Beauts host Connecticut in weekend series

by Hannah Bevis

The Buffalo Beauts and Connecticut Whale will face off in a double-header series this weekend in their final games of 2021. Both teams are coming off a week of rest, the Whale’s scheduled, the Beauts not. Buffalo was en route to Minnesota to face off against the Whitecaps last weekend, but inclement weather halted their travel, and the games were postponed until February. As a result, both of the teams will go into this weekend’s contest rested and hungry to get back into game action.

The Whale are coming off a dominant sweep of the Whitecaps two weekends ago, and they’re currently sitting firmly in third place with 13 points, six points ahead of the fourth-place Metropolitan Riveters. The Beauts are coming off a split from their last series with the Riveters, picking up a 4-3 win before falling 5-3 the following day. They’re currently last in the league with just three points, but that’s in large part because they’ve played just three games. This weekend could see them earn as many as six points against the Whale, which could help them climb back up the standings.

The Beauts depth is already on full display, even though they’ve played just three games. 13 of Buffalo’s players have already notched their first point of the season, with the team scoring mostly by committee. Three players - Cassidy MacPherson (4A) and Anjelica Diffendal (2G, 2A) are co-leading the team in points with four apiece, followed closely by Dominique Kremer (2G, 1A), Cassidy Vinkle (1G, 2A), and Taylor Accursi (1G, 2A) with three points each. MacPherson is riding a three-game point streak, picking up at least a point in every contest, while Diffendal and Kremer are currently both on two-game point streaks. Also worth watching for Buffalo is Emilie Harley, who notched two goals in the team’s last game against the Riveters.

Over on the Whale, the Beauts will need to work on shutting down Kennedy Marchment, who is currently co-leading the PHF in points with 11 (7G, 6A) and has consistently been one of the Whale’s most dangerous offensive threats. Other Whale players to watch are Taylor Girard, who’s posted eight points (5G, 3A) in eight games, Alyssa Wohlfeiler (5G, 2A) with seven points in eight games, and Emily Fluke (2G, 4A) with six points in that same span. Girard scored a hat trick in her last game against the Whitecaps, and Marchment is currently riding a seven-game point streak, the longest active streak in the PHF. And of course, the Beauts are likely to face Abbie Ives in net, who’s been solid as usual for the Whale this season; however, Carly Jackson has been just as solid for the Beauts thus far.

The Beauts will host the Whale in their first contest on Saturday, December 18 at 7 p.m. ET. Their second game of the weekend will start at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 19.