Photo By Matt Raney
The Buffalo Beauts extended their win streak to ten games with a 4-1 victory over the Connecticut Whale Saturday night. Beauts forward Sarah Edney netted two goals in the contest.
The Whale struck first off a goal from forward Amanda Boulier in the first period. New Connecticut signee Sam Donovan picked up her first professional point on a Boulier goal at the 10:53 mark in the first period. The St, Lawrence alumna ripped a shot past Buffalo netminder Amanda Leveille for her third goal of the season. Buffalo secured the win with three unanswered goals in the second period.
Shortly after, Donovan sent in a shot that sailed past Leveille. However, the goal was disallowed due to goalie interference, wiping the rookie’s first goal. The Whale finished the first period up one goal on the Beauts and edged Buffalo on shots nine to four.
The second period tilted in favor of the visitors, as they posted three unanswered goals in the frame. At the six-minute mark, Edney sent in a shot that Whale defender Cydney Roesler tapped past her own netminder Sydney Rossman. Ninety seconds later, recent Beauts signee Jordan Juron taps in a shot in front of net for her first career NWHL goal to put her team up 2-1. With five minutes left in the period, Hayley Scamurra sniped a shot past Rossman for her 11th goal of her rookie campaign.
The Whale and Beauts ended the second period tied in shots on goal (11), but if Connecticut won the first period, the second period definitively belonged to the Beauts. The third period was a scoreless back-and-forth exchange. The Whale fired 13 shots on Leveille while containing the Beauts to just seven shots. However, Edney broke the goal drought with an empty net goal 32 second remaining in the game.
Heading into the playoffs, the Beauts are the hottest team in the league. However, Whale head coach Ryan Equale is pleased with his team headed into the playoffs. “The team is working hard, we’re moving the puck well, we’re doing all the things we want to do to mitigate odd man rushes and scoring chances.” Yet, the numbers offensively are not working in favor of the Whale.
Despite outshooting their last three opponents, the Whale only convert shots to goals every 30 shots. Nevertheless, Equale and the Whale are ready to show what they can do in a one game playoff with the Metropolitan Riveters. “I like how we match up against Metropolitan and I think the players feel pretty good about the last couple of performances against them.”
The Riveters will host the Whale next Sunday and the Beauts will host the Boston Pride the day before at the HarborCenter. On Saturday, either the Beauts or the Pride will make a third consecutive final. At Barnabas Health Hockey House in Newark, either the Riveters or the Whale will advance to the final for the first time.
Catch the Beauts in action again Saturday, March 17 at 5:30 pm. The Whale face-off with the Riveters Sunday, March 18 at 7:00 pm.