The Riveters Topple the Beauts with Some Beauts of their Own
Yesterday's performance saw a Riveters team that is searching for an identity, they're loaded with amazing talent and skill but seemingly struggling to bring it all together. We've only seen glimpses of the amazing talent this team possesses. When firing on all cylinders they can beat anyone in the league without question. The team was able to bring home a much-needed 3 points today and go into the all-star break on a positive note.
Katie Burt started in net for game 2 and continued her stellar ways, she made 18 saves on 20 shots and stopped everything she was able to see. She came up big several times this game to hold the score close for her teammates. She continued the outstanding play of the netminders this season.
The first period saw a shaky Riveters team making the same costly mistakes they have all season. Players were colliding into each other in the offensive zone, the defense was spread out too far giving up the entire center lane for breakaway chances. The umbrella system with a roaming center was clearly not working. The team did show signs of life on the forecheck and when applied they held Buffalo pinned down in their zone for good stretches of time. Unfortunately, poorly timed line change calls saw that pressure release, along with nearly too many players on the ice calls and gave Buffalo control back. Buffalo would go up 1 - 0 after a phantom high-sticking call against the Rivs. That would be one of 2 power-play goals for the Beauts on their 5 chances this game. Burt would hold the fort down and keep the score 1 - 0 heading into the 2nd period.
The Riveters would come out to start the 2nd period with a mixed bag of solid backchecking, penalties, and unforced errors. Then at the 12:42 mark, Kelly Babstock would answer powerfully. She found the puck that eluded multiple defenders and Tera Hofmann who was having herself a night in goal. Kelly didn't miss the backside chance and tied the game up off the beautiful pass by Fanni Garat-Gasparics who had herself a great weekend in Buffalo. The secondary assist was awarded to Anna Kilponen who continues to have an all-star season like her fellow countrywoman Minttu Tuominen. The game remained tied till Buffalo got a power play chance 17:16 into the 2nd period. The puck found its way into the net via a self-inflicted screen by the Riveters and gave the player way too much room. Kelly Babstock would respond again for her team in dramatic fashion as she skated down broadway unmarked. Anna Kilponen fired a great low-driven puck at the net which led to the rebound on Kelly's stick, and she blasted it home again from the backside this time out by the faceoff circle. The assists went to Anna and Madison Packer. For the remaining minute and change, we saw the Rivs buzzing looking for a third goal. Kelly nearly got it in the dying seconds and Minttu fired a laser with less than a second left that didn't miss by much.
The third period was one the Beauts would love to forget, just 2:46 into the final period Minttu "Choo Choo" Tuominen found a great pass by Kelly Babstock high in the slot and she made no mistakes popping the water bottle and scored what would be the game-winning-goal making it 3 - 2 Rivs. Emilie Harley helped set the play up by keeping the puck in the zone and not allowing Buffalo to release the pressure. Next up for the Rivs would be Kendall Cornine who had to be ecstatic to finally break whatever bad juju was going on with her hockey sticks this season. She rifled home the puck off a great dangle that led to the pass by Regan Rust in her new center role. Cornine went backhand, forehand, and gotcha within seconds pulling Hoffman out of position before scoring. With the Rivs up 2 goals and Buffalo desperately trying to stay in the game team captain Madison Packer said not today Buffalo and scored a goal from the slot. Amanda would feed her a beautiful no-look pass into the wide-open slot to make it 5 -2. the secondary assist was awarded to Kennedy Ganser. Minttu made it possible by grabbing a puck out of mid-air and playing it immediately down low to Gasner whose no look behind the back pass found Pelkey. Just over 20 seconds later Kendall Cornine would win the offensive zone faceoff right to a wide-open Regan Rust in the slot and boy did she take out all her frustrations on that puck sending a laser-guided tomahawk missile into the upper netting glove high through multiple screens. Terra Hoffman stood no chance on the play and Regan showed the league she can score and be a huge offensive threat. The score was now 6 - 2 and team Captain Madison Packer made the Beauts pay for cross-checking her teammate Amanda Pelkey right in front of her. Packer took a pass off the boards from Taylor Marchin and went for the wrap-around while Pelkey was taken out in front of the goal. The goal gave the Rivs a dominating 7 - 2 lead and Pelkey for her efforts and pain was awarded the secondary assist, pretty sure Amanda will make that trade any day of the week. The Rivs were not done though as Leading goal scorer Sarah Bujold found a rebound and buried it home blocker side giving the Rivs an 8 - 2 lead Gasner and Minttu would get the assists on the goal.
Post-game interview with Venla Hovi