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Beauts host Pride in NWHL semifinals

A rematch of last year’s Isobel Cup final takes place in the NWHL semifinals this year as Boston and Buffalo meet at HarborCenter tonight. Faceoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Buffalo, the No. 2 seed, have won their last 10 games. The Pride are the No. 3 seed in the four-team bracket. Metropolitan is the top-seeded team.

In five regular season meetings with the Pride, Buffalo has only lost one game coming on Dec. 2 at Warrior Ice Arena in Boston, 3-2. The teams last played on Feb. 18 in Boston with the Beauts coming out victorious, 6-2.

Forwards Kaylyn Schroka (two goals, three assists) and Kourtney Kunichika (one goal, four assists) each have five points against Boston so far this season.

Kunichika (four goals, 10 assists), Hayley Scamurra (seven goals, seven assists) and Maddie Elia (five goals, nine assists) all have a team-high 14 points for the Beauts (12-4-0).

Beauts goaltender Amanda Leveille is currently second in the NWHL in save percentage (.913).

Boston (4-8-4), losers of eight of their last 10, is led offensively by forward Jillian Dempsey (seven goals, eight assists). The Harvard product has one goal and two assists against the Beauts this season.

Pride defenseman Alyssa Gagliardi is Boston’s leading scorer when going up against the Beauts this season, scoring twice while assisting on three others. Five of her eight points this season have come against Buffalo.

The winner of Saturday’s contest will face either Metropolitan or Connecticut, who play their semifinal on Sunday at 7 p.m. in Newark.

Contrary to last year’s final held on the campus of UMass-Lowell at the Tsongas Center that saw Buffalo beating Boston, 3-2, this year’s Isobel Cup final will be held at the highest remaining seed.

Time and date for the championship game have yet to be announced.

Emily Pfalzer, who did not play for the Beauts this season to prepare for the Olympics, will have a ceremonial puck drop prior to the game.

The gold medal-winner will also be signing autographs before the game from 4:45 to 5:15 p.m. on the seventh level of HarborCenter.

The puck drop at HarborCenter is the latter of a doubleheader for the Buffalo native, who will also have a ceremonial puck drop prior to the Sabres game at KeyBank Center.

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