Boston Pride capture Covid-delayed hockey crown

The Boston Pride celebrate a goal in Saturday's National Women's Hockey League final, in which the hosts beat Minnesota 4-3 to win the Isobel Cup title
The Boston Pride celebrate a goal in Saturday's National Women's Hockey League final, in which the hosts beat Minnesota 4-3 to win the Isobel Cup title Maddie Meyer GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP
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New York (AFP)

The Boston Pride edged the Minnesota Whitecaps 4-3 in Saturday's National Women's Hockey League Finals, completing a playoff run postponed from February by a failed Covid-19 quarantine bubble.

Boston's Taylor Wenczkowski netted a power play goal with 6:28 remaining in the third to give the Pride a 4-2 advantage.

Minnesota's Meaghan Pezon answered on a power play goal with 19.4 seconds remaining, but the Whitecaps could not net the equalizer in the final seconds and the Pride leaped off the bench at the final horn to celebrate the first Isobel Cup awarded since 2019.

Minnesota and Boston were to have met in the 2019-20 NWHL championship game last March but it was wiped out by Covid-19 and this year's attempt to crown a champion had seemed doomed for a time as well.

A shortened six-team 2021 NWHL season began in a quarantine "bubble" at Lake Placid, New York, in January but two teams pulled out after multiple Covid-19 positive tests among players and the semi-finals were scrapped only for the playoffs to be revived in Boston this week.

Minnesota's Allie Thunstrom opened the scoring 7:29 into the first period with an unassisted goal.

Boston equalized when Mary Parker netted the equalizer only 2:41 into the second period and Jillian Dempsey put the Pride ahead with 4:55 remaining in the period.

Lexie Laing boosted Boston's lead to 3-1 after two periods with a power play goal 17:31 into the second.

Thunstrom lifted the Whitecaps within 3-2 on her second goal with 12:14 remaining in the third period.