The Minnesota Whitecaps scored five goals in the third period in their 8-2 win over the Buffalo Beauts on Saturday, so it would be understandable if fans forgot about the first 40 minutes of the game. However, long before Minnesota’s offense opened up in the third, it began with a gorgeous even strength goal 15:16 into regulation.
On the rush — honestly, is there any surprise that the Whitecaps scored a highlight-reel goal on the rush — center Lauren Barnes looked to set up Audra Richards, who was streaking down the right, but instead chose to spin and set up Stephanie Anderson with a blind backhand pass. Anderson wasted little time once the puck found her stick and rifled it across royal road to Richards, who was coming in hot.
Richards cleanly deflected the puck past Beauts goaltender Mariah Fujimagari and not-so-cleanly crashed into the net, leaving her to celebrate with her teammates from a seated position.
Richards scored her second goal of the game in the second period and now has six goals on the season. The tic-tac-toe play that culminated with her first goal of the game helped Richards break a four-game goal-scoring drought.
Disclosure: The author of this piece is currently employed by the NWHL.