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Beauts come up short against Connecticut

As the Buffalo Beauts’ season in the National Women’s Hockey League winds down, it’s easy to point a finger at their biggest nemesis this season: The Connecticut Whale.

The Beauts have lost all six of their games against the Whale this season. The latest one came on Sunday at Danbury Arena, as Connecticut took a 3-2 overtime decision.

The loss dropped Buffalo to 4-8-0-3 for the season, while Connecticut – the leaders in the NWHL’s initial season – improved to 12-3-0-0.

Buffalo didn’t play particularly well, based on the statistics. The Beauts were outshot, 11-2, in the first period, yet only gave up a power-play goal to the Whale’s Alyssa Wohlfeiler.

In the second period, it was more of the same on the shot clock. Buffalo had only four shots, and two of them went into the net. Shelby Bram tied the game at 1:11, and Hannah McGowan scored a short-handed goal at 7:39 to give Buffalo the lead. Kate Buesser responded in the final two minutes of the period to even the score again.

That’s the way it stayed in the third period, and the Beauts had an 13-11 edge in shots – mostly due to some penalties to the Whale. When the game went into overtime, Molly Engstrom picked up the winner for Connecticut about three minutes into the extra period.

The Whale finished the game with a 36-22 edge in shots. Buffalo goalie Brianne Mclaughlin had a strong performance with 33 saves.

The Beauts finish the road part of the schedule next Sunday in New York. Then they’ll be back home for their final two games. The first will be on Feb. 21 at HarborCenter against New York.