After starting their inaugural season with five losses, the Buffalo Beauts have bounced back with their first win in franchise history. Momentum was definitely poised to change after experiences two straight one-goal losses.Considering that both losses came against the Connecticut Whale, the NWHL’s only undefeated team, it sent a powerful message that the Beauts could not be taken for granted. Of note, their second one-goal loss to the Whale may have served as the team’s turning point.
Facing a 5-1 deficit after the first period, the Whale scored early in the second for a 6-1 advantage. Undeterred, the Beauts scored five unanswered goals to tie the game and force a shootout, the first in NWHL history.Closing the month of November with a road match against the New York Riveters, fresh off a two-game win streak, it was the Beauts’ turn to place their names in the win column.
Although the Beauts outshoot the Riveters by an 8-6 margin, it was defined by a defensive stalemate that saw neither team score. At the 6:35 mark in the first, Meghan Fardelmann was called for tripping, providing the Beauts with the first power play opportunity of the game. Despite their best efforts, the Riveters nullified the advantage.While both teams each enjoyed power play opportunities in the second, the first goal of the game was scored at even strength. Madison Packer scored at the 14:32 mark, with Celeste Brown earning the assist, for the early lead.
Heading into the third period, the Beauts would pepper the Riveters with 16 shots and the results showed on the scoreboard. At the 8:15 mark, Devon Skeats would provide the Beauts with their first goal, snapping Nana Fujimoto’s bid for the first shutout in Riveters history.Less than four minutes after scoring, Skeats would add her second goal of the game, as Shelby Bram earned the assist. As the goal would eventually stand as the game-winner, it placed Skeats in rarified air, as she became the first player in Beauts history to score a game-winning goal.
The combination of Skeats and Bram would result in the second time both combined to make Beauts franchise history. On November 15, Skeats became the first Canadian to score a goal in Beauts history. Coincidentally, Bram would also earn the assist on the goal.Before the period would expire, Hailey Browne would score another historic goal. With just seven seconds remaining, the Maine Black Bears alum would make her mark by scoring the first-ever empty net goal in Beauts history.
For her efforts, Skeats was recognized as the First Star of the Game. Brianne McLaughlin, who recently earned a gold medal with Team USA at the Four Nations Cup, earned the first goatlending win in Beauts history. Making 27 saves in the 3-1 final, Second Star honors were bestowed upon McLaughlin. Third star recognition went to Madison Packer, who scored the Riveters only goal. As a side note, goaltender Jenny Scrivens (who appeared in the first season of W Network’s series Hockey Wives) made her NWHL debut, replacing Fujimoto in the third period. Logging 4:32 of ice time, Scrivens made four saves.