Beauts upset Pride for Isobel Cup; MVP McLaughlin with 60 saves

Buffalo Beauts goaltender Brianne McLaughlin’s professional hockey career came to a close on Sunday in the best way possible: she retires as a champion.

The Beauts went into the Isobel Cup Final as the undisputed underdogs to the Boston Pride. It was the heroics of McLaughlin, with some help from her teammates, that gave the Beauts their first Isobel Cup championship and her the playoff MVP honors. Beating the Pride by a score of 3-2.

McLaughlin adds an Isobel Cup and playoff MVP to her war chest of two Olympic silver medals, two golds and a silver medal from World Championships and wins at the Four Nations Cup. Not a bad career at all.

Buffalo’s opposition, the Boston Pride, finished the NWHL regular season with a 16-1-0 record. They were rolling after thumping the Connecticut Whale 8-2 in the semifinals on Thursday.

It wasn’t an easy season by any means for the 6-10-1 Buffalo Beauts. Yet as we’ve learned in hockey, a hot goaltender at just the right time can make all the difference.

Megan Bozek was the first to get the Beauts on the board 1:44 into the championship game.

The defenseman has the heaviest shot in the league. She fired it from just beyond the blueline to beat goaltender Brittany Ott.


The Pride controlled a majority of the play throughout the game, but just couldn’t put anything together.

Emily Janiga scored her third goal of the playoffs around midway through the first. Hilary Knight was battling in front of the net and her goaltender couldn’t get around her in time to make the save. Janiga beats Ott glove side to give the Beauts the 2-0 lead.


The first period ends with the Beauts up by two on Boston. The Pride out shot Buffalo, 11-22.

Boston continued to hammer McLaughlin with shots. In the rare instance where Buffalo got the puck, they made it count.

Former member of the Pride, Corine Buie got in behind the defender and slipped the puck past Ott.


The third goal of the game meant it was the end of the night for Brittany Ott. Lauren Slebodnick replaced the goaltender with the most wins during the regular season.

The second period ended with the Beauts continuing to lead 3-0. The Pride still dominated in shots, 38-14.

McLaughlin held on to her shutout for nearly 56 minutes before Boston finally got on the board.

Devon Skeats was whistled for high sticking 5:14 to go in the game. Alex Carpenter, who had five points against the Whale in the previous round, scored a power play goal to cut the Beauts lead down to two and with 4:27 to go.


The Pride pulled Slebodnik with 2:27 left. McLaughlin continued to be a brick wall.

Hilary Knight, who was clearly frustrated this game, scored with 4.2 seconds remaining. Boston closes the gap to one goal, 3-2.


It was too little, too late.

Buffalo finally has a champion and it’s the Beauts.


Commissioner Dani Rylan handed out the MVP award to Brianne McLaughlin who made 60 saves; 47 of which came in the final two periods.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said McLaughlin on the way her career ended. “Playing in your last game, you’ve got mixed emotions, but you’ve got to concentrate on your job here and get it done first.”

And that they did.

Congrats to the 2017 Isobel Cup champion Buffalo Beauts.


[Major s/t to @V_McF2 for the GIFs]