VEDA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK BOULIER, SOULIOTIS PREP FOR PRIDE-WHITECAPS WEEKEND
By Mike Murphy and Jane Norton
A pair of defenders on the NWHL’s top teams have earned VEDA Players of the Week honors: Amanda Boulier of the Minnesota Whitecaps and Mallory Souliotis of the Boston Pride.
The honors come in the lead-up to a big weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota as the second-place Whitecaps host the 19-0 Pride at TRIA Rink on Saturday and Sunday. These games are expected to have large crowds, so fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets now at NWHL.zone/tickets.
“This weekend in Minnesota is definitely a big one,” said Souliotis, who scored the game-winning goal in Boston’s 5-3 win over the Riveters on Monday. “Minnesota is a talented, fast team and we can’t wait to match up again for the first time since early this season. We have to focus on a couple things this week, put in some work, and be ready for two tough, exciting games this weekend. Minnesota always gets a good crowd and the energy in the building is awesome, so you know it’ll be a great weekend of hockey.”
Added Boulier, “It’s going to be exciting to be back at TRIA this weekend to take on Boston. It’s been great to see our offense clicking. We have offensive momentum and it’s crucial we sustain it against the Pride.”
A big part of that momentum comes from Boulier’s play on the blue line. An NWHL All-Star, Boulier had herself a weekend. On Saturday, she scored two goals – including the game-winner - and picked up two assists in the Whitecaps' 6-1 victory over the Whale. The very next day, Boulier starred in Minnesota's 7-0 win over the Whale. She picked up two more assists in what was her fifth multi-point game of the 2019-20 season. The blueliner had four primary points, nine shots on goal, and an iSteady of 10 (shots plus shots blocked by the opposing team) on the weekend.
Thanks to her six-point weekend, Boulier is now leading all NWHL defenders in scoring with 21 points in 16 games. Prior to this season, the most points recorded in a single season by an NWHL defender was 18 (Courtney Burke, 2017-18).
In Boston, Souliotis has been an underrated cog of the undefeated Pride this season.
While skating on Boston's top defensive pair with All-Star Kaleigh Fratkin, Souliotis has provided stellar two-way play to help fuel Boston's peerless offense. She's also had a career year in scoring. In 19 games this season, she has picked up three goals and picked up 10 assists to more than double her production from the 2017-18 campaign. On Monday afternoon against the Riveters, Souliotis scored the game-winning goal 9:04 into the third period to preserve Boston's undefeated record. She also picked up an assist on McKenna Brand's go-ahead goal earlier in the third period and made several big plays for the Pride in the defensive zone.
“It’s really rewarding to be honored as one of the VEDA Players of the Week,” said Souliotis. “Just about anyone on my team is as deserving, which really speaks to the depth and talent we have. We’ve come together really well this season and it’s just been an amazing thing to be a part of this year.”
And there’s so much more to come, including an epic showdown between Boulier’s Whitecaps and Souliotis’s Pride this weekend.
The VEDA NWHL Players of the Week for 2019-20
October 8: Lenka Čurmová, Beauts
October 15: Lexie Laing, Pride
October 22: Lovisa Selander, Pride; Brooke Stacey, Beauts
October 31: Sydney Baldwin, Whitecaps
November 19: Kelsey Neumann, Beauts
November 26: Taylor Accursi, Beauts
December 3: Sam Walther, Riveters
December 10: Kendall Cornine, Riveters; Alyssa Wohlfeiler, Pride
December 17: Audra Richards, Whitecaps
December 24: Allie Thunstrom, Whitecaps
December 31: Madison Packer, Riveters
January 7: Amanda Leveille, Whitecaps; Sam Walther, Riveters
January 14: Kendra Broad, Whale
January 22: Amanda Boulier, Whitecaps; Mallory Souliotis, Pride
Photo Credit: Ashley Intile, Bryan Johnson