As the Boston Blades prepare for the 2012-13 CWHL season, the club embarks on a three-game exhibition series versus NCAA teams from the Boston area. Matthews Arena hosted the September 30 contest between the Northeastern Huskies and the Blades.
Blades rookie Kelley Steadman assisted on Jessica Koizumi’s goal as the Blades skated out to a 1-0 lead. Prodigious Paige Savage would even the score as she buried the puck past Blades goalie Mandy Mackrell. The regular goalies for the Blades, Molly Schaus and Genevieve Lacasse were not available for this exhibition match.
Huskies netminder Chloe Desjardins would allow another goal in the first period as Kelley Steadman logged a goal at the 14:29 mark. Meghan Duggan and Kate Buesser would earn the assists.
Duggan would get back in the act in the second stanza as she assisted on Karen Thatcher’s goal. Said goal would add to the Blades' lead as Thatcher scored on the power play. Savage would bring the Huskies back in the game as she assisted on a goal scored by team captain Casey Pickett.
The third period saw both sides change goaltenders as Lauren Patterson stood between the pipes for the Blades, and Kelsey O’Sullivan occupied the crease for Northeastern. The change would provide a plethora of goals for both teams. Karen Thatcher scored her second goal of the game, with a third assist going to Duggan as the Blades extended their lead to 4-2.
Despite the two-goal deficit, the Huskies stormed back to tie the game. Goals by Siena Falino and Tori Hickel gave new life to the Huskies. Hickel’s goal was scored at the 17:51 mark of the third, increasing the confidence that the Huskies could pull off the upset.
Experience prevailed as Karen Thatcher showed grace under pressure. At the 18:56 mark of the third period, she scored an even-strength goal to give the Blades the lead. Gigi Marvin and marvelous Meghan Duggan contributed the assists.
With Northeastern pulling their goaltender for the extra attacker, the Blades capitalized on it as Kate Buesser scored an empty-net goal.
Thatcher’s hat trick and Duggan’s four assists were the difference in a hard-fought win. Of all the stats in the game, another key stat belonged to Kelli Stack. Despite only one assist in the game, Stack won 16 of 19 faceoff opportunities; she accounted for more than half of the Blades' faceoff wins (30).
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