WHO: No. 1 Boston Pride vs. No. 3 Buffalo Beauts
WHAT: Isobel Cup Final – winner take all
WHERE: Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
WHEN: TODAY! Sunday, March 19 at 6:00 p.m. EST
HOW TO WATCH: ABCNews.com/Live or the ABC News app
The last four days have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for the members of the US Women’s National team.
While juggling the negotiations with USA Hockey and the media appearances to discuss their cause, a majority of the players had to also finish their professional hockey season in the NWHL.
On Thursday, the reigning Isobel Cup champion Boston Pride easily dispatched of the Connecticut Whale in their semi-final game by a score of 8-2.
“We did a good job separating at everything with the National Team and the Boston Pride,” said Brianna Decker, the Pride’s leading scorer in the regular season. “Thursday showed how much depth we have in our team, and our team showed up for a full sixty minutes. I think that was the difference maker in why we had so much offensive opportunities.”
Forward Alex Carpenter led the Pride with five points (2-3=5) against Connecticut, followed by Decker and Hilary Knight with four points each. Brittany Ott stopped 24 of 26 shots in net.
As for the Buffalo Beauts, they had a slightly more difficult path to the Cup final taking on the New York Riveters on Friday night.
The Riveters controlled a majority of the chances, but goaltender Amanda Leveille was a brick wall making 34 saves. Buffalo only recorded 12 shots on goal against New York goalie Katie Fitzgerald. The Beauts managed to slip four goals past her winning the game, 4-2. Emily Janiga and Hayley Scamurra recorded a team-high three points each.
For the second year in a row, we have a Boston and Buffalo final. Needless to say, the Beauts are hoping for a different result.
“Last year kind of left a sour taste in our mouth,” said Beauts defenseman Emily Pfalzer. “I think we’re all excited to come back and have a good rematch against Boston.”
Meghan Duggan played for the Beauts last season, and moved to the Pride during free agency. She better than most know what Buffalo will bring.
“Beauts are a physical team, they play tough,” said Duggan. “They have a great hardworking, battle mentality.”
This was echoed by her former teammate Megan Bozek, “Our Buffalo style of play is a gritty style. Just moving the puck, using our speed. It’s going to be a really good game versus Boston.”
Boston is chalk full of scoring threats. Buffalo will definitely have to be physical in order to wear down the Pride, but not sacrifice their structure just to make a hit. If they do, the Pride will make them pay.
Needless to say, the Beauts have their hands full if they want to dispatch of the Pride in the winner-take-all final on Sunday. However, Buffalo might be playing with extra motivation as Harrison Browne and Brianne McLaughlin skate off into retirement at the conclusion of the game. Why not send them off on a high note?
Watch LIVE at 6:00 p.m. EST on ABCNews.com/Live and the ABC News app.
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