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Pregame: 2/4, Buffalo Beauts at New York Riveters

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Connor Murphy

How to Watch

Time - 4:30PM

Location - Newark, NJ

Where to Watch - Free Stream Here via NWHL's YouTube Channel

Preview

The Riveters will host the Beauts in the final game before the NWHL All-Stars take to the ice in Pittsburgh on February 12. Today is a battle of the All-Star captains. New York will send seven players to the weekend festivities, including All-Star captain Amanda Kessel, as well as both head coach Chad Wiseman and assistant coach Sis Paulsen. Buffalo’s Kelley Steadman is the opposing All-Star captain and will be joined by six of her teammates.

This afternoon the Riveters will be looking to recreate what they did offensively and completely change what they did defensively in their game last week against the Connecticut Whale. While an 8-6 scoreboard is exciting, it is not what players and coaches usually have in mind as a well-executed gameplan.

Tatiana Rafter and Madison Packer both recorded hat tricks in that game while Janine Weber added two goals of her own. Miye D’Oench and Amanda Kessel each notched three assists in the victory as well.

While Katie Fitzgerald had a brutal start and struggled in stretches of the game, it is likely that she will again get the start. Sarah Bryant, who is serving backup duties with Sojung Shin attending to international duties, saw her first action in the NWHL in a brief relief stint before Fitzgerald returned to the net 34 seconds later. Plus, Fitzy has a sweet new helmet...

Across the ice, the Beauts will again try to close the gap on the Riveters in the standings. Buffalo defeated New York in their last game, but the Riveters earned a point by pushing the game to the shootout. While all teams qualify for the playoffs, home-ice advantage in the single elimination games is worth fighting for.

Buffalo won that game by capitalizing on undisciplined penalties by New York. The Riveters will need to stay out of the box and find their defensive game again. The Beauts have had some peaks and valleys this season but they have played hard-fought games against the Riveters. That will likely continue today.

Players to Watch

New York Riveters

#28 Amanda Kessel

The all-star captain has been a force since her return to the lineup following an injury which sidelined her for 10 games. She has recorded nine points in her four appearances this season, including a total of two goals and five assists in her last three games. Kessel has been dominant in the offensive zone and has improved her overall play in each subsequent game.

Buffalo Beauts

#3 Kelley Steadman

The other all-star captain has continued her scoring ways in Buffalo from last season. The unexpected superstar has also missed some games this season, but she has put up five goals and five assists in her six games. She has also played with a bit of an edge, racking up 16 PIM in those appearances. She is the backbone of the offensive flow for Buffalo and has lived up to her reputation as a deadly scorer.