Despite making the Isobel Cup finals every year since the beginning of the NWHL, the Buffalo Beauts have never come away as the regular season champions.
This season might be different.
The Beauts defeated the Connecticut Whale, 5-2, Saturday night, the first end of a back-to-back in the final weekend of the regular season.
In order to be the regular season champions they have to beat both the Whale and Metropolitan Riveters.
Buffalo easily handled the first part of the job.
At 2:39 into the first period Annika Zalewski cut in from the faceoff circle and fired it quickly through the five hole of Connecticut’s goaltender Shenae Lundberg.
It was Zalewski’s third goal of the season with assists from Blake Bolden and Emily Pfalzer.
The Beauts kept the pressure on Lundberg throughout the period and it paid off.
Taylor Accursi scored at the 18:43 mark and Julianna Iafallo found the back of the net barely a minute later on the power play.
Before the Whale could blink the game was already out of reach at 3-0.
The Beauts haven’t allowed three or more goals since Nov. 17 against the Boston Pride.
Corinne Buie scored the only goal of the second and Kelly Babstock scored the only goal in the third to give Buffalo a 5-0 lead.
The Whale were finally able to get one past Beauts goaltender Nicole Hensley at 5:25 in the third.
The win marked the seventh straight victory for Buffalo and with another today they can close out the regular season as champions in Newark, N.J. at 3 p.m.
The Beauts will lock up the top seed in the playoffs with a win.
The Riveters beat the Beauts in last years Isobel Cup finals.
Buffalo hasn’t lost to the Riveters all season, outscoring them 12-4 in tghree games.
The Riveters are 3-12 and are tied with Connecticut for last with only six points this season.