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Photo Credit: Nick Barden

PHF Weekend Recap: A pair of slim victories get the Toronto Six back to winning ways

A wonderful winning weekend was well worth watching in the pair of games between the Metropolitan Riveters and the Toronto Six. The PHF season is winding down, with this being the 3rd-last weekend series that Toronto will have before the Isobel Cup playoffs will begin.

Saturday February 26th

This weekend’s first game marked a few special and/or interesting occasions. Firstly, the Metropolitan Riveters debuted this awesome alternate jersey, featuring a Black “Rosie the Riveter” on their jersey crest, instead of the typical but classic Rosie that normally exhibits herself on the Riveters’ chests. The design, by Jo Dabney is absolutely gorgeous, and while I’m hesitant to sport merch of a rival team, I’m on the cusp of buying one myself. (And one of these epic Beauts alternate jerseys they wore last Monday).

Secondly, this is the first games since the PHF announced a roster expansion that includes allowing 18 skaters in each game. As such, the Six went with 11 forwards and 7 defenders this weekend.

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The third story line is that this is Breanne Wilson-Bennett‘s season debut, after she played with the Six in Season 6, but was not with the team to start the season. Wilson-Bennett is an energetic, feisty forward that centered the third line in most of last year’s season and is a great net front presence despite her diminutive size. This year, Coach Mark Joslin starts her off with a spot on the Captain Shiann Darkangelo‘s wing, hoping, I’m sure, to kickstart her season well. The Riveters had their own season debutant, as veteran Kiira Dosdal-Arena returned to the team after a maternity leave.

After a scoreless 1st period, the Riveters took a lead over the Six, something that hasn’t been easy to do. Kendall Cornine opened the scoring for the Riveters with this clean up play in front of the net as Elaine Chuli left an unfortunate rebound there to capitalize on:

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In fact, it was a 2-goal lead, after this shorthanded breakaway goal by Haley Frade squeaked past Chuli. At this point, the Six had allowed 5 goals and scored none in 5 and a half periods of hockey:

However, the Six wouldn’t let this 2-goal lead stand. The top line especially took it upon themselves to ensure that Toronto left the period tied. First, it was Darkangelo with a slot shot that slipped under the glove hand of goalie Brooke Wolejko:

Then, it was the debutant Wilson-Bennett, scoring her first goal of the year on a classic-for-her cleanup in front of the net after a pass right to the net front by Taylor Woods found the stick of Wilson-Bennett and she deked out Wolejko to make it a tie game:

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That score line was where the third period ended. Just a few minutes into the 3rd period, though, the Riveters stoked the coals under the Six, who lost their last game against Buffalo, with a lead early in the final frame, on a Madison Packer seeing-eye shot lobbed to the far side of the net that beat Chuli.

The Six did not sit down, though. First, they tied the game up on defender Saroya Tinker‘s first goal of the season, a clapper from the point against her former team:

Then, the Six got their own shorty, as Emma Woods split the D on a perfect pass by rookie Stephanie Sucharda:

That’s where the game would stand, after the exciting lead-swapping contest came to an end on good shutdown play by Toronto, holding the puck in Metropolitan’s zone. Here were the 3 Stars of the game:

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Sunday February 27th

After the Saturday victory, Coach Joslin unsurprisingly kept the lineup the same, all the way down to Chuli down in the net:

The Riveters, not to out-do the Black Rosie jersey, showed up to Sunday’s game with another killer sweater, this time with a Pride theme:

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Looking to close out the weekend with a pair of wins, the Six got off to a better start in this one on a powerplay. The Woods to Woods to Mikyla Grant-Mentis combo earned the Six the lead:

Not long after, Riveters Captain Madison Packer slammed home the Ovi/Stammer powerplay one-timer to tie the game:

Continuing the crazy start to the 1st period, the Six responded with a clean-up play by Brooke Boquist to give Toronto the 2-1 lead:

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This lead held for the remainder of the 1st, all the way through the 2nd period, and half way through the 3rd period as well. The Riveters responded on a 5-on-3 powerplay midway through the 3rd with a scramble in front of the net that Rebecca Russo buried:

However, not wanting to head into overtime, probably wanting to save her strength for more Pro Strongwoman training, the rover and my personal favourite T6 player Taylor Woods finished off this great passing play on the powerplay for the game winner:

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Here were the 3 stars for this one, as Elaine Chuli recovered to put up a great performance against a hungry Riveters team that peppered her with shots:

Final Thoughts

The Six now have just 4 games left in the season and they will be against their toughest competition in this league. First up will a weekend off, then the Six will host the star-studded Boston Pride for games on March 12th and 13th at the York Canlan Ice Arena. You can get your tickets for those games here.

Then, the Six will travel to Connecticut to take on the feisty Whale who sit just behind them in the standings, 2nd in the PHF. Those games will be on March 19th and 20th.

After those games, it will be Isobel Cup playoff time. More on that will come as the tournament approaches, but the main thing you need to know is that it will be in sunny Tampa, Florida from March 25th to March 28th. Let’s keep rooting on those Six as they chase their first Isobel Cup in just their second season in existence!

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