For their final game of the 2017-2018 season, the Boston Blades faced the Markham Thunder in their Lupus Awareness game. Lauren Dahm got the start from Boston, and Markham’s netminder, Liz Knox, got the nod from the Thunder.
Boston played with a much greater effort than in their previous matchup with the Thunder, but weren’t able to hang on and dropped their final game of the year 3-1.
The Blades got off to a strong start, dominating offensive and neutral zone time. Markham saw their first offensive zone time after a tripping call was made on Blades’ defender, Dru Burns at the 4:09 mark.
The Thunder would score first in this one on this power play with Nicole Kosta’s unassisted second of the season.
Boston would continue bringing the puck up into Markham’s end with physciality, forcing Knox to make a few saves. Dahm would go on to face a couple shots in her own end, but would stop each one.
The Blades defensive work continued to perform with Dahm making a full stretched out save as the clock ticked down with three minutes to go.
With 1:30 to go, the game would see some 4-on-4 play as Sato Kikuchi was called for roughing and Devon Skeats was called for holding simultaneously. Dahm made one final stop as the horn went off, and Boston would head to the locker room down by 1.
The Blades started the middle period in their own end with some more impressive goaltending from Dahm as she poked the puck out of the front of her net.
Kikuchi would head to the box at the 5:42 mark due to a holding call. The Thunder power play would only last 57 seconds though, as Jocelyne Larocque took a hooking penalty to make it 4-on-4.
The Blades would see a 5-on-3 opportunity after Megan Bozek was called for slashing. They got off a few good shots, but Dahm was forced to make a left-to-right save after Larocque found herself with the puck on a breakaway chance after leaving the box.
Boston was unsuccessful in their personnel advantage, but saw another power play chance soon after when Kristen Richards took a cross checking penalty. The Blades’ scoreless run against Markham this weekend would come to an end on this one with a goal from Kate Leary, assisted by Meghan Grieves and Melissa Bizzarri.
Goal by Kate Leary!! Asst by Melissa Bizzari & Meghan Grieves
— Boston Blades (@BostonCWHL) March 11, 2018
The play would go back to a brief 4-on-4 as Kristina Brown and Jamie Lee Rattray took matching penalties. Boston would find themselves shorthanded after Burns was called for spearing. Both penalty boxes would empty with the score remaining 1-1.
With just under two minutes remaining, Dahm faced a 2-on-0 situation and poked the puck away to keep the game tied. She would make another spectacular save just before the 19:00 mark of the period.
The clock ticked down to zero and both teams would head into the last intermission of the regular season tied.
Both teams exchanged offensive zone time and shots early, and Dahm continued her dominant play through the first quarter of the last period.
Kaitlin Spurling followed this with a great scoring chance, but Knox was there to cover the puck. The Thunder goaltender made another great save even as she lost her stick.
Markham would retake the lead with just under 11:30 left to go in the game as Laura McIntosh would grab the assist on Rattray’s goal.
Boston would go on the penalty kill after Burns took a body checking penalty. The score remained unchanged after the 2 minute Thunder power play.
The Blades had a power play opportunity late in the game after high sticking was called on Markham’s Richards. Megan Myers had a good chance to tie it back up, but Knox held the post to keep her team ahead.
With 2:26 remaining, Boston called a time out to strategize how they’d potentially tie the game.
Dahm wasn’t able to leave the next for the extra skater as Markham continued to bring the pressure to Boston’s end. The Thunder would tally their third goal of the game with Richards’ goal.
The Boston goalie wasn’t giving up as she flashed the glove with under a minute to go as Boston was then able to pull her for a 6-on-5 chance.
The Blades were unfortunately unable to capitalize and would drop their final game of the season by a final score of 3-1.
Blades Head Coach, Kacy Ambroz, spoke post game about her overall impression of her team’s final weekend of the season vs. the Thunder.
“I think we had major adversity yesterday, That’s a great team that we played. They were amazing, but I think we let that one get out of hand. That being said, I was proud of the way the girls recovered, reflected, and came out tonight,” she stated. “They played their butts off tonight, and that’s all we could ask. We talked about attitude and effort all year and they have nothing to hang their head about for the last game of their season.”
She went on to reflect upon the Blades entire season.
“As a whole, I think we hit a lot of bumps in the road. We’ve come a long way and as a whole one thing that we talked about in the locker room was that this group never stopped working. I’m a huge work ethic person so that was very inspiring to me,” Ambroz said. “I think that we hit a lot of adversity, but we also overcame a lot of adversity. It was fun to be a part of and I’m so grateful to have been a part of this group this year.”
Today’s Three Stars of the game ⭐️⭐️⭐️ pic.twitter.com/TBtKMQSnDx
— Boston Blades (@BostonCWHL) March 11, 2018
1 – Nicole Kosta (Markham)
2 – Laura McIntosh (Markham)
3 – Dru Burns (Boston)
To all Blades fans: thank you for following along with us and coming to the games this season! Be on the look out for our offseason coverage and updates throughout the coming months to be posted here as well as @BostonCWHL. We look forward to seeing you all in October!
Merisa Boyd is the Media Relations Manager for The Boston Blades. All media inquiries and requests should be sent to [email protected]