No doubt about It. This weekend is the measuring stick.
The Buffalo Beauts hit the road this weekend for St. Paul, Minnesota where they will get their first look at the expansion Minnesota Whitecaps who currently stand atop the NWHL standings with a spotless 4-0 record.
The Beauts (2-0) enter the weekend tied with Boston for second place.
The Whitecaps, who are pulling the NWHL’s version of the Vegas Golden Knights, have everyone in the league talking about their quick start.
“I think right now that team is an unknown, in some respects,” Beauts coach Ric Seiling said.
“But at the same time hockey is hockey. We have to put our game plan in place and we have to execute and we have to play with heart and desire. No matter what happens we’ve got to stay focused.”
Led by Kendall Coyne and former Beaut Amanda Levielle, who was voted the NWHL Goalie of the Year last year, the Whitecaps have swept two games from Connecticut and defending Isobel Cup Champion Metro.
While the Beauts have handed the Whale a pair of losses.
The combination of Whitecaps off to a quick facing the Beauts, who are the most talked about team because of their star studded roster, means this weekend is a chance for one of these teams to make a big statement.
“Yeah I think we’re coming off of two really good games against the Whale,” Nicole Hensley said.
“So I think we’re going to take this opportunity in back-to-back games to really gel as a team and see the lines work together and the D pairs and the goaltenders with the D.”
While he didn’t divulge who will start in net each game, Seiling said he plans to split the games with Shannon Szabados starting one and Nicole Hensley the other.
“They’ll be splitting,” Seiling said. “We talked about that at the start of the year.”
The Beauts are scheduled to fly out of Buffalo at 3pm Friday afternoon.
Games will be 7:30pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday.