BUFFALO, October 13 – This isn’t the start to the season that the Connecticut Whale envisioned.
Two games into the National Women’s Hockey League season and the Whale haven’t scored a goal. They’ve given up 11 and are 0-2 after dropping a 7-0 decision to the Buffalo Beauts on Saturday.
A week ago, Buffalo shutout Connecticut, 4-0 in the season opener at Terry Connors Rink in Stamford. Saturday’s defeat is the largest margin of defeat in team history, breaking the previous record of six goals in an 8-2 Isobel Cup playoff loss to Boston in March 2017.
It’s the first time in Buffalo history that they have pitched back-to-back shutouts. It’s the second time that Connecticut has lost two straight by shutout. The Whale dropped back-to-back shutouts losses in 2017.
The Beauts led 2-0 after one period and 3-0 after two periods. They held an advantage on shots on goals in both periods. They blew it open on the third period.
Buffalo goalie Shannon Szabados made 22 saves to earn her first shutout of the season. She had several point-blank saves late in the second period to keep Connecticut off the scoreboard.
The Beauts had six different players score goals. Annika Zalewski scored two goals while Hayley Scamurra and Maddie Elia each had a goal and an assist. Lisa Chesson and Dani Cameranesi each had a pair of assists for the Beauts (2-0).
Whale goalie Meeri Raisanen made 23 saves and gave up five goals before being lifted in the third period for Sam Walther, who allowed two goals on six shots.
Connecticut returns to action on Saturday night when they travel to Boston to face the Pride at 7 p.m.
Buffalo 7, Connecticut 0
Connecticut (0-2) 0 0 0 — 0
Buffalo (2-0) 2 1 4 — 7
Buffalo 1, Savannah Harmon (Dani Cameranesi), 9:48; Buffalo 2, Annika Zalewski (Lisa Chesson), 10:54; Penalties – Kayla Meneghin (CT) hooking, 14:50; Nina Rodgers (CT) cross checking, 18:23
Buffalo 3, Maddie Elia (Hayley Scamurra), 10:59; Penalties: none
Buffalo 4, Zalewski (Chesson), 5:44; Buffalo 5, Haley Scarmurra (Cameranesi), 8:33; Buffalo 6, Julianna Iafallo (Elia, Sarah Casorso), 12:26; Buffalo 7, Corrinne Buie, 14:33; Penalties – Haley Scamurra (B) interference, 6:20; Michelle Lowenhielm (CT) body checking, 15:16
Shots: Connecticut 22 (8-5-9); Buffalo 34 (15-9-10)
Saves: Connecticut – Meeri Raisanen (28 shots, 23 saves), L 0-2; Sam Walther (6 shots, 4 saves); Buffalo – Shannon Szabados (22 shots, 22 saves), W 1-0
2018-19 NWHL standings
Buffalo 7, Connecticut 0
Boston 5, Metropolitan 1
|Saturday, October 20
Minnesota at Metropolitan, 2
Connecticut at Boston, 7
Sunday, October 21
Minnesota at Metropolitan, 3