The Buffalo Beauts gave up four goals in the second period, dropping their season opener to the Boston Pride, 4-1, in HarborCenter Friday night. It was the opening of the second season of the National Women's Hockey League.
The teams were scoreless after the first period when the wheels came off in the second. Boston opened the scoring at 5:08 when Alex Carpenter slipped the puck past Beauts goalie Bri McLaughlin. Megan Duggan and Lexi Bender picked up the assists. They built a 4-0 lead by the end of the second with goals from Jillian Demsey, Rachel Llanes and Amanda Pelkey.
The Beauts got on the board at 7:01 of the third when Harrison Browne scored a short-handed goal.
From the coach: "I asked the girls at the end of the second period, I said we lost that period. I said do me one favor, let's win the third period," Beauts coach Ric Seiling said. "And we did. We tied the first period. Lost the second period 4-0, won the last one 1-0. I think that is a step in the right direction. I thought the girls, they didn't quit. It's evident we do have some things to work on. I thought our special teams were excellent tonight. Our power play, our penalty killing. Where we struggled was in our five-on-five. It's getting to know one another. That's the learning process when you've got new people together and you've only been together less than a month."
Pro debut: Goalie Amanda Leveille got her first time in net as a pro taking over the Beauts net in the third period making 11 saves. She played 116 games at Minnesota with a 1.18 goals against average and a .947 save percentage. Leveille relieved starter Bri McLaughlin who gave up four goals on 22 shots.
A review of Year One: The Beauts opened their inaugural season on a five-game losing streak. They found their stride in January and finished in third place in the four-team league with a 5-9 record plus four overtime losses. They defeated the Connecticut Whale in the semifinals to advance to the Isobel Cup finals losing in two games to Boston.
Scratches: Kelley Steadman was a scratch for the Beauts as she was coaching at Robert Morris while Hilary Knight was a scratch for Boston.
World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend: The opening weekend brings all four NWHL teams to Buffalo along with a 16-team youth hockey tournament for the NWHL Futures Tournament. The youth tournament begins Saturday morning and runs through Monday.
Up next: The Pride will face the New York Riverters at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in HarborCenter while the Beauts are back in action Sunday when they host the Connecticut Whale at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.