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Buffalo Beauts enter all-star break with 3-2 win over Riveters

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Mon, Feb 4th 2019 09:40 am

The Buffalo Beauts skated to a 3-2 win over the Metropolitan Riveters Saturday in their first visit to Barnabas Health Hockey House this season. The team improved to 9-4-0.

With the victory, the Beauts have now won five straight games and will head into the all-star break in second place in the NWHL standings, just 2 points off the league lead with a game in hand on the league-leading Minnesota Whitecaps.

Buffalo hoped to get out to an early lead, as the team entered the game with a 7-1-0 record when scoring first, and a matching 7-1-0 mark when leading after 20 minutes this season. The Beauts outshot the Riveters 9-4 in the opening frame. Metropolitan goaltender Katie Fitzgerald stopped the first eight Buffalo shots, but the Beauts were able to break the deadlock with 2:30 remaining in the period, as Taylor Accursi stuffed a puck between the post and Fitzgerald’s right pad to put Buffalo up 1-0.

Metropolitan tied the game back up quickly after the break, tallying just two minutes into the second period with a goal from Rebecca Morse. However, the Beauts responded four minutes later, retaking the lead on a tip-in goal from Julianna Iafallo on a shot from Jordyn Burns.

Buffalo would add to its lead just a few minutes later when Savannah Harmon one-timed a pass from Iafallo past Fitzgerald on the power play, putting the Beauts up 3-1 midway through the second period.

The Riveters cut the Beauts’ lead to one less than a minute after Harmon’s goal. Kristin Lewicki squeaked a puck past Beauts goaltender Nicole Hensley on the short side to make the score 3-2. Buffalo had an opportunity to take the two-goal lead back with about five minutes left in the period, but Fitzgerald made a big stop on Maddie Elia when the NWHL’s leading scorer got a chance on a 2-on-1 rush.

The Beauts came out firing early in the third period. They had a number of scoring chances early in the final frame, but weren’t able to extend their lead beyond a goal. Metropolitan had their fair share of chances to tie the game, as well. The Beauts took two penalties in the final seven minutes, but the Riveters’ power play failed to get its first goal of the season, going 0-for-4 on the afternoon.

Hensley stood tall in net in the third period, holding onto the one-goal lead and making several big saves along the way. She stopped all 10 shots she faced in the final 20 minutes and finished with 22 total saves on the afternoon.

The Beauts will have a few weeks off before their next game, as the team enters the NWHL All-Star Game break. The team will then return to Harborcenter for their third of four games against the Riveters on Saturday, Feb. 23. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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