by Hannah Bevis

The Beauts skated stride for stride with the Connecticut Whale for 45 minutes, but two back-to-back goals from the Whale in the third period were just enough to give the visitors a 4-2 victory at Northtown Center.

Goals from Caitrin Lonergan and Emma Keenan two minutes and 20 seconds apart gave Connecticut a two-goal lead with just over ten minutes to go, and Whale netminder Abbie Ives held the Beauts off the board for the remainder of the game to secure the win. Ives finished with 20 saves, while Buffalo goalie Samantha Ridgewell stopped 26 shots.

Ridgewell was a brick wall in net in the first period, stopping all 13 shots that she faced to keep Connecticut off the board. Buffalo had a chance to strike first with a power play opportunity, but couldn’t solve Ives.

Claudia Kepler scored her second goal of the weekend just moments into the second period to get the Beauts on the board first. Dominique Kremer found Kepler with a long pass up the ice for a partial breakaway. Kepler skated in on the right wing and sniped the puck past Ives to make it 1-0 Buffalo.

It didn’t take Connecticut long to answer thanks to the trio of Tori Howran, Taylor Girard and Kennedy Marchment. The three put together some slick passing, going from Girard to Marchment and finally to Howran in front of the net, who batted the puck in to tie the game up. Marchment’s assist also extended her record-setting 16-game point streak.

Melissa Saomoskevich scored on the power play to give the Whale the go-ahead goal with five minutes to go in the middle frame, sending the visitors into the second intermission up 2-1.

Things got chippy at the end of the second period, with both teams sending players to the penalty box, but the Beauts didn’t find the answering goal until the third period.

Marchment carried the puck around the back end boards and attempted to clear it but miscalculated, sending the puck into the side of the net and bouncing around towards the front. A waiting Summer-Rae Dobson pounced on the mistake, batting it out of the air and past Ives to tie the game up 2-2 seven and a half minutes into the frame.

Undaunted, Lonergan answered 31 seconds later to give the Whale the lead back, tipping a picture-perfect pass from Allie Munroe past Ridgewell to give Connecticut its third goal of the day. Keenan scored just over two minutes later to double the visitors’ lead and put the game out of reach for Buffalo.

The Beauts have one more series left to play to wrap up the 2022-23 season. Buffalo will hit the road next weekend to play Metropolitan, first on Friday at 7 p.m. EST and then again on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. EST.

About the Buffalo Beauts

The Buffalo Beauts are a professional women's ice hockey team based in Buffalo, New York and competing in the Premier Hockey Federation (formerly the National Women’s Hockey League). The Beauts are one of the Founding Four teams that stepped on the ice in 2015 and the 2017 Isobel Cup Champions. The team is owned and operated by NLTT Hockey Ventures. Visit to learn more.

About the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF)

The PHF is the leading home of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and maintains the mission to provide strong role models and fuel the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, Montreal Force and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup.

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