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NWHL opens in Buffalo and celebrates girls and women in hockey

This weekend will be a celebration of women's and girls hockey as all four NWHL franchises and 16 youth teams take over HarborCenter.

The National Women's Hockey League, in its second season, kicks off with all four teams playing in HarborCenter for an opening weekend showcase.

The Buffalo Beauts will play twice, opening the season against Isobel Cup champions Boston Pride at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The Beauts will then play the Connecticut Whale at 7:30 on Sunday.

Saturday night will feature a matchup between the New York Riveters and the Boston Pride at 7:30.

The Pride feature Olympians including Hilary Knight and Meghan Duggan while Amanda Kessel makes her NWHL regular season debut for the Riveters.

A three-game ticket package is available for $40 with single-game tickets $20.

Meanwhile, Saturday morning begins a three-day, 16-team NWHL Futures Tournament. Teams in the 8-under, 10-under, 12-under and 14-under will compete Saturday through Monday. The tournament features girls teams from Buffalo, Connecticut, Boston and New York and they will be wearing jerseys with logos of the NWHL teams.

In addition, the NWHL, along with USA Hockey, is sponsoring a Try Hockey for Free Event at 5:30 p.m. Friday in HarborCenter. The event is designed to give girls of all ages a chance to try hockey with no previous skating experience required. A limited number of skates will be available to borrow while helmets and gloves are required. For more information call  (347) 766-5029 or email wott@nwhlhq.com.

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