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Beauts preview: Who’s got the power?

Game seven of NWHL season could be a turning point for both Buffalo and Connecticut

Game 7

Buffalo Beauts (3-3-0) vs Connecticut Whale (2-4-1)

Puck Drop: 6:00PM Saturday, December 8 | HarborCenter | Buffalo, NY

TV: NWHL.zone

Know Your Opponent

Connecticut Whale

Record: (2-4-1) | 5 PTS

Last 10: 2-4-1

League Standings: 4th Overall

PP: 2nd (11.8%)

PK: 1st (95.7%)

What to Watch

1. Rise and fall

The Whale are on the rise through the standings, and certainly looking more cohesive than they did in their first few matchups against Buffalo.

After garnering points in three consecutive games against the Isobel Cup Champion Metropolitan Riveters, the Whale trail the Beauts by only one. A win on Saturday would propel Connecticut into third place in the standings

Buffalo has reached the end of an extended break, having played their last NWHL action back on November 18. Since then, the team has completed a four-game series against the Russian National women’s team, and took only one win in the set.

These are two teams that appear to be at different points in their seasons, and the Beauts need to understand they won’t be able to sink the Whale so easily.

2. Take advantage

In the Whale’s five losses, the team remains the most successful penalty killing unit. The Beauts are the league’s worst power play, scoring only once in 16 tries.

If Connecticut is able to score their first win in Buffalo since season one, the Beauts’ inability to score on the power play will certainly be a factor. Buffalo needs to begin to take advantage of these opportunities, or risk falling farther in the standings.

3. Getting the band back together

For the first time since the Four Nations Cup, the Beauts are expected to ice their full starting roster. That means reuniting Hayley Scamurra and Maddie Elia with national team star Dani Cameranesi.

The line was able to continue to score with Cameranesi out of the lineup, but it was evident that they weren’t clicking with Corinne Buie or Emily Janiga the way they do with Cameranesi. It will be good to see the league’s most lethal line get back to business.

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: Shannon Szabados