|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|
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|
|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.
|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|
|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|
|Madison Packer||4||PPG Leader||Corinne Buie||5|
|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.
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.