Whitecaps’ Surge Continues in Win over Buffalo
By Nathaniel A. Oliver
Sunday’s game between the Buffalo Beauts and Minnesota Whitecaps at TRIA Rink would be a continuation of their meeting from the night before. Coming off an 8-2 victory on Saturday, the Whitecaps maintained their penchant of striking early and often. Their 7-1 victory over Buffalo improved their record to 10-4-2 and kept their hold on second place with 22 points in the standings.
Minnesota received goals from six different skaters, as the team set a Whitecaps' record for most goals scored in one weekend with 15. Meaghan Pezon and Sydney Baldwin each finished the game with a goal and two assists.
Minnesota took a 3-1 lead after the first period behind two goals by Jonna Curtis and one by Baldwin. Buffalo’s tally came from Ashley Birdsall — her first of her NWHL career. Meghan Lorence, Audra Richards and Pezon added goals for the Whitecaps in the second, and Nicole Schammel scored their seventh and final goal in the third.
“We really focused on getting the puck to the net in practice, and not staying on the perimeter,” said Pezon. "It was nice to have all three lines clicking.”
Minnesota had a slight edge in shots on goal: 31 to 29. The game featured a rare occurrence in which all four goaltenders would see playing time in one game - Amanda Leveille and Allie Morse for Minnesota, and Kelsey Neumann and Mariah Fujimagari for Buffalo. Leveille led the way with 24 saves on 25 shots for the win.
“Our focus is to play consistent and strong in our defensive zone,” said Whitecaps captain Winny Brodt Brown. “That’s what we were able to do this weekend.”
The Whitecaps have eight regular season games remaining. They are next in action on Saturday, Jan. 18 when they host the Connecticut Whale. The Beauts have a 3-week break before facing the Metropolitan Riveters in New Jersey on Saturday, Feb. 15. Buffalo has just six games remaining on their schedule.
Photo Credit: Collin Nawrocki