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BY MICHAEL MEYERS —

Get ready New York Raptors fans because New York Raptors are back!

The New York Raptors will be back on the ice this Sunday, September 19, 2021.

The Raptors are looking forward to an outstanding season.

27 Hockey Players From New York State Dot USHL Rosters

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By Warren Kozireski —

The United States Hockey League announced the 30man tryout roster for all 16 teams and 27 players from New York State are in the mix for spots.

Forward and UConn Commit Nate Hanley (Rocky Point), defenseman and Niagara University commit David Posma (Pomona) and Bentley University-bound goaltender Connor Hasley (North Tonawanda) are on the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders roster.

Forwards Charlie Major (Skaneateles) and returner and UMass future commit Michael Emerson (Yorktown Heights) join future Colgate Raider goaltender Nicholas Hass (Williamsville) on the Chicago Steel squad.

The Des Moines Buccaneers also feature three from the Empire State in forward Joey Muldowney (Lake View) and blueliners Chase Ramsey (Granite Springs) and returner and Northeastern University-bound Michael Bevilacqua (Buffalo),

Lancaster’s Jared Mangan and Penfield’s Casey Severo (Harvard University in 2022-23) are forwards with Madison while western New York is well-represented on defense for Muskegon in Western Michigan commit Jacob Napier (Lancaster), returner Tyler Procious (Pittsford) and future Boston University Terrier Gavin McCarthy (Clarence Center).

The Omaha Lancers sport the most native New Yorkers with four: forwards Kaleb Smith (Arcade) (though he played in an Erie Otters pre-season game last weekend) and Robert Morris commit Anthony Calafiore (Staten island) with future R.P.I. defensemen Hunter McDonald (Fairport) and Tyler Nasca (Wheatfield).

Third year returner and future Northeastern University Huskie Brandon Chabrier (Bayville) will help anchor Sioux Falls’ defense and is joined by forward Blake Humphrey (Rochester), who is committed to Providence College next fall.

Future Boston University forward Ryan Fine (Center Moriches), future Boston College rival defensemen Seamus Powell (Marcellus) and Drew Fortescue (Pearl River) (Boston College in 2023-24) are on the Team USA roster.

Tri-City forward and 2-023-24 Providence College-bound Tanner Adams (Northport), Waterloo defenseman Patrick Geary (Hamburg) and Youngstown blueliners Michael Rubin (Blauvelt)—headed to Merrimack College—and future Clarkson University freshman Carter Rose (Brasher Falls) round out the group.

Only five teams in the 16-team circuit did not have New York State representation.

Former NU Hockey Players Sign With The Iowa Heartlanders

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CORALVILLE, Iowa – Former Niagara hockey players Jack Billings and Ben Sokay have signed with the Iowa Heartlanders, announced on Friday. Billings and Sokay are just the second and third player signings in the ECHL team’s history.

Billings played two seasons for the Purple Eagles. During the 2019-20 season, he scored 12 goals and had 15 assists and in the 2020-21 season, he scored seven goals with six assists. He was named to the Atlantic Hockey Third Team following the 2019-20 season. On his career, Billings played in 54 games for the Purple Eagles and scored 19 goals with 21 assists.

Sokay was a four-year member of the NU squad. His best season came in 2019-21, when he scored 11 goals and picked up 11 assists in 33 games played. In his career with the Purple Eagles, Sokay played in 98 total games. He scored 23 career goals and recorded 24 assists.

The Heartlanders are the ECHL of the Minnesota Wild (NHL) and the Iowa Wild (AHL). They kick off their first season in team history on Oct. 22.

(Niagara University Men’s Hockey Photo)

2001-02 NU Women’s Hockey Team Among Those Named To Hall of Fame 2021 Class

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NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – The Niagara University Department of Athletics is excited to announce the 2021 Athletics Hall of Fame class. Brittany Bisnott, Joe Mihalich, Kathryn Rafter and the 2001-02 women’s ice hockey team will be inducted into the Niagara Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 4.  

Bisnott was an integral member of the Niagara women’s soccer program from 2004-07. Bisnott was the 2007 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and the 2004 MAAC Rookie of the Year. She finished her career at NU with 136 points and 60 goals, which both rank third in program history. Bisnott was a First Team Academic All-America honoree and, in 2008, was one of 58 NCAA student-athletes to be awarded educational grants through the NCAA postgraduate scholarship program.

Mihalich was at the helm of the Niagara men’s basketball program from 1998-2013 and compiled 265 wins, which is the most in MAAC history. In his time on Monteagle Ridge, Mihalich led the Purple Eagles to two NCAA tournament appearances, three NIT appearances, two MAAC Championships and four MAAC regular season titles. He was named the MAAC Coach of the Year three times and the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 1 Coach of the Year twice and was the 2012-13 Skip Prosser Man of the Year.

Rafter was a pioneer for women’s sports at Niagara University and helped lead the initiative to have women’s sports officially sanctioned at NU and was a member of the women’s basketball program from 1971-75. In 1974, Rafter became the first female student-athlete elected to the Athletics Advisory Council which helped implement Title IX. She has continued to be a generous benefactor of the Purple Eagles women’s basketball program and Niagara University. Rafter was inducted to the MAAC Honor Roll in 2015.

The 2001-02 women’s ice hockey team advanced to the semifinals of the Frozen Four and tied Minnesota, 2-2, in the third-place game. The Purple Eagles went 26-8-2 overall and 19-2-0 in conference play and were the ECAC regular season champions. Niagara had an impressive home record, going 15-2 overall and 11-0 in conference in games played at Dwyer Arena. On the season, Niagara averaged 3.82 goals per game and allowed just 1.41 goals per game.

More information about the ceremony and how to purchase tickets will be released soon.

Brent Darnell Takes New Position, Jimmy Mullin and Ryan Kesler Named to NTDP Coaching Staff 

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PLYMOUTH, Mich. – USA Hockey announced that Brent Darnell (Livonia, Mich.) has been named assistant director of player personnel, while Jimmy Mullin (Philadelphia, Pa.) has been hired as an assistant coach and Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich.) named volunteer assistant coach at the organization’s National Team Development Program.

ABOUT DARNELL

After serving as an assistant coach at the NTDP for the past two seasons, Darnell enters his first year as assistant director of player personnel for 2021-22. He will be responsible for recruiting and evaluating potential future NTDP players.

Prior to coming to USA Hockey, Darnell was with College Hockey Inc., where he most recently served as the organization’s senior director of education.   Darnell skated four seasons at Michigan State University (2011-2015), where he accumulated 57 points in his Spartans career, while earning Academic All-Big Ten honors three times. He finished his playing career with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors in 2015. 

ABOUT MULLIN

Mullin begins his USA Hockey coaching career as an assistant coach with the Under-18 Team after most recently serving as the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets director of player development and advancement, as well as head coach of the program’s 15-Only team. Previously, he was the director of scouting for the NAHL’s Chippewa Steel.

A fourth-round selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2010 NHL Draft, Mullin skated four seasons at Miami University before transferring for his final collegiate season to Minnesota State University, where he helped lead the Mavericks to the 2015-16 WCHA regular-season championship. Following his collegiate career, he spent three seasons (2016-19) with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. 

The Philadelphia native represented Team USA at the 2010 World Jr. A Challenge, where he led the tournament in goals, including scoring the game-winning goal in the gold-medal game to give the U.S. its third straight championship.

ABOUT KESLER

Former NTDP player (2000-2002) and NHL All-Star Ryan Kesler has been named to the Under-18 staff as a volunteer assistant coach. Kesler spent the previous 18 seasons playing with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks (2003-2014) and Anaheim Ducks (2014-2021).

Prior to playing professionally, the forward skated one season at Ohio State University, where he registered 31 points in 40 games for the Buckeyes.Kesler has represented the United States multiple times on the international stage, highlighted by two appearances at the Olympic Winter Games, including helping Team USA to a silver medal in 2010.  He also represented the U.S. twice in the IIHF World Junior Championship, helping lead the team to its first gold medal in 2004.

Kesler skated in the 2002 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, where he helped the United States to its first gold medal.Mullin and Kesler will join head coach Adam Nightingale and associate coach Nick Fohras the coaching staff for the U.S. National Under-18 Team this season. 

ABOUT THE NTDP: USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program is in its 25th season of competition and is based at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. The goal of the full-time development program is to prepare student-athletes under the age of 18 for participation on U.S. National Teams and success in their future hockey careers. Its efforts focus not only on high-caliber participation on the ice but creating well-rounded individuals off the ice.

Ten New York Reasons To Pay Attention To The OHL This Season

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By Warren Kozireski —

Most hockey players from the U.S. and from New York State stay in-country to hone their hockey careers in the hopes of playing either in college or pro. But some travel north of the border.

Per the training camp rosters, five players who call New York State home will be dressing for Ontario Hockey League teams this season and five more were recent draft picks of New York State-based teams.

16-year-old center Carey Terrance from Akwesasne along the St. Lawrence Seaway is slated for another year of development north of the border as a forward with the Erie Otters. He just represented Team USA on the U-17 team and registered 11 points in four games.

