Now is the time in the NWHL regular season when a smaller version of a hockey “arms race” takes shape. In an effort to ensure that they grasp home-ice advantage for at least the opening round of the playoffs, the Boston Pride have made a late-season acquisition of former Norwich University forward Adelle Murphy. Word of the signing was released on Feb. 1, 2019.
The Boston Pride have four games remaining in their regular season. That includes their weather-postponed contest against the Metropolitan Riveters that is now scheduled for Feb. 18. Prior to the Murphy signing, the Pride had 21 players listed to their roster. The only player to have been released from the team this season is forward Taylor Wasylk who saw action for one game.
Murphy brings the total roster to 22 – including three goaltenders – and her addition makes sense for depth purposes. It would not be surprising if Boston were to add one or two more players on top of that.
Murphy’s Time at Norwich
Murphy is a native of Roseau, Minnesota. She played NCAA Division III hockey for the Norwich University Cadets from the 2013-14 season through 2016-17. Murphy served as Norwich’s team captain during her senior year with the program.
She played in all 31 of the team’s games in her first season for the Cadets. In the process, Murphy scored four goals, 11 assists and 15 points. Each of those totals were the best for all Norwich freshmen that season – there were five freshman skaters total. Murphy and the Cadets faced New England College on Feb. 14, 2014. Her goal and two assists for a three-point-night that game would be a career best in the 4-0 Norwich victory.
Murphy’s junior campaign was arguably her finest offensive season during her collegiate career. Playing in 28 games, she scored a career-high 11 goals. Contributing 10 assists as well, she would total 21 points in 28 games. Such production would only be outdone during Murphy’s final season at Norwich when she additionally set career-highs in assists (17) and points (25) in 31 games.
In total, Murphy played 121 games in her four seasons with the Cadets. She would generate career totals of 27 goals, 51 assists and 78 points. What is perhaps most important to note is that Murphy’s points-per-game average went up each season of her collegiate career. From her freshman season through her senior year, she averaged 0.48, 0.55, 0.75, and 0.81 points-per-game respectively.
What the Murphy Signing Means for the Pride
At the very least, bringing Adelle Murphy onto the team gives the Pride that aforementioned depth at a crucial time of the year. With the playoffs right around the corner, options are a very nice thing for Boston head coach Paul Mara and assistant coach Marissa Gedman to have. Depending on which team ends up being the Pride’s opening round opponent, Mara and Gedman will be able to seek out particular matchups that are the most beneficial for their team. They have four games to see how Murphy helps them in that regard.
If you can play, you can play 🌈
— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) January 31, 2019
While not a prolific scorer in college, Murphy could still contribute to Boston’s overall offense here in the NWHL. Through their first 12 games, “The Pack” are tied with Buffalo for second in the league with 42 goals a piece. Only the Minnesota Whitecaps – who have played two more games than either Boston or Buffalo – have a higher total with 47 goals in 14 games. Within those same 12 games, the Pride have four players with at least 10 points. Knowing that Murphy can add some secondary support on the score sheet is ideal for Boston.
Boston has quietly honed their weaponry all season long. In some ways, they should be regarded as a dark horse. While much of the spotlight has been upon the Buffalo Beauts, Minnesota Whitecaps, and even the defending Isobel Cup-champion Metropolitan Riveters, the Pride have taken a bit of a backseat as to how good they truly are. Smart signings like the Murphy one continue to serve them well. Should Boston sign one of their draft picks or another free agent player before the regular season closes, they will be even more stacked to take a run at the Cup.
The bottom line is this: as we get closer and closer to the NWHL playoffs – watch out for the Boston Pride!