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Beauts schedule has bright highlights

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Double-header with Buffalo Sabres closes out 2018

Pat McCarthy

The Buffalo Beauts released their regular season schedule this week. The team’s fourth season will kick off October 7 with a road game in Stamford to face the 2017-18 season’s last place finisher, the Connecticut Whale.

The hope opener will take place on October 13 at 130 pm when the Beauts finish a home-and-home series with the Whale. This year’s schedule features two such matchups, with the second pairing coming in February against the defending league champions, the Metropolitan Riveters.

The highlight of the schedule is without a doubt an exciting double-header of sorts that will take place at the Key Bank Center at 2pm on December 29. The Buffalo Sabres will take the ice at KBC later that evening, when they face the Boston Bruins. It is the second such event that the NWHL and NHL have paired up for, with more surely to come in the future.

Another exciting note is that the Beauts will play two games against the Minnesota Whitecaps before the first month of the season has ended. This will be Minnesota’s first year as an NWHL team, having been a club team for several seasons following their release from the CWHL. The Whitecaps have already inked some of the US National Team’s biggest names, which will make for a great early season series between the two squads.

The schedule’s weakness lies in its inconsistency. Following the home opener, the team will not play another game on HarborCenter ice until December 8. There are a handful of lengthy breaks scheduled - one two-week break in November, one 21 day gap in December, and one between February 16 and March 2. While these are largely in place to accommodate the National Team players in the league, it might be tough for a team with so many new faces to gel without the aid of a regular schedule.

Season and individual tickets are on sale now, and there are packages that include a 300 Level II ticket for the Sabres vs Bruins matchup. If last season’s final games are any indication, the HarborCenter will fill up quickly for Buffalo’s home games.

Training camps will begin soon, which means the free agency period will be coming to a close. The next few weeks will certainly be exciting as teams scramble to fill their rosters with some of the world’s best hockey players.