Kaleb Smith of Arcade is supposedly set to be his teammate with the Otters, though he also appears on the USHL Omaha Lancers camp roster. He is a product of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres system where the 17-year-old scored 32 goals over 66 games in their last full season.

Declan McDonnell of Lake View used a great second half in 2019-20 at forward with the Kitchener Rangers for the Tampa Bay Lightning to take seventh round flyer on him in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Turning 20 in February, he is expected to see prime minutes in all situations for the Rangers.

Rochester Monarchs and Jr. Sabres product Anthony Agostinelli is set to begin his second season at forward for the Niagara IceDogs after the league shut down last year. He totaled 10 points in 55 games during his 16-17-year-old season.

Quentin Musty of Hamburg is getting quite a bit of hype heading into his first OHL campaign at forward for the Sudbury Wolves. That is largely due to the 6’2”, 203 lb. frame the just turned 16-year-old already carries. He also comes from the Jr. Sabres, but played a limited last season in the AYHL with the North Jersey Avalanche.

Aside from New York born players, fans also should keep an eye on draft picks for their favorite team:

Barrie Colts          Evan Vierling       NY Rangers          F 2020 5th round

Flint Firebirds       Brandan Othmann NY Rangers          F 2021 1st round

Saginaw Spirit      Tristan Lennox     NY Islanders         G 2021 3rd round

Saginaw Spirit      Josh Bloom           Buffalo Sabres      F 2021 3rd round

Windsor Spitfires Will Cuylle           NY Rangers          F 2020 2nd round

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Announced

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Stan Fischler, Paul Holmgren and Peter McNab to be enshrined
 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Stan Fischler,  Paul Holmgren, and Peter McNab will be enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2021, it was announced by USA Hockey.

“Stan, Paul and Peter have all had an enormously positive impact on American hockey over the course of many decades,” said Mike Trimboli, president of USA Hockey. “Their extraordinary contributions to our sport continue today and will be felt for generations to come. Our warmest congratulations to each of them on their well-deserved selection and we look forward to the formal enshrinement ceremonies later this year.” 

ABOUT STAN FISCHLERFischler

Stan Fischler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster whose career in hockey coverage spans eight decades and continues today. America’s foremost hockey historian, Fischler’s work has brought the sport’s stories, characters and excitement to an expansive reading and viewing audience.

His articles, books and televised reports have enhanced the understanding and enjoyment of the game for countless youngsters and adults throughout the country. Devoted to the game since his youth, Fischler served as a publicist for the New York Rangers right out of college in 1954 before rising to writing jobs with the Brooklyn Eagle and later the New York Journal-American from 1955 through 1966.

Fischler turned to broadcasting in 1973, contributing rink-side analysis on games of the World Hockey Association New England Whalers. Two years later, he joined what is today known as MSG/MSG+ — a relationship that lasted more than 40 years — and covered the three NHL teams in the New York City metropolitan area, including the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.

His in-game reports and post-game interviews were key elements of the broadcasts. Fischler had an ice-level vantage point for the area’s eight modern-era Stanley Cup champions, beginning with the Islanders’ four-peat performance from 1980-83, continuing with the Rangers’ title in 1994 and following with the Devils’ triumphs in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

His television work received a number of Emmy awards from the New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, including for “best program/feature segment” (Five For Fischler) and outstanding “on-camera talent, sports reporting.”

Fischler retired from broadcasting following the 2017-18 season.The multi-dimensional Fischler is the author or co-author of some 100 books on hockey, including The Hockey EncyclopediaEverybody’s Hockey Book, and Hockey Chronicle. He has written for many notable publications, including the New York TimesThe Sporting NewsSports Illustrated and The Hockey News.

His prose earned a spot in the book Best American Sports Writing of the Century in 1999 and he was awarded the prestigious Lester Patrick Trophy in 2007 for outstanding contributions to American hockey.

At age 89, Fischler continues today to publish The Fischler Report, which has been in circulation for more than 30 years and covers wide-ranging topics related to the NHL and hockey in general. Additionally, he currently writes weekly columns for NHL.com, the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils. The native of Brooklyn, New York, has also served as a mentor to numerous interns who have gone on to successful careers in sports media, sports management, public relations and beyond.

ABOUT PAUL HOLMGRENHolmgren

Paul Holmgren’s (Saint Paul, Minn.) exemplary career in hockey is highlighted by more than 40 years with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers over parts of six decades, in addition to major contributions to American hockey on other stages, including serving as an original member of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group and helping guide Team USA to the 1996 World Cup of Hockey championship.The St. Paul, Minnesota, native, is the only person ever to serve as a player, assistant coach, head coach, general manager and president of the Flyers and today serves as senior advisor for the club.

