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Beauts top Riveters to clinch third place

The Buffalo Beauts now know they will finish in third place in the National Women’s Hockey League regular season.

The Beauts wrapped up that spot with a 5-1 win over the New York Riveters at HarborCenter on Sunday afternoon. The victory means that the Beauts, with a 5-8-0-4 for 14 points, can’t be caught by the Riveters in the NWHL standings. New York fell to 4-11-0-2 with 10 points.

The Beauts had only four shots in the entire first period, but one of them went in. Megan Bozek scored at 13:14 to give Buffalo the early lead.

Bray Ketchum responded for the Riveters early in the second period, but that was it for the New York offense. Meghan Duggan gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead at 12:05 of the period.

Then the Beauts turned up the offense in the third period, scoring three straight and having a 15-3 advantage in shots. Tatiana Rafter, Kourtney Kunichika and Kelley Steadman scored for Buffalo to turn the game into a rout.

Brianna Mclaughlin had a relatively easy time in the Beauts’ goal. She stopped 17 of 18 shots. Buffalo finished with 30 shots on goal.

Boston beat Connecticut in another game Sunday. That means the Pride has earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, while the Whale is No. 2. Connecticut will host Buffalo in a first-round playoff matchup in March.

There’s only one game left on Buffalo’s regular season schedule. The Beauts will host Boston at HarborCenter on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.