Beauts drop two close contests to Pride

by Hannah Bevis

The Beauts were able to skate with the Pride stride for stride, but it wasn’t enough for Buffalo. Boston swept Buffalo in two tight games, squeaking out a 4-3 win on Saturday and shutting out the Beauts 1-0 on Sunday.

Carly Jackson and Lovisa Berndtsson split the weekend in net; Jackson finished Saturday’s contest with 44 saves while Berndtsson stopped 39 pucks on Sunday. Lovisa Selander started Saturday’s contest for the Pride, but was pulled early in the second period. Katie Burt came on in relief to earn the W Saturday and posted a shutout on Sunday.

Saturday night’s contest started just the way the Beauts wanted it to. Buffalo came out with intensity and focus, and got on the scoreboard first 17:09 into the opening frame. Defender Dominique Kremer added another goal to her stat line, skating in on Selander and roofing the puck top shelf at a ridiculous angle after a dish from Jenna Suokko. The Beauts went into the first intermission with the 1-0 lead.

They picked up the second period right where they left off in the first. Buffalo captain Taylor Accursi did what she does best and sniped the puck past Selander to make it 2-0, finishing off an odd-skater rush with Kennedy Ganser and Autumn MacDougall just 1:40 into the middle period. Less than three minutes later, Emilie Harley made it 3-0 Buffalo when she skated the puck away from the right hand boards and beat Selander cleanly.

It seemed like the Beauts had Saturday’s game well in hand, but the Pride weren’t about to give up on their home ice. Boston started their comeback 7:54 into the second, when Mallory Souliotis let lose a blast from the point that got past Jackson to make it 3-1.

After some more back-and-forth action, Boston struck twice in approximately two minutes to tie the game up heading into the second intermission. Christina Putigna and Kayla Friessen completed a passing play that ended with Friesen tapping the puck into an open net, and with just 51 seconds left on the clock, McKenna Brand got on the board on a shot right off the faceoff.

The third period stayed scoreless, with both teams looking for an opening to break the tie. Boston found one first when Mary Parker scooped up a rebound at the side of the net to make it 4-3 with 1:51 remaining. Buffalo took a late penalty for delay of game and weren’t able to tie things back up before time expired.

Sunday’s game was just as tight as a matchup, albeit with less scoring than Saturday’s contest. Amanda Boulier scored the first and only goal of the contest for Boston, picking up a slick pass from Taylor Wenczkowski at the front of the net and burying it behind Berndtsson.

Unlike the game on Saturday, where just one penalty was called, Sunday’s game featured a number of penalties from both teams. The Beauts had five power play opportunities on Sunday, but the Pride killed off all of them. Buffalo’s penalty kill was also perfect, shutting down all three of Boston’s extra-skater chances. The Beauts pulled Berndtsson with two minutes to go, but weren’t able to beat Burt to tie the game up.

The Beauts have a bye weekend before heading to Connecticut to take on the Whale on the weekend of March 12-13. Saturday’s contest starts at 3 p.m. ET and Sunday’s will begin at 2 p.m. ET.