The Buffalo Beauts have split a weekend with the Boston Pride, and though the team surely had plans to take four points this weekend, given the month-long break the Beauts have endured, it was probably the most expectable scenario.
Game one took place Saturday night, and the Pride looked like the more solid team, limiting Buffalo’s chances and taking advantage of mistakes made by the Beauts. Pride captain Jillian Dempsey was the first to do so, scoring at 13:58 in the first period on assists from Lexi Bender and Jordan Smelker.
It was a fairly even matchup through the first two periods; shots ended 11-10 to Buffalo’s advantage in the first and Boston outshot the Beauts 10-9 in the second. The Pride kept its one-goal lead - Gigi Marvin put the team up by two, scoring just over two minutes into the second, and reigning rookie of the year Hayley Scamurra scored Buffalo’s lone goal five minutes later.
In a comparatively disciplined affair, Boston finally gave itself some breathing room when Dempsey scored her second even-strength goal of the evening. The Pride suffocated the Beauts in the third, allowing only six shots to get through on goaltender Katie Burt. Buffalo could not beat the Boston netminder, and once Marvin scored here second of the evening at with 3:08 left in the game, the 4-1 lead was insurmountable.
One positive to be taken from the game was Buffalo’s effective penalty kill, which kept its 100 percent kill stat in tact. The negative was that the Beauts were once again held scoreless on the power play, having failed to score in 16 tries.
Final: Pride 4, Beauts 1
Shots on goal: Beauts 26 | Pride 26
Beauts goal: Hayley Scamurra (1)
Pride goals: Jillian Dempsey (2), Gigi Marvin (2)
Three stars of the game
- Jillian Dempsey (2 goals)
- Gigi Marvin (2 goals)
- Katie Burt (25 saves on 26 shots)
The team would get another crack at the Pride less than 24 hours later, and managed to completely flip the script on what appeared to be a fatigued Pride squad.
Despite being outshot 10-6 in the first period, the Beauts finished the period with a 2-1 lead. Maddie Elia traded goals and assists, with Elia scoring at 10:10 and Scamurra scoring at 11:43. The Pride cut the lead in half when Amanda Pelkey broke a 14-kill streak for the Beauts with 5:12 remaining in the first.
Boston again gained the shot advantage in the second, but goaltender Shannon Szabados was unrelenting. Elia added the team’s first power play goal of the season to give Buffalo a 3-1 lead, and Julianna Iafallo netted her second of the year 17 seconds later. The Beauts took the 4-1 score into the locker room.
Fresh off of a Four Nations championship win, defender Emily Pfalzer opened the third period scoring, getting her first goal of the year at the 5:10 mark. Boston’s Jillian Dempsey added the Pride’s second goal of the afternoon; an unassisted even-strength tally.
It was good to see Buffalo’s power play finally net a goal, and it is little surprise that it is Elia that breaks the dry streak. She and her partner Scamurra lead the team in goals and continue to be among the top lines in the league. Even when teams have time to strategize, the pair are still an elite scoring threat, and in only their second season as professionals, there is little question that the pair will be a force for years to come.
Final: Beauts 5, Pride 2
Shots on goal: Pride 26 | Beauts 20
Beauts goals: Maddie Elia (2), Hayley Scamurra (1), Julianna Iafallo (1), Emily Pfalzer (1)
Pride goals: Amanda Pelkey (1), Jillian Dempsey (1)
Three stars of the game
- Maddie Elia (2 goals, 1 assist)
- Hayley Scamurra (1 goal, 3 assists)
- Emily Janiga (1 assist)