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The Buffalo Beauts will defend their Isobel Cup championship on Sunday when they travel to the RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House in Newark to face off against the Metropolitan Riveters. Not only will the Beauts be looking to succeed where the Boston Pride failed last season in a quest to win back-to-back Cups, but they’ll also be looking to extend their winning streak to 12 games.
This season the two teams split the season series 3-3, and with the Cup Final a single elimination game, this will truly be a Game 7 between the two best teams in the NWHL this season. The Riveters won the first three games against Buffalo before the Beauts took the next three. Over their history the two teams have been very evenly matched during the regular season: Beauts 10-6-1, Riveters 8-6-3, and last season in Newark, Buffalo eliminated the Riveters in their lone previous playoff matchup.
Beauts Players to Watch:
Corinne Buie: Buffalo’s captain had three goals (two on the power play) and an assist against the Rivs this year. She also had the all-important tying goal in the semifinal against Boston, and you might remember her dazzling goal in the 2017 Cup Final that was the eventual game-winner. If the Beauts win, Buie will be the first three-time Isobel Cup winner.
Kristin Lewicki: Buffalo’s rookie forward was the winner in the Faster Skater event at the NWHL All-Star Game in Minnesota and had three goals and one assist against the Riveters this season, including the game-winning goal in their most recent contest. Lewicki had an assist in her NWHL playoff debut last weekend.
Hayley Scamurra: With five points (1g-4a) over three playoff games, the 2018 NWHL Rookie of the Year ranks tied for eighth in NWHL playoff scoring history. In five games this season against the Riveters she racked up eight points (3g-5a) and had three points (1g-2a) last season in the playoff game in New Jersey. She had an assist in the 2018 Cup Final, and picked up one in last weekend’s semifinal.
Riveters Players to Watch:
Courtney Burke: The 2017-18 NWHL Defender of the Year led all players in assists this season (17) and seven of those came in the six games against Buffalo (five on the power play). In two career playoff games Burke has yet to register a point, but if special teams become a factor she will have a big impact.
Kelsey Koelzer: The first overall pick in the 2016 NWHL Draft had seven points against the Beauts this season (3g-4a), and like Burke had an impact on the power play with two of her goals coming with an opponent in the sin bin. Koelzer played her first career game last season in the playoffs against Buffalo, and she picked up an assist in the Riveters' 5-0 win over Connecticut in the semifinals.
Madison Packer: The Beauts are the hottest team in the league, but there is no question that Packer is the league’s hottest player. The third-year Riveters forward just finished back-to-back three-point games and in 13 total games has only been held off the scoresheet twice. Against Buffalo this season she has three goals and two came via the power play. Packer has points in three of her four career playoff games (2g-3a) and is the only player in team history to have a point in all three postseasons.
Over the six-game season series, Buffalo was 4/25 on the power play, scoring with an extra attacker in three separate games. In their three wins: 2/10, three losses: 2/15.
The Riveters went 9/36, scoring a power-play goal in four different games. In their three wins: 5/21, three losses: 4/15.
Goals, Goals, Goals:
41 total: Riveters 23, Beauts 18.
The Riveters have outscored the Beauts in all three periods over the course of the series.
1st: Met 7 Buffalo 6
2nd: Met 6 Buffalo 5
3rd: Met 10 Buffalo 7
|Buffalo Beauts||0 for 1 (0.0%)|
|Metropolitan Riveters||0 for 3 (0.0%)|
|Buffalo Beauts||16 minutes on 4 infractions|
|Metropolitan Riveters||2 minutes on 1 infraction|
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