Drafted from the University of Minnesota in the sixth round of the 1975 NHL Draft, Holmgren’s NHL playing career began with the Flyers on March 25, 1975. It was the first of 500 games he played for Philadelphia in parts of nine seasons.

He helped the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1976, and again in 1980 when he became the first American-born player in NHL history to record a hat trick during the Stanley Cup Final. He earned a spot in the 1981 NHL All-Star Game and was the lone American on the Campbell Conference entry.

Holmgren was traded to the Minnesota North Stars on Feb. 23, 1984, and retired following the 1984-85 season.In 10 NHL campaigns, he played in 527 regular-season games and recorded 323 points (144G, 179A).

Holmgren helped his teams to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his nine full seasons in the league and contributed 51 points (19G, 32A) in 82 playoff appearances.Holmgren became an assistant coach for the Flyers following retirement and was promoted to head coach in 1988.

In his first season, he guided Philadelphia to the Conference Finals. Holmgren spent four years behind the Flyers bench before spending parts of four seasons with the Hartford Whalers as head coach and/or general manager.

He returned to the Flyers in November of 1995 as a scout and less than two months later was tabbed director of pro scouting. He earned the role of director of player personnel in August of 1997 and was promoted to assistant general manager on June 14, 1999, a role he held for seven seasons before taking over as the team’s general manager on Oct. 22, 2006.

During his time as general manager, Holmgren led the Flyers through one of the most successful stretches in franchise history, with five consecutive playoff appearances from 2008-12 and seven playoff series wins during that time. That run included Philadelphia’s eighth trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010 after qualifying for the playoffs on the last day of the regular season.

In his eight years as general manager, Holmgren’s teams posted a 307-234-73 record and made six playoff appearances. He was promoted to team president on May 7, 2014, and served five seasons in the role, overseeing both the business and hockey operations of the franchise.

Holmgren has been involved with U.S. teams on the international stage on multiple occasions, including as an assistant coach for Team USA at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996 when the U.S. secured the tournament title, and also in the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. He also was the assistant general manager of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, general manager of the 2006 U.S Men’s National Team and assistant general manager for Team USA in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

In addition, Holmgren was a founding member of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group in 2007 and served for eight seasons in helping select U.S. Men’s National Teams. As a player, Holmgren represented Team USA at the inaugural World Junior Ice Hockey Championship in 1974.

ABOUT PETER McNABMcNab

During his remarkable NHL playing career, which spanned parts of 14 seasons (1973-87) with four teams, Peter McNab (Vancouver, B.C.) had seven straight seasons with 70 or more points and six straight with 35-plus goals and helped his teams to Stanley Cup Playoff appearances 10 times, including a trip to the 1975 Stanley Cup Final with Buffalo. He ranks 19th among Americans in NHL history with 813 points in 995 regular-season games, including 363 goals and 450 assists.

Drafted 85th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1972 NHL Entry Draft, McNab played three seasons (1970-73) of college hockey at the University of Denver and helped the Pioneers to three top-four NCAA finishes. His final season, McNab led the Pioneers to an NCAA runner-up finish and was not only named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team, but also earned First-Team All-WCHA honors after a team-leading 72-point season which included 32 goals and 40 assists.

All total, McNab averaged 1.61 points per game in 105 total games and his 170 (78G, 92A) career points rank 10th best in program history.Following his collegiate career, McNab led the Cincinnati Swords of the AHL with 73 points (34G, 39A), despite playing in just 49 of the team’s 76 games.

He also debuted with the Buffalo Sabres that season, competing in 22 contests. McNab solidified a spot on the Sabres roster for the next two years where he tallied 99 points in 132 regular-season games.

He helped Buffalo to the Stanley Cup Final in 1974-75 and also to regular-season titles in both the Adams Division and Prince of Wales Conference.The center spent the next eight years (1976-84) of his NHL career with the Boston Bruins where he helped the team to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven of his eight campaigns.

He recorded at least 70 points in seven-straight seasons (including four years with 80-plus points) and 35-plus goals in six-straight. McNab earned a spot in the 1997 NHL All-Star Game and tallied a career-high 86 points that season.

The next year he recorded a career-high 41 goals. McNab ranks 11th in Bruins history in goals (263), 13th in points (587) and is eighth in playoff goals (38).McNab concluded his NHL career playing 78 games over two seasons in Vancouver and 117 contests in two seasons with New Jersey.

On the international stage, McNab played for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 1986 IIHF Men’s World Championship.McNab transitioned to a career in broadcasting following his playing days, including eight years as a color analyst for the New Jersey Devils.

He was hired by the Colorado Avalanche in a similar role in their inaugural season in 1995 and will enter his 26th campaign with the Avs in 2021-22.

