period:

The game started strong with both teams exchanging scoring chances. The Blades would strike first at 11:19 with Erin Kickham’s first of the season assisted by Elizabeth Aveson and Casey Stathopoulos.

The Blades came up short on their only power play of the period after Vanke’s Emma Woods took a holding penalty at 17:29. The scored remained 1-0 Boston going into intermission.

Second Period:

Dahm took over the middle 20 minutes of the game, as Vanke occupied the Blades end of the ice for most of the period. At the 5:48 mark, Blades forward Kate Leary took a hooking penalty to give Vanke their first power play opportunity of the night.

Dahm lost her stick and had to play most of the penalty kill with a player’s stick. This didn’t stop her from saving all 3 shots from the Rays during 2 minute kill.

Vanke almost pulled even in the second, but their goal was called back for a distinct kicking motion and the Blades would head to the locker room still up by 1.

 

Third Period:

Leary had 2 back-to-back scoring chances early, and the Rays countered with two shots in the first 5 minutes. Kate Leary took a body checking penalty at 7:36 and Sato Kikuchi followed with a holding penalty at 9:12 to give the Rays a 24-second 5 on 3 chance.

Leary had a breakaway opportunity following her penalty, but came up short. While still on the power play from Kikuchi’s penalty, Vanke’s Hanna Bunton scored her third of the season to even the score at 1-1.

Kristina Brown took a body checking penalty at 10:38 in the period to put Vanke back on the powerplay, but the Blades kept them scoreless on it. Meghan Grieves provided a good chance late for the Blades while Kikuchi had a shot block in the final few minutes to keep the game tied.

Vanke’s Brooke Webster put the Blades on a powerplay for 45 seconds, but the period ended with the score remaining tied.

Overtime:

Boston started the 5 minute period with 1:15 remaining on the power play, but were unsuccessful in the man advantage. The Rays had the first scoring chance of overtime, but neither team was able to capitalize as the clock ticked down to zero.

Shootout:

It took 5 rounds with Leary scoring for Boston and Webster scoring for Vanke in the first round before Rays defenseman, Ashleigh Brykaliuk, scored the game winner.

The Rays would take the first game of the weekend by a final score of 2-1.

Post Game:

With 54 saves on the night, Dahm spoke after the game about what she wants to see her team improve on for the remaining two games against the Rays.

“I think we need to put more pressure on them. When we were working the puck and pressuring them, they couldn’t handle it as well so I think the more time we can spend not in our zone the better,” she stated.

Blades Assistant Coach, Mark Bates, also saw the shootout loss optimistically, focusing on what the Blades can improve on when they’re playing with the lead in the future.

“Today was our best game I think as a unit…we kind of got content in our second period. First period we really made the play to go up 1-0 and then second period we came back and instead of really pushing the pace, we waited back. We allowed them to get some confidence and then some late penalties cost us our flow in the third period,” he stated.

“I’d like to see them play 60 minutes. Definitely need to stay in the game. We’re a young team. We haven’t really played with the lead much at all this season so it’s a good experience for us today and we’ll try to do better tomorrow,” Bates said.

What’s next?

The Blades will have a chance to even the series on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. back at Larsen Rink as they look to notch their first win of the season.

Written by Merisa Boyd.