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Fattey fills in on the bench, guides Beauts over Whale.

With general manager and assistant coach Nik Fattey running the bench, the Buffalo Beauts defeated the Connecticut Whale, 3-1, Saturday night at HarborCenter in their first game after coach Ric Seiling and assistant Craig Muni were fired.

Jules Iafallo, Hayley Scamurra and Emily Janiga scored for Buffalo in the victory that lifted the team's record to 4-3.

Three of the four Buffalo wins are against the Whale, a team that the Beauts have beaten nine consecutive times dating back to March 12, 2017.

Beauts goalie Shannon Szabados, the league leader in goals against average, made 10 saves in the win. Connecticut goalie Meeri Räisänen made 32 saves in the loss.

Fattey ran the team because Cody McCormick, who was named the team's interim head coach on Friday, could not attend because of a previous commitment.

Fattey met with media before the game and explained the coaching change, which  came unexpectedly Friday.

In his remarks, he expressed the disappointment of the team's management in the team's record and falling behind in the effort to establish the best regular season record in the National Women's Hockey League and earn the right to host the Isobel Cup playoffs championship game.

Despite bolstering the roster in the offseason after losing the final on the road to the Metropolitan Riveters last season, the Beauts lost two games to the expansion Minnesota Whitecaps.

"We have world-class players," Fattey said. "We're 3-3, and that's not where we need to be. They know the expectations that are there. They are there for me, they are there for players and the coaches so maybe trying something new, having Cody's freshness and ideas will be really great.

"Cody's got great familiarity with the players. He's been doing skill skates all season. He's been on the ice all season. They all know him and he knows them. It's not like a voice they haven't heard before. There's a lot of respect for him. There's a lot of excitement."

The Beauts do not play again until games against Minnesota on Dec. 29 and 30. The Dec. 29 game is at KeyBank Center. It will be Minnesota's first visit to Buffalo since joining the league before this season.

"The girls are excited to just move forward through the rest of the season," Beauts forward Kelly Babstock told the media after the game. "We're here to play hockey, and we're excited to keep playing."

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