NOTES: The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will be  enshrined together with the Class of 2020 at a formal Induction Celebration in December of 2021 … U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of extraordinary contribution to the sport of hockey in the United States … The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame was incorporated in 1969 and inducted its first class in 1973 … The Class of 2021 will be the 49th installed to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. To date, there are 190 enshrined members. For information on the members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, visit USHockeyHallofFame.com … The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, located in Eveleth, Minnesota, is open daily. For hours of operation and admission prices, visit USHockeyHallMuseum.com or call 800-443-7825.

Comets Sign Forward Patrick McGrath To AHL Contract

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The Utica Comets General Manager, Dan MacKinnon announced that the club signed forward Patrick McGrath to a one-way American Hockey League contract for the 2021-22 season. 

McGrath, 28, hails from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, played for both the Rochester Americans (AHL) and the Indy Fuel (ECHL) last season. McGrath, 5-foot-11, 201-pounds, has played in 106 AHL games in his career amassing four goals and five assists for nine points along with 373 penalty minutes. In 162 games over five seasons in the ECHL, he scored seven goals and eight assists for 15 points while compiling 645 penalty minutes.

(Utica Comets Photo)

Hockey Heroes Matchup Between FDNY and NYPD Honors 20th Anniversary of 9/11 Live Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2

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  • John Buccigross, Kevin Weekes, Ryan Callahan and Linda Cohn Will be on The Call
  • Pre-game Ceremony Live on ESPN3 and the ESPN App at 7:30 p.m. ET

The commemorative “Hockey Heroes” game between the NYPD and FDNY hockey teams takes place this Thursday live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden. The matchup will honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a pre-game ceremony, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and the ESPN App, honoring those lost in the attacks and all the members who have since died from 9/11 related illnesses. Additionally, Firefighters and Police Officers lost in the line of duty over the course of the past two years will also be remembered.  

ESPN’s John Buccigross, Kevin Weekes and Ryan Callahan will commentate the Hockey Heroes game, with Linda Cohn reporting from between the glass. Both Callahan and Cohn are New York natives, with Callahan serving as the Rangers’ first-ever NY-born captain.

The Hockey Heroes game extends the longstanding rivalry between the FDNY and NYPD hockey teams as they face off for the 47th time. The FDNY currently leads the series with 25 wins to the NYPD’s 18. Proceeds from the annual FDNY vs. NYPD Hockey game will benefit various charities including the Ray Pfeifer Foundation and the PBA Widows and Children’s Fund.

It’s a New Beauts Season!

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A long year is over and more normalcy seems to be here,  especially with ice hockey. NY Hockey Online is back for another season covering all the ice hockey in New York State from grassroots to the NHL and NWHL. This season we also have the 2022 Winter Olympics.

So let’s take a look at the NWHL. When I started to write this column I was talking about the NWHL; overnight I receive a press release announcing that the NWHL is now the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) and will have a new look, new logo but same mission. So I apologize in advance if I slip and type NWHL.

According to the release The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) re-defines the league’s brand based on the skill and talent of its athletes as opposed to their gender, and is the first professional women’s sports league in North America to lift the word ‘women’s’ out of its title.

The New Logo

The PHF name was inspired by empowerment, gender equity and inclusivity with respect to differences in the gender identity of current athletes, prospective players, and league stakeholders. Expansion across the United States, into Canada, and the increase of international talent also helped pave the way for a rebrand with global appeal.

Along with the new logo, updated social media links, digital components and merchandise will be coming forth in the next few weeks.

Secondly, the Buffalo Beauts (and Minnesota Whitecaps) have been sold by W Hockey Partners (WHP). The new owner is NLTT Ventures, LLC, an entity that combines NL Sports, led by Andy Scurto, and Top Tier Sports, led by Neil Leibman.

Scurto and Leibman have both been involved in the NWHL for several years as WHP investors. Scurto, a member of the league’s Board of Governors, most recently served as WHP President. He’s the founder and former President of San Jose-based insurance software firm ISCS. Leibman, also a member of the Board of Governors, is an original member of the ownership group that purchased the Texas Rangers in 2010 and currently serves as the team’s President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer. Scurto will serve as Governor for the Beauts. The 2020-21 season was one for the record books. Following a no season 2020-21 went into a “Bubble” in Lake  Placid with a series of games schedule leading to the Isobel Cup Final. As you all know, they didn’t make it to the finals. The Pandemic made its way into the League and the season ended with no Champion.

A full schedule is planned for 2021-22 with 60 games in 19 weeks. The season begins with Buffalo hosting Toronto on November 6. Highlight this season will be an outdoor game February 21 at Riverworks with Buffalo facing Toronto. Tickets for that game are on sale at NWHL.zone/tickets. 

