BUIE LOOKS TO WIN ANOTHER PLAYOFF BATTLE ON FRIDAY
By Mike Murphy
We are just two days away from the Play-In game between the Buffalo Beauts and Connecticut Whale, which will mark the beginning of the 2020 Isobel Cup Playoffs. This also means we are just a few days away from Beauts’ captain Corinne Buie returning to the crucible that has made her one of the most impactful players in NWHL history.
Buie is the only player in NWHL history to compete in every Isobel Cup Final since the league’s inception, is the all-time leader in playoff games (10) and was the first player in league history to lift the Cup twice. The stick that she used to score the game-winning goal of the 2017 Isobel Cup Final currently resides in the Hockey Hall of Fame and she scored a game-tying goal with less than six minutes left in regulation in the 2018 Isobel Cup Semifinal. So, it’s safe to say that she’s a big-time playoff performer.
The veteran power forward always seems to elevate her game when everything is on the line. As it turns out, she’s was playing this way well before she began her NWHL career. She played her collegiate hockey at Providence College alongside several former and current NWHLers, including fellow 2020 NWHL All-Star Rebecca Morse. Morse is one of many players on opposing teams who respects Buie for the controlled fire that defines her game as the beating heart of the Beauts.
“My initial impression of Corinne was, ‘Wow, this might be one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met,’” Morse shared. “She works extremely hard and holds herself to a high standard. As a freshman at Providence, Corinne made an immediate impact on our team, which pretty much continued each season and led to her finishing with 100 career points.”
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Morse and the Riveters have had some epic battles against Buie and the Beauts over the years, so her scouting report on Buffalo’s captain is as good as anyone’s. “Her greatest assets are her speed and strength,” Morse said. “Since we played together for four years, and at times on the power play, I’d say that I know her style of play very well. She’s a smart player who can score goals and set up plays.”
Buie’s quick first step and big frame – she’s every bit of 5-foot-9 and immensely strong on her skates – makes her a handful for opposing teams both at even strength and on the power play. She finished the 2019-20 season second in power play scoring among Beauts’ forwards, behind only Taylor Accursi. And there’s a strong case to be made that her ability to create space has made her the secret ingredient to Buffalo’s success on the power play.
On Friday night, the Beauts will need everything to click, including the power play, if they want to get past the Whale. Connecticut is a team that simply will not be outworked and is built to grind out wins in close games. Buie’s leadership and experience will be essential. She will be a player to watch on Friday not only because she’s the captain, but also because it’s the Isobel Cup Playoffs and the Isobel Cup Playoffs is exactly where she belongs.
Fans can purchase tickets to Friday’s Play-In game between the Beauts and Whale at beauts.nwhl.zone/tickets and can watch all of the 2020 NWHL Isobel Cup Playoffs streaming live and free on the NWHL on Twitch.
Photo Credit: Mike Hetzel