|(Buffalo Beauts Story; Photos by Janet Schultz)|
The Buffalo Beauts extended their winning streak to three games Saturday, topping the Metropolitan Riveters at Harborcenter by a score of 5-1 to improve to 7-4-0 on the season.
In their first meeting since the 2018 Isobel Cup Final, the teams faced off with the Beauts looking to join the teams at the top of the standings and the Riveters looking to start a run that could get them back to .500 by the end of the season. With the win, Buffalo entered a three-way tie with the Boston Pride and Minnesota Whitecaps atop the league standings. The Riveters opened the scoring 12:38 into the first period on a shot from the point by Courtney Burke that was tipped in by teammate Madison Packer. The Beauts, who entered the game with a 0-3-0 record this season when allowing the first goal, did not allow the early deficit to define the game. They won the ensuing faceoff at center ice and Blake Bolden sent a feed through the middle of the ice to Maddie Elia, who ripped a shot off the crossbar and into the net to tie the game just 10 seconds after Burke’s opening goal. The Beauts struck again quickly, doubling their lead less than three minutes later. Buffalo took advantage of a scramble in front when a bouncing puck landed on the stick of Hayley Scamurra, who was able to bat the puck past Riveters goaltender Maria Sorokina, giving the Beauts a 2-1 lead going into the second period. Buffalo took advantage of their opportunities on the power play in the final two periods, going 3-for-6 on the afternoon to put the game out of reach for the Riveters. Just 18 seconds into the second period, Alexa Gruschow received a penalty for body checking, putting the Beauts on the power play for the first time of the afternoon. It didn’t take long for the Beauts to strike again as Scamurra recorded her second goal of the day on a wrist shot that went top shelf, with assists from Elia and Bolden. Shortly after, Michelle Picard received a cross-checking penalty that would put the Beauts on their second power-play of the game. Buffalo was able to capitalize again as Julianna Iafallo extended the home team’s lead to 4-1. Late in the second period, both Elia and Savannah Harmon received penalties to give the Riveters a 5-on-3 advantage. Beauts goaltender Nicole Hensley, was challenged multiple times throughout the penalty kill but denied every opportunity the Riveters had. The first-year Beaut made 24 saves in the win, improving her save percentage to .947 on the season to overtake teammate Shannon Szabados (.943) for the top mark in the league. The Beauts entered the game 6-0-0 this season when leading after two, and they never let the Riveters back into the game, outshooting Metropolitan 16-3 in the third period. Kelly Babstock rounded out the scoring with Buffalo’s third power-play goal of the game halfway through the third. Buffalo’s next game is against the Boston Pride at Harborcenter on Saturday Jan. 26. Faceoff is scheduled for 1:30.
It was Sarah Casorso’s final game as a Buffalo Beaut. She is leaving to pursue career interests outside hockey.
V.P. of Media Relations