With the signing of two players this past month Buffalo has 23 players ready to hit the ice for a training camp later this month.

Emilie Hartley, a first round 2021 draftee comes from Robert Morris College and is a native of Syracuse.

Jenna Suokko, plays offense and comes from the Finland Naisten Lege. Suokko has scored 116 goals, 107 assists and 223 points in 249 games in Finland’s Naisten Liiga. She became a bronze medalist at the 2011 IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden. This will be her first professional season in North America.

Grace Klienbach played three seasons for Connecticut Whale, signing with Buffalo as a free agent. She was an assistant captain with Neumann College’s women’s ice hockey team.

Allison Attea, a familiar name in WNY as she is a Buffalo native who played at Holy Cross College. In 2016 she was a WNY Scholar Athlete, attended Sacred Heart Academy and played in the Monsignor Martin team in the WNYGVIH League in her sophomore year and then moved to Nichols School for her junior and senior years.

Lovisa Berndtsson will join Buffalo after playing 14 years professional hockey in Sweden. The native of Stockholm, Sweden became the first player in NWHL history to be chosen in the league’s International Draft when the Beauts selected her first overall. Berndtsson, a goaltender, has spent the past 14 seasons playing professional-level hockey in Sweden, including the past eight seasons in the SDHL. She has also represented Sweden at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship. 

Missy Seagall   became the first player in NWHL history to be drafted out of Hamilton College. Segall scored 25 goals, 26 assists and 51 points in 76 games. Prior to her collegiate career at Hamilton, she played three seasons for the Boston Junior Eagles. Her Senior year at Hamilton was canceled due to Covid-19.

Taylor Wasyek has signed on for her second season with the Beauts. She signed on to the team while they were in Lake Placid. She serves as Head Coach for the Suffolk University Women’s Ice Hockey Team and played on the USA Womens team that took the silver in 2012.

Kennedy Ganser is  from Alberta, Canada. The former star at the University of Alberta was the 13th player selected in the 2021 NWHL Draft and Buffalo’s first of three straight selections in the third round. Ganser went 34-51-85 for scoring in 112 U Sports games for the Pandas during her collegiate career.

Samantha Fieseler has signed with the Beauts after a season with the Riveters. Prior to that she played professionally for Göteborg HC in Sweden’s SDHL.

Brittany Colton comes to the Beauts from the University of Maine. She signed on while the team was in Lake Placid and saw action in six games.

Anjelica Diffendal played for Robert Morris College and the Pittsburg Pen Elites and is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. She has 26 goal and 16 assists in 122 games.

Taylor Accursi, a Buffalo Fan Favorite, is returning for her fifth season as a Beaut. She served as Captain and had 52 points last season.

Domenique Kremer will return for her second season as a Beaut. She was drafted by the Whale in 2015 and played in Sweden prior to the NWHL.

Lisa Chesson will begin her fifth season in Buffalo. She served as Assistant Captain last season and was a member of the 206-17 Isobel Cup winning team. She also was a member of USA National Womens team won the gold in the Worlds 2009 and 2013.

Amy Budde is a native of Minnesota and played her professional hockey in Sweden with the SDHL. The Lake Forest University graduate signed as a free agent.

Emma Keenan brings her defensive skills to Buffalo from Clarkson University and two seasons with the SDHL in Goteborg. Last seasons’ campaign saw Kremer join the Beauts after she had led all Djurgårdens defenders in scoring (5-11-16) during the 2019-20 SDHL season.

Autumn MacDougall, a top scorer for the Beauts last season, has returned.

Buffalo native Erin Gehen has re-signed with the Beauts for her third season. Gehen will be playing her third season for the Beauts. A native from the Buffalo suburb of West Seneca, she has routinely brought speed and a scoring touch to the Beauts lineup. In 30 NWHL regular season games, Gehen has tallied 7 goals, 9 assists and 16 points across her two previous seasons for Buffalo. Gehen achieved numbers of 54-41-95 in 103 games at Buffalo State College, and is the program’s all-time leader in goals, assists, points, shorthanded goals, and games played. She also was a standout player in the WNYGVIH League.

Caty Flagg  served as Buffalo’s backup goalie in 2020-21 as an NWHL rookie. She dressed in all six regular season games in Lake Placid and saw her first professional action in a Jan. 31 contest against the Boston Pride. Flagg stopped nine of the 11 shots she faced after coming in as relief in her lone game of the season. She went 24-28-11 in her collegiate career split between the University of New England and UMass-Boston, and posted career numbers of a 1.92 goals against average and a .938 save percentage.

