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Playoff Pregame: Beauts at Riveters in Semi-Final Faceoff

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Connor Murphy

How to Watch

Time - 7:30 PM

Location - Newark, NJ

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

Preview

The time has come. The New York Riveters will host the Buffalo Beauts tonight at 7:30PM in the semi-final match-up of the NWHL playoffs. The winner of tonight’s single elimination game will travel up to Lowell, Massachusetts to play the Boston Pride on Sunday, March 19.

The Riveters are 3-1-2 against the Beauts this year with a fun quirk of scoring three goals in every game. Buffalo has relied on extra time to deal the final blow against New York twice, once requiring a shootout.

Connor Murphy

New York will hope to continue their winning ways as of late and seal a date with Boston, a formidable but by no means insurmountable foe, as proven by the Riveters earlier this week.

Perhaps that Boston team had something to prove following their first loss in a year. The Connecticut Whale were the unenviable victims of Boston’s first playoff game. The Whale were overwhelmed by the Pride last night in an 8-2 blowout.

The Buffalo Beauts have played the Riveters well this season in several thrilling games. Although the Beauts have had unexpected dips in productivity from marquee players including Emily Pfalzer and Kourtney Kunichika, the Beauts have had flashes of ferocious play. Their special teams, particularly their power play, may likely be the key to upsetting New York tonight.

Connor Murphy

However, the Riveters have Best Goaltender Award winner in Katie Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has shutout the Beauts once before this season. With talented skaters like Amanda Kessel, Janine Weber and Rebecca Russo giving her goal support, the New York team that plays in Newark is the favorite tonight.

Players to Watch

New York Riveters

#12 Janine Weber

The Austrian forward has had a renaissance in her second year in the NWHL.

Weber was marred by a slow start and poor puck luck last season, finishing the year with just 3 goals and 6 assists in 18 games. She has turned it up in her sophomore season and is entering the playoffs with 10 goals and 12 assists in 17 games. If not for the overwhelming offensive effect of Amanda Kessel following her return to the lineup halfway through the season, all eyes would be on Janine Weber as the offensive MVP for the team.

Buffalo Beauts

#23 Corinne Buie

Buie has been a power play dynamo for the goal-starved Buffalo Beauts.

The Providence College graduate has scored over half of her points this year on the man-advantage. Of Buie’s 9 Goals and 3 assists on the season, 5 of those goals and 2 of her assists have come on the power play. With special teams being a key to the game, she may just be the deciding factor.

Final Thoughts

Playoff hockey is one of, if not the greatest, spectacles in sport. The winner of tonight’s game only has one more mountain to climb before they can hoist the Isobel Cup. These teams have played six brilliant games against each other and are at a deadlock. Fittingly enough, you can consider this one a Game 7.

It all starts tonight in Newark at 7:30. Drop the puck!