PLAY-IN GAME SET FOR MARCH 6 IN BUFFALO, AS MINNESOTA DEFEATS BEAUTS
By Nathaniel A. Oliver
The Buffalo Beauts’ 9-3 loss to Minnesota on Sunday means the Beauts have not played their last home game of the season. The Beauts have clinched fourth place and will host the Connecticut Whale on Friday, March 6 at 8:15 p.m. at Northtown Center at Amherst. Ticket information will be available this week.
As for the game, less than 24 hours after defeating Buffalo by a 6-1 score, the Whitecaps rolled again on Sunday. The Whitecaps (15-5-2) will host the Riveters in an Isobel Cup Semifinal on Sunday, March 8.
"It was pretty exciting," said Minnesota goalie Allie Morse, who earned the win in her first start for Minnesota. "We knew this was an important series here in Buffalo. We've already clinched second, but obviously heading into the playoffs we've got to get it rolling. It was definitely good for us to play strong. All in all, it was a good, solid weekend for us."
Before the rout was on, the game was closely contested in the first period.
Both teams traded goals less than two minutes into the game. The Beauts struck first on Cassidy MacPherson's fourth of the season. MacPherson's shot beat Morse up high to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead just 59 seconds into the game. But just a minute later, Minnesota's Jonna Curtis scored her 13th of the season to knot the score at 1-1.
The teams traded another pair of goals as the opening period went along. Buffalo's Marie-Jo Pelletier wristed a long point shot that slipped through the pads of Morse at 6:10. The Buffalo lead was short-lived, as Minnesota's Amanda Boulier flung a shot at the Buffalo net that caught the far post. Boulier ended up finishing the afternoon with a hat trick and was named the game's First Star.
The remainder of the game was a shooting gallery for the Whitecaps. They scored six goals in the second period alone, with Boulier, Haylea Schmid, Allie Thunstrom and Stephanie Anderson all putting pucks home. Schmid capped off the day when she tallied Minnesota's ninth at 5:07 of the third.
"We're pretty confident in what we've got," said Morse. "We all feel really good in the locker room. Obviously we've got Connecticut next weekend, so we've got to string a few more games together. But we're really excited to play the Riveters now officially. They always give us a time. We've got to have a really good weekend next weekend so we're ready for the Riveters."
Photo Credit: Pat McCarthy