Cassidy MacPherson is returning for her third season as a major player on the penalty killing unit and in centering. She is a graduate of Providence College and played her junior hockey with the Oakville Hornets in the Provencial Womens Ice Hockey League.

Returning for her second season is Goalie Carly Jackson. She played in all six games in Lake Placid last season facing 40 or more shots in three of those games. She is the recipient of the 2021 Fan Three Stars Award.

Cassidy Vinkle comes from Clarkson University after winning two national championships  with the Golden Knights. She is an assistant coach with New England College. The native of Belleville, Ontario also played for the Whitby Wolves.

Defender and Alternate Captain Marie Jo Pelletier is returning for her third season with the Beauts. She is a native of Dalhouse, New Brunswich and played for the University of New Hampshire. She holds multiple league and team records. She has played in 30 career regular season games for the team, and has gone 6-18-24 in scoring. Pelletier needs just two more points to surpass Emily Matheson as the Beauts all-time scoring leader for defenders.

Pelletier

Some new faces behind the Bench include Shane Madolora who will serve as Goalie Coach. Madolora is the owner and founder of Madolora Consulting and Developmental Hockey. He played three seasons for RIT and then became their goaltending coach. He also has played in the CHL, ECHL, SPHL and in France, England and Italy.

Mark Zarbo will serve as an assistant coach for the second season. He is the owner of Mark Zarbo Hockey and played for Bently and RPI.

Julia DiTondo will return has the special assignments coach. She goaltended for the Beauts in 2017-18 and 2018-19. DiTondo is also a local product after having played for Nichols School and then went to Mercyhurst. She also coaches field hockey and lacrosse.

Julia DiTondo

Chris Baudo is the most recent addition to the hockey staff. Baudo will serve as the video/analytics coach and is currently the  original Head Coach for Women’s Ice Hockey at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, where he has recorded 33 wins, 7 losses and 3 ties in three years. He is a native of Tonawanda and graduated from Hamilton College.

Head Coach Rhea Coad was named to that position in March 2021. She served as associate coach in 2020-21 and assistant coach since 2018. She is a native of Wheatfield and graduate of SUNY Canton.

The Beauts open at home on November 6 at 7 p.m. against the Toronto Six. Toronto is in its second season of the League. Home games will be played at the Northtowns Center in Amherst. 

The Beauts are also looking for volunteers to work the games in various capacities. If interested contact Manager Nate Oliver at noliver@beautshockey.com

Lock Monsters 2021-2022 Registration

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Are you interested in playing MOHL Hockey? Do you have a beginner 6u/8u skater looking for a great program? See below for more information.
Register now for the 2021-2022 Lock Monster Season. Click here to register. For more information please contact Tom Dockery.

  • Novice Program ADM

-Ice time once a week-Two 8 Week Sessions- $140 per Session or $115 if you use a Lock Monster jersey from a previous season-Session 1 – 9/11-11/20-Session 2 – 11/27-2/19

  • 6u

-Season runs September-February$415-Save $25 if you use a jersey from a previous season-Skaters will focus on basic skating and skills, stop/start, crossovers, forward/backward edges, stick-handling, passing and shooting. They will be introduced to the basic elements of game play, team concept, recognition and reaction, zones width and depth. There are 2 sessions per week. All games will be cross ice.

  •  8u

-Season runs September-February-$440-Save $25 if you use a jersey from a previous season-This program follows USA Hockey’s ADM Model and is for the player with prior hockey experience who has the basic skating and skill set. It will continue to develop the player’s skating and skill level while further developing their game play – team concept, recognizing and reacting to situations, zone play, width and depth. Players will learn the rules of the game and the basics of positioning and have an opportunity to play games against outside opponents. There are 2 sessions per week with an opportunity for a 3rd ice time (clinic session).-USA Hockey Insurance number needed to register

  •  8u Select

Season runs September-February-$655-Will run a competitive, travel type schedule with the focus on player development and team play. Individual skating and skills will be the main focal point with an emphasis on situational/positional game play and hockey intelligence. Skating 3x/wk at Cornerstone Ice Arena will give ample opportunity for individual development as well as team concepts; repetitive instruction will aid in developing muscle memory and positive instinctional habits. The team will play a competitive game and tournament schedule.-USA Hockey Insurance number needed to register

  • MOHL Teams

-Season Runs September-February-Plays in the Multi Organizational House League-2 Ice times per week-Home and away gamesUSA Hockey Insurance number needed to register10u – $74512u – $775
If a jersey is needed, MOHL players will purchase their jersey/socks from their coach.Click here for USA Hockey RegistrationClick here for USA Hockey age classifications

NWHL Rebrands As Premier Hockey Federation

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New Name & Logo for Professional Women’s Hockey in North America
“No Labels, No Limits”: PHF Now Defined by the Talent and Skill of Its Athletes
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) – The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) has officially launched a new era with the introduction of a name change and refreshed logo ahead of the 2021-22 season. The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) re-defines the league’s brand based on the skill and talent of its athletes as opposed to their gender, and is the first professional women’s sports league in North America to lift the word ‘women’s’ out of its title.

