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Buffalo Beauts return home with 3-1 victory over Connecticut

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Mon, Dec 10th 2018 12:15 pm

In the team’s first home game since Oct. 13, the Buffalo Beauts earned a 3-1 victory over the Connecticut Whale on Saturday night at Harborcenter. It was just the second home game this season for the Beauts, who improved their record to 4-3 overall and 2-0 at home.

The win was Buffalo’s second consecutive victory and ninth in a row against Connecticut. During the stretch, which dates back to March 12, 2017, Buffalo has outscored Connecticut 34-12. The Beauts had shut out the Whale in each of the first two meetings between the teams this season.

Buffalo outshot Connecticut 6-2 in the first frame despite taking three minors in the period, all of which were successfully killed off. Julianna Iafallo opened the scoring late in the period with her third goal of the season and second in as many games.

Hayley Scamurra wasted little time adding to the lead in the second period, as she netted her six goal of the season 2:16 into the frame. The goal tied her with Maddie Elia for the team lead and extended her point streak to three games. Kelly Babstock earned her second assist of the game on the goal and now has three assists in her last two games.

Connecticut got on the board 10 minutes later thanks to a goal from Katerina Mrázová, her sixth of the season. She owns a share of the NWHL lead in goals along with Elia and Scamurra, as well as Boston’s Jillian Dempsey and Gigi Marvin and Metropolitan’s Audra Richards.

The goal was the first the Whale has scored on a Beauts goaltender this season.

Shannon Szabados made 10 saves in the game to earn her third victory of the season and she currently leads all NWHL netminders in goals-against average (1.60) and save percentage (.932).

Emily Janiga scored her first goal of the year half way through the third period to provide the insurance marker for the Beauts. Annika Zalewski earned the only assist on the goal and now has an assist in each of her last two games.

Buffalo’s next two games will see the team play host to the first-place Minnesota Whitecaps on Dec. 29 at KeyBank Center and Dec. 30 at Harborcenter. It will be Minnesota ‘s first visit to Buffalo since the Whitecaps joined the NWHL prior to the 2018-19 season.

•On Friday night, The Buffalo Beauts announced the team relieved head coach Ric Seiling and assistant coach Craig Muni of their coaching duties. Cody McCormick was named interim head coach.

McCormick will serve as the third head coach in Beauts franchise history after a professional hockey career that saw him play parts of 10 seasons in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres. The London, Ontario, native appeared in 405 career NHL contests and recorded 65 points (21 goals, 44 assists) and 550 penalty minutes, adding 89 points (42/47) in 231 AHL games.

Since retiring from the NHL, McCormick has worked with the Academy of Hockey at Harborcenter, including skills practices with the Beauts this season.

General Manager Nik Fattey will serve as an interim assistant coach while goaltending coach Ryan Vinz will remain on the team’s coaching staff.

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