by Hanna Bevis

After their games last week were postponed due to Covid-19 issues, the Beauts are ready and raring to go up against Toronto this weekend in a rematch of their opening night contest.

It’s been a while since the Beauts have had any kind of consistency in their schedule. They’ve played just two games since mid-December; both their series against Minnesota (weather) and Boston (Covid-19 outbreak on Boston) were postponed, which means they haven’t played in any game action since December 19, 27 days ago.

But the same is true for their opponent, the Toronto Six, whose most recent series against the Minnesota Whitecaps was also cancelled. Only time will tell if either of these teams need to shake off any rest from not playing in any competitive games for such a long time.

The last time these two squads faced each other, it was a dramatic game with a tight finish. The Six had a 3-1 lead heading into the third period, but the Beauts scored twice - once shorthanded, once at even-strength - just three minutes apart to tie the game up. It looked like the game was destined for overtime, but Toronto’s Michela Cava scored with just a minute remaining to give the Six the win.

If that game showed anything, it’s that this weekend’s series is sure to be a fun one. Carly Jackson made a number of memorable saves, stopping 26 shots that the Six threw at her; and while the Beauts said early on that they don’t want to be known as a comeback team, they’ve shown they’re more than capable of being just as tough and resilient as they’ve always been. It’s a hallmark of Beauts hockey - that determination is baked into their brand of hockey.

Both teams have taken different courses since their last meeting. The Six have been riding high, coming into this weekend’s matchup on a four-game winning streak. The Beauts won one of their games against the Metropolitan Riveters in overtime, but have struggled since then, falling in their next three contests (though all of them have been close matchups). 

That said, the Beauts have only gotten better since their last matchup against Toronto. They’ve had two months to practice and get more familiar with their systems and new teammates. The team has also signed yet another goal-scorer to their roster - Claudia Kepler, a former Division I player who’s also played professionally in the SDHL and for the KRS Vanke Rays. She describes herself as a power forward, an excellent addition to add to the Beauts offensive depth.

If the Beauts can tighten up their defense against the high-flying Six, they should be able to skate with their opponents this weekend, and perhaps pick up their second and third wins.

Their first game this weekend is on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. They’ll drop the puck on their second contest on Sunday, also at 2 p.m. ET.