“The Premier Hockey Federation is home to some of the best professional athletes in the world who deserve to be recognized for their abilities and to be empowered as equals in sport,” said PHF Commissioner Tyler Tumminia. “This league has come a long way since its inception in 2015 and we believe that this is the right time and the right message as we strengthen our commitment to growing the game and inspiring youth.”

The PHF name was inspired by empowerment, gender equity and inclusivity with respect to differences in the gender identity of current athletes, prospective players, and league stakeholders. Expansion across the United States, into Canada, and the increase of international talent also helped pave the way for a rebrand with global appeal.

“From an opportunity standpoint, it’s huge,” said Metropolitan Riveters captain Madison Packer, a member of the league since Season 1. “I understand and appreciate not having to define ourselves as female athletes anymore. Now we are defining players based on skill and what they bring to the game. This is about recognizing that regardless of gender, athletes are talented.”

The logo presents a modern identity with simplicity, versatility and flexibility that pays tribute to the history of the NWHL. The black and white scheme is preserved in the primary emblem, while stars from the original design form the silhouette of a crown atop the PHF acronym. The use of both the stars and crown are symbolic of ambition and achievement but also form a subtle ‘W’ to represent the concept of raising women to the top.

“This rebrand strategy speaks volumes about what women in sports and women in general are trying to do,” said Boston Pride sophomore forward Sammy Davis, the first overall pick in the 2020 NWHL Draft. “We’re trying to be seen for more than just being women. It’s important to be pioneers, to be first. Set the foundation and show people that it’s okay to be different and it’s okay to want change.”

The 2021 season was record setting, despite the challenges of a COVID-19 pandemic. League visibility reached new heights through digital viewership, social engagement, and a historic broadcast partnership that saw the Isobel Cup raised for the first time on American network television. Landmark sponsorship deals, more corporate partners than ever before, and an increased commitment from private ownership has helped double the salary cap to $300,000 per team in 2021-22 which represents the highest figure in league history.

“We’re excited to build on all of our momentum from the last year, ‘Raise the W’ and embark on this new era with our athletes, teams, partners and fans,” added Tumminia. “No labels, no limits.”
The PHF season begins Saturday November 6, 2021 with all six teams in action. Over the coming weeks the league will unveil new PHF digital components such as website address and social media handles along with an exciting line of new merchandise.

About Premier Hockey Federation (PHF):The PHF is the leading source of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and maintains the mission to provide strong role models and fuel the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup.

15 Nazareth Women’s Hockey Players Earn All-Academic Honors

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ROCHESTER, NY – Fifteen players from the Nazareth College Women’s Hockey team were honored this week by the United Collegiate Hockey Conference for academic excellence.

For All-Academic consideration, member schools submit the names of players who meet the conference’s eligibility criteria. To be eligible, a player must have completed at least one academic year at their current institution, while holding a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 for all terms of the stipulated 2020-21 academic year.

The academic award winners from Nazareth were juniors Anibella BaronaDelaney CarleGabriella DeMeoElie FallierasNoelle GirouxStephanie KubisAbbey LuthHailey ReddersKeeley Rose and Nikolle VanStralen; sophomores Ali Fujiyoshi and Ally Watrous as well as freshmen Kate CascioMcKinley Hoff and Julia Holmes.

(Nazareth Women’s Hockey Photo)

Lockport Spokes Program

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Cornerstone CFCU Arena is proud to collaborate with eleven other area agencies and businesses to present Lockport Spokes to the community. Lockport Spokes is an after-school program for youth in 7th-12th grade. 

Starting September 20th, students are welcome to come to the arena from 3-6pm to spend time with other youth, work out in the training center with Coach Dorian Polk, ice skate, attend group activities from agencies like Youth Mentoring Services, WNY Girl Scouts, Cornell Cooperative Ext and more. 

Strategic games will be offered by Casual Dragon Games. A comic book club will be hosted by Pulp 716. The cost is $5 per week and includes daily snack and beverage for each participant. 

Additional Spokes offerings will take place at The Historic Palace Theatre, The Salvation Army and The Challenger Learning Center. Detailed information will be forth coming. This is a drop-in program with no obligations. 

Our goal is to provide a safe after-school alternative for the youth in our community while providing opportunities to try new things.