For the second straight year, the Boston Pride are bringing a championship win to the city.
The Pride took down New England rivals the Connecticut Whale 4-2 in the Isobel Cup Final in Florida on Monday night, becoming champions of the Premier Hockey Federation. Last year, the team came out on top of the then-called National Women's Hockey League following a season hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a strange ride for Boston to get to this year's final as the Pride came into the playoffs on a five-game losing streak. But the Pride hit their stride in the postseason, blanking the Buffalo Beauts 6-0 and taking down the Toronto Six 5-1 before besting Connecticut.
Speaking after the game, Pride newcomer Amanda Boulier, who previously played for the Minnesota Whitecaps, talked about how the team was focused on winning another Isobel Cup — even through the ups and downs of the season.
"You know, just being a part of a group that was all clearly so confident and so excited about that common goal of winning that cup has been really special," she said. "It's been a really awesome group to be a part of, and I've been very fortunate and grateful to be part of the Pride this year."
Boston drew first blood with a goal from Jillian Dempsey in the first period, but Connecticut soon evened the score and went on to take the lead in the second period. But after Boston's scoring drought and the season on the line, the floodgates opened in the final period of the contest, with the Pride scoring three goals, including two within a minute to pull away.
An empty netter from Jenna Rheault in the final minutes put the icing on the cake and sarted the celebration for the Pride.
Pride head coach Paul Mara wasn't looking too far ahead after the game when asked about the possibility of going for a third title next season. But he was enjoying the moment of victory — something he did not even have the chance to grasp just two years ago when the league canceled the Isobel Cup Final between Boston and Minnesota over COVID-19 concerns.
"You know, we talked before the game as a staff and as players: we want this one. This one, I can't say it means more than last year, but today it does, and today it did," he said. "And we came out and we left everything on the ice. And those players deserve so much credit for doing that and we're just truly proud of them."
Pride captain Jillian Demspey was the first player who got to hold the Isobel Cup on the ice after the game. And after a long season, getting to skate the trophy to her teammates was a reward in and of itself.
"It was just an incredible moment looking over and seeing all those faces and just seeing everybody wanting the Cup so badly and just elated," she said. "And just on top of the world [with] that feeling. And [I'm] just so proud of everybody."