Whitecaps co-coach Jack Brodt doesn't harbor any hope of joining Boston at the top of the National Women's Hockey League standings. With six games left in the regular season, the Whitecaps (12-4-2) sit 12 points behind the first-place Pride (19-0), and Boston needs only one point to lock up the top seed for the Isobel Cup playoffs.
That leaves the Whitecaps with two goals for this weekend's series against the Pride at Tria Rink: solidifying their hold on second place, and handing Boston its first defeat.
They enter the Saturday-Sunday series on a four-game win streak, with an 11-point cushion over the third-place Metropolitan Riveters. The top two teams in the standings will host the playoff semifinals.
"That's our main concern, to get that home game for the playoffs,'' Brodt said. "Our players are really fired up. We know Boston wants to keep that undefeated streak going, and we want to break it.''
The defending NWHL champion Whitecaps recalibrated their lines earlier this month. In four games since, they have outscored opponents 28-4.
Forward Allie Thunstrom leads the league with 16 goals, and goalie Amanda Leveille is second in victories (12) and save percentage (.935). Boston, which swept the Whitecaps in October, averages an NWHL-best 5.32 goals per game and boasts the league's stingiest defense.
Game times are 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Jablonski gets NHL job
Jack Jablonski, former Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player paralyzed during a game in 2011, says he has achieved his dream of working in the NHL.
He tweeted Thursday that he has a job as a content coordinator with the Los Angeles Kings working in podcasting, radio and TV.
Jablonski recently graduated from Southern California with a major in communications and interned with the Kings.
• Boo Dryden, a 2019 NJCAA national champion at 133 pounds and two-time All-America for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, has joined the Gophers and will be eligible immediately. He is a native of Haysville, Kan.
• Softball America ranked four Gophers on its Top 100 list: Pitcher Amber Fiser was No. 7, left fielder Natalie DenHartog No. 40, first baseman Hope Brandner No. 46 and second baseman MaKenna Partain No. 57. Minnesota is No. 7 in the D1Softball preseason rankings.
• The Gophers women's tennis team lost at UCLA 4-0. The Bruins won all three doubles matches and at No. 2, 4 and 6 singles to clinch the win.
• The Gophers won the women's distance medley relay at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Ky., in 11:37.61, the fastest time for a Big Ten team this indoor season. Relay members were Anastasia Korzenowski, Kelli Schmidt, Sophie Schmitz and Tate Sweeney.
• Former hockey player Brandon Bochenski, 37, who played for North Dakota from 2001-04 and later in the NHL, AHL and Kontinental Hockey League, plans to run for mayor of Grand Forks. He was born and grew up in Blaine.
• Dhru Patel, a former standout cross-country and track athlete at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., has joined Minnesota Distance Elite. He was a six-time Division III national champion and 13-time D-III All-America.
• Defending NCAA Division II champion Augustana was picked to win the NSIC softball title in a preseason conference coaches' poll. The Vikings were 61-11 last season, 30-0 vs. conference teams.