Columnists, Sports

Stick to Sports: Boston Pride, Beantown’s best-kept hockey secret

The Boston Pride won the inaugural Isobel Cup last season. PHOTO COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
The Boston Pride won the inaugural Isobel Cup last season. PHOTO COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

One of the best hockey teams in the world plays in Boston, and no, I’m not talking about the Bruins, who drive hockey coverage in this market and have started off the NHL season better than many expected.

Not Boston University either, which is learning to be an elite team with one of the youngest rosters in college hockey. Not Boston College, Northeastern, or Harvard either.

It’s the National Women’s Hockey League’s Boston Pride, a team that is making some noise as the city’s finest hockey squad.

The Pride, who have started the 2016-17 campaign 5-0, were NWHL champions in 2015 during the league’s inaugural season. Littered with talent from the U.S. national team, the Pride put some of the best players to don a hockey sweater on the ice each night.

Playing from Warrior Ice Arena, the Bruins’ new practice facility, many have filed into Pride games to watch some of the finest female hockey players in the world compete. That’s not hyperbole, either.

Hilary Knight is one of the most well-known hockey players internationally, along with team USA members Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Alex Carpenter, Kacey Bellamy and Amanda Pelkey.

The Pride’s regular season, similar to that of its NHL counterpart, goes from October to April. After playing last season at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center and having to schedule around the other teams who play there, being the lone tenant at Warrior allows the Pride to practice there twice a week and have a schedule that hosts primarily Saturday night home contests.

The Pride’s dominance this season has come from all ends of the ice. They have the league’s most prolific offense, and goaltender Brittany Ott was recently named the league’s Player of the Week after the 26-year-old shut out the Connecticut Whale. Additionally, Boston’s penalty kill percentage is a league-best.

Though the team has been quite strong, its lone weaknesses have been slow starts and the power play, both of which they figured out against the Whale last weekend, making the Pride the deepest team in the league.

Not many teams would have a player of Carpenter’s caliber on the second line, but she was forced to move there when Knight returned from injury after missing the opening four games of the season.

There’s still a long way to go for the Pride, as repeating is one of the most difficult things to do in sports, even in a four-team league. But somehow, the Isobel Cup champions have brought back even more talent than they had last season, which is saying a lot.

The Pride have played, and defeated, every team in the league so far this season. Their next tests? Winning on the road at Buffalo. After that, the team won’t return to the friendly confines of Warrior until Dec. 3.

And when they do return, it will be to another likely sellout crowd eager to see the best hockey that Boston has to offer. And you probably didn’t even know it was happening.

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Marisa Ingemi covers field hockey for the Daily Free Press. She is also a sports radio host on WTBU and involved in BU Athletics social media department. An avid sports fan, Marisa is also the manager of the acclaimed lacrosse website and the Boston Bruins beat writer for

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