Boston Pride sweep inaugural Isobel Cup Final, Decker named MVP

  1 2 3 TOTAL     1 2 3 TOTAL
Boston Pride 1 0 2 3   Boston Pride 12 9 12 33
Buffalo Beauts 0 0 1 1   Buffalo Beauts 2 9 19 30

NEWARK, N.J. – Hilary Knight called her shot before the NWHL even dropped the puck. She guaranteed a Boston Pride win at the end of the season.

Like all heroines in a good movie, she gets the happily ever after she wants.

The stands of the Prudential Center Practice Facility were filled to standing room only to watch the Boston Pride take on the Buffalo Beauts. After taking the controversial win in Game 1, all that stood in the way of Boston and the Isobel Cup was a sixty-minute hockey game.

Right out of the gate the Pride took control play. Buffalo Beauts goaltender Brianne McLaughlin kept her team in it as long as she could as waves of Pride players hit her with shot after shot.

Just over halfway through the game, Blake Bolden caught Brianna Decker on a stretch pass as she flew through the neutral zone. Decker beat McLaughlin up high to give the Pride the 1-0 lead.

At the end of one, the 12-2 shot total showed the Pride were out for blood. McLaughlin was the only thing keeping the Beauts in.

The second period was more of the same from the two squads. 

When she was tested, Brittany Ott was was the proverbial brick wall in net for Boston.


It felt like a flukey goal could be the only way the puck would get past her. 

In the remaining minutes of the second period, the Beauts players looked worn down. The exhaustion of having played nearly five hockey games in a week’s time appeared to set in.

They skated off down a goal and with 20 minutes left in their season.

Hand it to the Beauts, though. They threw every ounce of energy left in their system into that third period. Buffalo sent 19 shots on net in the final frame; more than they had in the first two periods combined.

Buffalo went 1-for-5 on the power play on the night. In the third period, the wheels began to come off the wagon. While shorthanded, Knight plucked the puck away from the Buffalo power players and broke away. McLaughlin made the initial save. 

Knight collected her own rebound along the boards and sent it to the on rushing Decker who one-times it perfectly. Pride up 2-0.

Buffalo thought they had cut the lead to a goal when Meghan Duggan batted the puck out of mid-air and into the net. The official behind the net waved it a no goal because it was redirected in off a high stick.

Watching the replay it’s hard to see where the puck connects with Duggan’s stick. It looks like she makes a swinging motion while the stick is parallel or slightly below the crossbar.

Not long after, the Pride took back their hold on the game.

Jordan Smelker skates the puck along the boards before rocketing a perfect pass to the tape of Knight. McLaughlin falls forward, and Knight lifts the puck up and over.


With eight minutes to go, the Pride held a commanding 3-0 lead.

The Beauts never gave in. Even with seconds remaining on their season, they kept fighting. Erin Zach broke Ott’s shutout bid with a beauty of a backhand shot from the slot.  


It was too little, too late, though.

By the score of 3-1, the Boston Pride are the first Isobel Cup champions of the NWHL.


Brianna Decker was named the MVP of the playoffs for her 9 points over 4 games. 

The players got their first look at the Isobel Cup when it was brought out to the ice to present to the captains. Each player took her own lap around the ice with the chalice and reveled in their part of history as the first paid women’s professional hockey league in North America.

Who better to take the first lap than the face of the league, the catalyst for growth, co-captain of the Boston Pride, Hilary Knight.