Isobel Cup Semi Final 2 – New York Riveters vs Buffalo Beauts

NWHL Isobel Cup Semi Final 2 – Friday 17th March
New York Riveters vs Buffalo Beauts
Barnabas Health Hockey House 7:30pm EDT 11:30pm GMT
Watch: nwhl.zone, youtube.com

 

The second semi-final of the NWHL playoffs sees two teams, who aren’t a million miles away from each other, face off for a place in Sunday’s final.

Both teams come into tonight’s game on the back of victories on the final day, too. Buffalo saw off Connecticut to avoid the Boston Pride, while the Rivs became the first team to put a chink in the Pride’s previously flawless season.

Riveters 2016/17 Regular Season Record Beauts
8-7-3 Overall 6-10-1
2nd Position 3rd
0.53 Points % 0.38
3.06 Goals For Per Game 2.59
 3.22 Goals Against Per Game 4
3 Wins vs Opponent 3

Splitting the season series 3-3 is probably the best indication of how close the teams are. The Rivs have been better more consistently, as is reflected in their goals (both for and against) and their points percentage, but the Beauts are a good team, and the Rivs will need to bring their A game.

Points Leaders
Riveters Beauts
Janine Weber 10 Goals Corinne Buie 9
Amanda Kessel 14 Assists Kourtney Kunichika 9
Janine Weber 22 Points Shiann Darkangelo, Corinne Buie 12
Miye D’oench 53 Shots Shiann Darkangelo 71
Janine Weber 24.4 Shot % Corinne Buie 18.8
Madison Packer 22 PIM Devon Skeats 26
Netminders
Katie Fitzgerald .901, 15GP Sv% Brianne McLaughlin .896, 13GP
Sojung Shin .898, 5GP Amanda Leveille .890, 10GP
Katie Fitzgerald 3.01 GAA Brianne McLaughlin 3.47
Lauren Slebodnick 3.20 Amanda Leveille 4.34
Special Teams
Powerplay
20 % 20.6
14 PPGF 14
Madison Packer 4 PPG Leader Corinne Buie 5
Penalty Kill
81.4 % 83.6
11 PPGA 10
2 SHGF 2
Janine Weber 2 SHG Leader Harrison Browne 2

 

On paper, there really isn’t much to choose between the two. Both teams have scored the same number of powerplay goals, both have a very similar penalty kill, both are riding top scorers with obscenely high shot percentages.

The Rivs have more scorers in their team, and certainly more of the bigger stars – Janine Weber is great, Madison Packer is great, and Amanda Kessel is unreal (those 14 assists have come from just eight games.) But the Beauts have a good team ethic, their scoring is a bit more spread out amongst the side, and in Corinne Buie they have someone who can find the net at will.

If the game comes down to powerplays, watch out for Harrison Browne. His two goals for the season have both come shorthanded, and he’ll look for every opportunity to add to that total.

Ones to watch

New York Riveters – Katie Fitzgerald

We’ve spoken before about our love of Brick Wall Fitzy, and it is well justified. She makes an average of 26 saves a game, and the Rivs will need her to stand solid again if they want to make it to Sunday’s final.

Buffalo Beauts – Shiann Darkangelo

Facing her will be shooting beast Shiann Darkangelo. She has 71 shots from 17 games, and is the only regular faceoff taker on the team to be in positive numbers on the dot. If Darkangelo gets going, the Beauts can get going, and they’ll need to provide a stern test for the recently-voted goalie of the year.

Gamebreaker

With the top two powerplays in the league clashing, it could be a case of who gets the more time on it. In which case, it’s Madison Packer vs Corinne Buie. It’s gonna be good.

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