Boston Pride win the 2021 Isobel Cup

The Pride defeated the Minnesota Whitecaps 4–3 in a thrilling final.

By Savannah Moore

On March 13, 2020 the Boston Pride and the Minnesota Whitecaps were set to face off in the 2020 Isobel Cup Final, but the contest was first postponed, then cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year both teams won their semifinal matchups for the opportunity to compete in the 2021 Isabel Cup Final, giving fans a chance to see what could’ve been last year.

The Minnesota Whitecaps entered the playoffs as the two seed, and had a dominant offensive display in their semifinal matchup. Forward Audra Richards had a hat trick, leading a 7-0 rout of the Connecticut Whale.

The Boston Pride faced the taller task in their semifinal match up, as they were set to face the number one seeded Toronto Six. The Pride was up to the challenge though, picking up a strong 6–2 victory over the one seed. This set up a rematch—or rather a redo—of last year’s cancelled Isobel Cup Final.

In the first period Minnesota looked to be continuing their high-scoring ways, as Allie Thunstorm scored the opening goal at the 7:29 mark. Momentum swung in favor of the Pride during the second period though. Boston scored three straight goals, and the Isobel Cup looked as if it was going back to Boston. Then Thunstorm responded with a goal of her own, allowing the Whitecaps to cut into the lead. Boston stayed on the offensive and retaliated with a goal of their own. The Whitecaps were able to tack on another goal late in the third period to make the last few minutes a real nail-biter, but it wasn’t enough. 

(SOURCE: Michelle Jay / NWHL)

With Saturday’s 4–3 victory the Boston Pride became the first NWHL franchise to win two Isobel Cups. The Pride were the inaugural champions back in 2016. Jillian Dempsey, captain and the only member of both championship teams, was selected as the MVP of the game. There was one major difference between the 2016 and 2021 title wins: This year marked the first time the Isobel Cup playoffs were nationally televised, a major milestone for women’s hockey that makes this long-awaited championship game that much sweeter.

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