RIVETERS COMPLETE OUTDOOR/INDOOR SWEEP, DEFEAT THE BEAUTS 6-3
by Nathaniel Oliver
After braving a "Queen City" winter evening the night before, the Buffalo Beauts and the Metropolitan Riveters returned to action for a matinee showdown. This second meeting of the season was played in the more familiar confines of the Northtown Center at Amherst, but would have a similar result.
The Riveters took a 6-3 victory over Buffalo, and improved their record to 6-7-0. They are climbing their way up in the standings, and now only trail Buffalo by a single point for third place - 12 points for Metro, while 13 currently for Buffalo (6-7-1).
"The Beauts are a very fast team," said Riveters forward Tatiana Shatalova. "There was an adjustment for us, as this weekend was our first time playing each other. They are a challenging team."
The Riveters opened the scoring on the power play less than five minutes into the game. Madison Packer sailed a shot towards the Buffalo net from along the far boards. The puck deflected off Beauts defender Marie-Jo Pelletier and in behind goalie Kelsey Neumann for Packer's ninth of the season.
The Beauts would strike back before the period ended. At the 13:51 mark, Buffalo's Brooke Stacey skated in all alone on goalie Sam Walther. She fired a high wrister into the top corner over the stick of Walther to make the score 1-1.
“We bounced back from last night," said Stacey. "Between our first game against them this weekend and today, there was a big difference."
From there though, the scoring went very much in the way of the Riveters.
Packer scored her second of the afternoon on a wraparound. With Buffalo's Becki Bowering in the box for slashing, Packer got the puck in deep and came around the backside. She was able too uck the puck in on the bottom stick-side of Neumann. Packer finished the day with two goals and an assist, and earned herself the game's First Star.
“This was an incredible team effort today,” said Packer. “From start to finish we had energy, we were moving, and we finally put it all together. This group is maturing more and more every weekend and it’s a fun thing to be a part of right now. This group has no quit, and we are just getting started."
Less than two minutes later, the Riveters Cailey Hutchison scored a power play goal goal of her own.
Perhaps the brightest moment of the day for the Beauts was a beautiful three-on-one break which they buried. Stacey recorded her second goal of the game on a perfectly placed pass across the slot from teammate Erin Gehen.
The Riveters regained their two-goal lead less than three minutes into the third, and never looked back. Nicole Arnold jammed a puck home that barely got over the goal line to beat Neumann at 2:50 of the third. Kendall Cornine scored less than two minutes later for her 10th goal of the season.
Buffalo’s Taylor Accursi scored her 15th of the season at 12:21 of the third. The Riveters' Kate Leary iced the game with an empty-netter with 13 seconds left in regulation.
"It's not fun to play against Buffalo," said Shatalova. "This was my first time ever playing hockey in Buffalo. Yesterday was my first time ever playing outdoors. But the next time we meet them will be on our stage. It will definitely be interesting."
“The main reasons for today’s win was that we were able to bring the same amount of energy and speed like yesterday and our power play units finally scored some important goals,” said Riveters head coach Ivo Mocek. “Buffalo is an extremely hard-working team, but we stuck with the game plan. We mixed up the lines a little going into this weekend and I really liked how they clicked. Overall I am really proud of how our players handled this weekend.”
3 STARS OF THE GAME
1) Madison Packer (MET): G: 2 A: 1 PTS: 3
2) Brooke Stacey (BUF): G: 2 A: 0 PTS: 2
3) Tatiana Shatalova (MET): G: 0 A: 2 PTS: 2
Photo credit: Michael Hetzel
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