With Riko down and out, it was now more than even for Nao to step up and play her best.

Let’s take a look!

Having a sprained ankle is never fun and that’s what Riko is facing right now after colliding with Nao last ep and falling hard to the ice. It was an unfortunate accident and no call on the play either. Would’ve been nice to see what the Dream Monkeys power play looks like, maybe that’s for later though.

With Riko now out indefinitely, the rest of the Dream Monkeys were a bit shaken up by this sudden turn of events and the rest of the first period was a mess. Sloppy plays on pretty much everyone’s part and the defense pretty much fell apart. The only positive part of this is that they were down just 1 goal, so with 40 minutes of hockey left there is still plenty of time for a comeback. Nao also being benched for the rest of the first wasn’t great to see either, but she was totally not in the right mindset and wasn’t moving her feet at all. Tough to see happen but Coach Yoko knows what she’s doing.

The majority of the middle part of the ep really dives into the backstory of Nao and Riko and shows them from their early days playing hockey to where they are right now. While this did take away time that could’ve been spent on showing more hockey, it helped build their characters more and showed us why these two have so much to prove, not only to the team but to themselves as well.

I liked the scene in the locker room where Nao sees Riko crying and it really gives her that needed shot in the arm to refocus and get back in the game. Usually Riko is so strong and leading the way, seeing her in this state was a lot different than what we’re used to. Same goes for Nao, who has always looked up to Riko as that strong protective girl.

Refocused and ready to play, Nao returns to the ice for the second period and while still shaken up from the events of the first, she finds her stride again and is back playing her position like always. With the help from Yu and Manaka, the Dream Monkeys score 2 goals in the period and take the lead into the third. The teams trade goals in the third but the Dream Monkeys come up victorious with a 3-2 win. It’s their first of the season and it feel really good to see them win. While we don’t see any of the third period or who scored the third goal, the main thing is that they won and are ready for their next opponent.

Before we end let’s check in on how the Snow White are doing these days. Their first game with Maya was an easy win, 3-1. So much so that the team is already starting to get overconfident and think that with Maya on their side, they’ll be able to breeze through B Block and get back into A Block without any trouble. While it’s true having a, to quote a friend here, Canadian Bombshell on their team would make things easier, hockey is still a team sport and requires everyone to play their best for the team to win. One of the Snow White players, a cutie redhead, reminds them of that, but as expected she’s pushed aside by their pride in winning their first game. I’m looking forward to the eventual Snow White vs Dream Monkeys game, I’m sure that’ll be the best game yet!

Maya looks tired.

And one final thing, Manaka gets a text after arriving home from her friend Mami, who lets her know she’ll be coming to town  for a game. Its got me thinking, does Mami play for the Snow White? I mean we haven’t actually seen her new team and she’s never mentioned who she’s playing for, so it’s a bit of a long shot but that could definitely up the drama for their match up. What do you think?

The end is in sight for this anime and I’m already getting sad about that. I’ve really enjoyed watching Pride of Orange and it’s been such a blast watching these girls discover hockey and grow to love this sport. But  until it’s over it’s going to be an exciting finish as their games will only get tougher from here on in. Let me know what you thought of this week’s ep down in the comments below!

Kinda wish they had some preview for next week because it’s hard to guess what could be happening next ep. I’ll take a guess and say it’ll maybe be about Mami returning and possibly more on the Snow White. Whatever the case I’m looking forward to it!

That’s it for me. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you back here next time!

As always, stay safe and healthy!