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Buffalo Beauts Preview: Games 3&4

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Top teams square off to prove who’s best in NWHL

Buffalo Beauts take warmups in the 2018 home opener
Erik Wollschlager

Game 3&4

Buffalo Beauts (2-0-0) vs Minnesota Whitecaps (4-0-0)

Puck Drop: 5:30PM Saturday | 1PM Sunday | TRIA Rink | St. Paul, MN

TV: Twitter Game of the Week Saturday | NWHL.zone Sunday

Know Your Opponent

Minnesota Whitecaps

Record: (4-0-0) | 8 PTS

Last 10: 4-0-0

League Standings: 1st Overall

PP: 4th (5.9%)

PK: 2nd (92.9%)

What to Watch

1. The best defense

In Minnesota’s four games, the club’s defense has scored 12 points; in Buffalo’s two, the D has contributed 6 points.

The key to Buffalo’s victories this season can certainly be attributed to the contributions of the Beauts’ defensive unit, and the same can be said for the Whitecaps. Defensively, Buffalo has been quite sound, posting back-to-back shutouts, essentially allowing no goals all season. Minnesota is allowing fewer than two goals per game.

With so much offensive firepower, it will be difficult to keep the scores low for these games, and it could be the defense that truly makes a difference at both ends of the ice.

2. Bongo jams

It is somehow amazing that the league’s highest scoring teams have been completely inept on the power play. Between the two teams, only one power play goal has been scored in an incredible 31 combined chances.

Unsurprisingly, the same is true on the penalty kill - Minnesota has allowed one goal against; Buffalo has allowed none.

Certainly, one of these teams is on the precipice of breaking a game wide open on the power play, and it will undoubtedly make a difference in the games this weekend.

3. My own worst frenemy

Goaltending has been a huge story for both Buffalo and Minnesota, and while the Beauts are host to two National Team netminders, former NCAA & Isobel Cup Champion Amanda Leveille will sit waiting at the other end of the ice.

There’s definitely a book on Lev, and it’s one that coaches Ric Seiling and Craig Muni have read well in two seasons in Buffalo. She’s prone to scramble, and put herself out of position to make a save. Buffalo has to get down and dirty in front of the Minnesota net, get Leveille moving, and be strong on the puck to push it in.

Buffalo Beauts

Forwards

Hayley Scamurra-Maddie Elia-Dani Cameranesi

Kelly Babstock-Emily Janiga-Corinne Buie

Juliana Iafallo-Annika Zalewski-Taylor Accursi

Defense

Emily Pfalzer-Sarah Edney

Blake Bolden-Savannah Harmon

Lisa Chesson-Sarah Casorso

Starting Goaltender: Nicole Hensley and Shannon Szabados will likely split time.