Blades Take Lead Twice, But Drop Final Game vs. Kunlun

The Boston Blades hosted the Kunlun Red Star on Thursday for their final meeting of the regular season. The Blades gave Lauren Dahm the start in net and the Red Star countered with Yuqing Wang.

The majority of the game was played with a tied score, first at 1 in the first period then at 2 in the second period. The Blades played with their best effort of the 3-game series, but ultimately fell to Kunlun by a final score of 4-2.

Photo by Merisa Boyd.

First Period

Through the first seven minutes of the game, both the Blades and Red Star had strong scoring chances. Kunlun took more shots on goal, but both Dahm and Wang blocked every shot they faced.

With just under 10 minutes to go, Kunlun had a shot ring off the post. This lead to a face-off in the neutral zone, where after a hooking call on Kunlun’s Zoe Hickel, Boston would head onto their first power play on the night.

This 5-on-4 opportunity lead to the Blades’ first goal of the night scored by Kate Leary with the assist coming from Megan Myers.

With under two minutes to go, Kunlun had a 2-on-0 opportunity, but the shot missed the net. This zone time for the Red Star led to their tying goal scored by Kelli Stack, assisted by Jessica Wong and Hickel.

Dahm faced a shot right as the clock hit 0:00 and the period would end with a 1-1 score. Kunlun would lead in shots 19-8.

Second Period

Kunlun started the period off with an icing which lead to some good offensive zone time for the Blades. Leary continued to shine offensively, creating a turnover leading to a Boston shot on goal.

The Red Star would counter with a couple of shots, but Boston dominated zone time through for the first 10 minutes of the period.

This lead to Boston’s second goal of the game. Dru Burns scored her second of the year with the assist coming from Sato Kikuchi.

The Blades continued their scoring opportunities, and Dahm remained on point to keep her team up by 1. With just under six minutes to go though, Boston would head on the penalty kill after Michelle Ng cleared the puck, causing it to go out of play, leading to a delay of game penalty. The Blades defended well and Kunlun would go scoreless on the personnel advantage.

With 1:21 left in the period, the Red Star would tie the game back up. Their second goal of the game came from Shiann Darkangelo. Madison Woo would assist on the Kunlun forward’s ninth of the year.

Both teams would head to the locker room with the score tied yet again, 2-2.

Third Period

Dahm was tested early on this period, but saved each shot she faced. Boston would have another power play chance at the 5:38 mark when Stephanie Anderson took a roughing penalty. This would turn into 4-on-4 play about a minute later when Boston’s Burns took a hooking call at the 6:33 mark. Both teams would go scoreless on their personnel advantages.

With 11 minutes left in the period, the Blades went back on the penalty kill after Kristina Brown took a body checking penalty behind the Blades’ net. Boston was able to hold on to the tied score throughout their personnel disadvantage.

The Red Star and Blades exchanged zone time and shots as the clock ticked down with under 4 minutes to go. Kunlun’s Zhixin Liu would break this cycle with her third goal of the season as Woo tallied another assist.

Photo by Merisa Boyd.

This lead to a Boston timeout to strategize how they’d score a tying goal. Just as Dahm was heading to the bench for the extra attacker when play resumed, a turnover in the neutral zone would lead to a Kunlun empty netter. Rachel Llanes scored this one with Hickel on the assist.

The Blades came close with their best effort of the 3 games vs. Kunlun, but dropped the final game of this series by a score of 4-2.

Three Stars

1 – Kelli Stack (Kunlun)

2 – Zhixin Liu (Kunlun)

3 – Lauren Dahm (Boston)

Post Game Notes

  • Boston – Dahm made 53/57 saves in this one putting her at 751 shots against in 20 games played so far this season, continuing to lead the league.
  • Kunlun – With Kelli Stack’s 24th goal of the year, she added on another point to push her further up the league standings with 39 total.
  • Boston – With her fifth goal of the season, Leary is now tied with Meghan Grieves to co-lead her team with 10 points on the year.

Next Game

The Blades will be back in action on Saturday, February 3 to host Les Canadiennes de Montreal for their You Can Play Night. The puck drops at 8 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door on game day at Larsen Rink in Winthrop, MA. Fans can follow along from home by following the Blades on Twitter or watching the game broadcast on YouTube.

Merisa Boyd is the Media Relations Manager for the Boston Blades. All media inquiries and requests should be sent to [email protected]