Heading into a matchup against the Boston Pride, the Buffalo Beauts earned ten straight wins and had momentum on their side. However, this game was a back and forth effort and went into overtime, illustrating the competitive nature of both teams in this game. Although Buffalo was trailing 2-1 heading into the third period, the Beauts pulled out another hard-fought victory, winning 3-2 over the Pride at HARBORCenter. As a result, they will head to their third straight Isobel Cup Final.
The scoring effort from the Beauts began in the first with Sarah Edney giving her team a 1-0 lead, although the game was tied at 1 after 20 minutes following a goal by the Pride’s Heather Schwarz. Boston’s Mary Parker gave the Pride a 2-1 edge after two periods of play. It was in the third period when captain Corinne Buie tied the game for the Beauts on a power-play goal that would result in OT, before Sarah Casorso scored the game-winner on the power play for Buffalo to earn the win.
While the score may have been close throughout, it was not due to a shortage of opportunities, with the shots on goal favoring Buffalo by a total of 37-35. The Beauts also capitalized on the man advantage with two goals on five power-play attempts, which included their final two goals of the game that shifted the momentum to their favor, while the Pride finished 0-for-4 on the power play in this game. Buffalo’s performance with the extra skater ultimately played a role in earning its 11th consecutive win.
As strong as the overall play of both teams was across the game’s duration, both goaltenders were a huge part of this matchup, with Buffalo’s and Boston’s goaltenders having strong performances. Amanda Leveille earned 34 saves on 36 shots allowed for the Beauts for a .944 save percentage, while Brittany Ott of the Boston Pride stopped 34 out of 37 shots to earn a .919 save percentage in the game and were both top players in this game due to their stellar play.
The strong games from both the Beauts and Pride in this pivotal matchup resulted in exciting playoff hockey and will give Buffalo momentum heading into the Isobel Cup Final due to their comeback win in Saturday’s game. With their overtime victory over Boston, the Beauts will play against either the first-place Metropolitan Riveters or the Connecticut Whale, the NWHL’s worst squad by points earned. With the Beauts clinching a third straight appearance in the Final, they will have the opportunity to be the league’s first ever back-to-back champions, while the Riveters or Whale could win their first-ever Cup after everything is decided throughout the remainder of the Isobel Cup Playoffs.