The Buffalo Beauts ended a disappointing regular season on a positive note Sunday with a 3-1 National Women’s Hockey League victory over the Metropolitan Riveters at ProSkate in Monmouth Junction, N.J.
Second period goals by Erin Gehen and Corinne Buie got the Beauts off to a 2-0 lead. A power-play goal by Mikyla Grant-Mentis, her second in her first two games with Buffalo, finished the victory. Kristin Lewicki and Cassidy MacPherson assisted on Gehen’s goal. Grant-Mentis and Megan Delay had the assists on the second goal.
Kate Leary’s goal at 12:35 of the third period had brought the Riveters within one goal but Metro was unable to get the equalizer against Buffalo goalie Lea-Kristine Demers, who was making her second start since she was signed last week along with her Merrimack College teammate Grant-Mentis.
The first period was scoreless but only because Buffalo was able to kill off a 5-on-3 advantage and another short-handed situation. The Beauts had one power play they failed to convert. There were 10 penalties called in the third period including double roughing minors against Haley Frade of the Riveters and Lenka Curmova of the Beauts.
Grant-Mentis, with her goal and an assist, and Demers were named the game’s first two stars. Buie was the third star.
Taylor Accursi was kept off the scoresheet again leaving her tied with Kourtney Kunichika with 42 points as the franchise’s all-time points leader.
Demers turned in a strong performance in goal for Buffalo with 36 saves. Sam Walther had 22 saves for Metro.
Buffalo was 8-15-1 in the regular season. The win ended a four-game losing streak. The Beauts’ last win was over the Riveters, 6-5 in overtime, at ProSkate on Feb. 15. Metro won four of the six games in the regular season between the teams.
Five other Buffalo wins came against the Connecticut Whale, whom the Beauts will face in a NWHL play-in game at 8:30 p.m. on Friday at Northtown Center in Amherst. The outcome will determine the fourth team for the Isobel Cup playoffs and first round opponent of Boston. Buffalo was 0-6-1 against the first-place Boston Pride and 1-5 against the defending NWHL champion Minnesota Whitecaps.