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Megan Quinn Joins Syracuse Women’s Hockey As Asst. Coach

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Former Orange standout Megan Quinn ’18 is returning to the Syracuse program as an assistant coach. The Belleville, Ontario native brings three years of collegiate coaching experience and professional playing experience to the Orange bench. She was an assistant coach at SUNY Cortland for two seasons beginning in 2019 and at SUNY Oswego in 2021-22 and played professionally in the CWHL and the NWHL. She has also coached at the Toronto Furies Adult Skill Camps and the Syracuse Elite Hockey Camps.

“I could not be more excited to be back home in Orange,” Quinn said. “It’s a special feeling to return to my alma mater as an assistant coach. I am looking forward to coaching and mentoring the next generation of Syracuse women’s ice hockey players. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to return to the best university in the nation and looking forward to working with head coach Britni Smith and associate head coach Brendon Knight.”

Quinn joins the Orange staff after serving as an assistant coach at SUNY Oswego in 2021-22, where she helped guide the Lakers to a 16-8-1 mark. She was also a member of the Oswego Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and the Sporting Behavior Committee. She began her collegiate coaching career at Cortland in 2019-20, working with the Red Dragons for two seasons.

“I am pleased that Megan will be rejoining the program as an assistant coach,” Smith said. “Megan has experienced being part of this proud, tight-knit community. I am excited to see her passion for the school and the program come to life in her new role. Megan has the ability to connect with players and build relationships in order to provide the necessary tools and resources required to allow them to grow and be successful both on and off the ice. Her desire to help the student-athletes become the best versions of themselves will be a huge asset. Megan is a great addition to the staff, and we look forward to integrating her into our program.”

As a standout student-athlete at Syracuse, Quinn earned CHA Second Team honors as a sophomore and CHA All-Tournament Team recognition as a junior and senior. She played in 140 games, recording 43 points on 14 goals and 29 assists from 2014 to 2018. During her junior campaign, she led the Orange with a +19 mark, which is the second best single-season performance in program history, and tied for the third most goals by a Syracuse defenseman (11). Her 43 career points ranks 10th on Syracuse’s record list for points by a defenseman.

Quinn played professionally in the CWHL for the Toronto Furies during the 2018-19 season. She was also a member of Toronto Six for their inaugural NWHL season in 2019. She earned a B.S. in psychology and forensic science at Syracuse and her M.S. in community health at SUNY Cortland.

(Syracuse Women’s Hockey Photo)

2022 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival Being Held in Buffalo

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BY RANDY SCHULTZ –

The 2022 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival is being held all this week, August 9-13, in Buffalo at the LECOM Harborcenter. The 2022 U.S. Women’s World Championship Team, the U.S. Collegiate Select Team and the U.S. Under-18 Select Team will be named coming out of the Festival.

116 of the top women’s hockey players from across the U.S., including multiple-time Olympians, to collegiate stars, to the next generation of U18 players. The WWC team will then host precamp in Buffalo from August 14-17.

Five players with New York State connections will be trying out for the U18 team. They include: Annabella Fanale, Webster, NY and currently playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite team; Maggie Scannell, Wynanskill, NY and currently playing for Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

Three other players are trying out who are currently playing for NYS-based teams. They are: Megan Healy, Selects Academy; Peyton Compton, Selects Academy; Finley McCarthy, Selects Academy.

Ten NYS natives will be vying for spots on the WWC and CS teams including: Klara Zanon, Fairport; Sydney Bard, New Hartford; Emily Matheson, Buffalo; Natalie Buchbinder, Fairport; Maureen Murphy, Buffalo.

Emma Seitz, New York; Haley Winn, Rochester; Hayley Scamurra, Getzville; Aerin Frankel, Briarcliff Manor; Abbey Levy, Congers.

There are four players playing for NYS college’s or university’s including: Allyson Simpson, Colgate University; Rory Guilday, Cornell University; Gillis Frechette, Cornell University; Dominique Petrie, Clarkson University.

The final roster for all three teams will be named on Sunday, August 14.

RPI Men’s Hockey Has 11 Named to Krampade/AHCA All-American Scholars

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TROY, N.Y. – The American Hockey Coaches Association has announced the 2021-22 Krampade/AHCA Division I All-American Scholars from men’s hockey and 11 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athletes have been recognized.

RPI’s recipients include Anthony Baxter (Oakville, ON / UMass Lowell),  John Beaton (Stittsville, ON / Youngstown Phantoms), Zach Dubinsky (Highland Park, Illinois / Omaha Lancers), Mason Klee (Morrison, CO / Sioux Falls Stampede), Linden Marshall (Victoria, BC / Trail Smoke Eaters), Jakub Lacka (Bratislava, Slovakia / Central Illinois Flying Aces), Ottoville Leppanen (Espoo, Finland / Espoo Blues U20), Henri Schreifels (Newbury Park, CA / Victoria Grizzlies), Shane Sellar (Carlisle, PA / Dartmouth College), Lauri Sertti (Espoo, Finland / Amarillo Bulls) and Jack Watson (Toronto, ON / Coquitlam Express).

To be eligible for selection, a student-athlete must have a 3.6 GPA in both fall and spring semesters and play in at least 40% of the team’s games.

Rensselaer returns to the ice this fall, when it opens its 2022-23 schedule on October 1, with a scrimmage against Colgate University at the Houston Field House.

(RPI Men’s Hockey Photo)

Beauts Sign UNH Defender Truax To One-Year Deal

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BUFFALO – The Beauts have added former University of New Hampshire captain Maddie Truax to their 2022-23 team roster. The 23-year-old blueliner from Gardner, Massachusetts played five seasons for the UNH Wildcats. Truax’s deal with the Beauts is a single-year contract. Salary details will not be disclosed. Truax becomes the sixth player to join Buffalo for this Premier Hockey Federation season who has made the immediate jump from NCAA hockey to the professional level.

“I chose to play for the Beauts because of the supportive staff and the all-around positive team culture that surrounds the entire organization,” said Truax. “I am excited to be part of this team that promotes hard work and competitiveness. I cannot wait to begin the season and play with a great group of players.”

Truax played for UNH from 2017-18 through 2021-22. She served as an alternate captain for the 2020-21 season and then as team captain in 2021-22. Truax played 150 NCAA games for the Wildcats. She went 6-18-24 for scoring during that time and finished her career as a plus-6 for plus/minus. Truax led all UNH players with 79 blocked shots in 34 games during the recent 2021-22 season and finished seventh overall in the Hockey East conference.

“We love what Maddie brings on the defensive side of the puck,” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “Her shot-blocking capabilities are tremendous. A lot of great players have come out of the UNH program. We lost UNH alum Marie-Jo Pelletier to retirement this offseason, and I really believe that Maddie fills that gap for us in the defensive zone. As her assistant coach (and former PHF star) Sam Faber put it to me, ‘There is nothing (Maddie) wouldn’t do to win and better the team!’. Definitely a solid add for our team.”

On Nov. 19, 2021, Truax blocked eight shots in one game against nationally ranked Northeastern. She blocked at least one shot in each of her first 19 games of the 2021 -22 season, including multiple blocks in each of the first 10 contests. On Nov. 29 Truax was named Defensive Player of the Week by Hockey East. Prior to her time at UNH, she was an attendee for the USA National Development Inaugural 66 Camp and co-captained the Northern Cyclones NEWJHL Championship team in 2017.

A hard-nosed defender, Truax is ready to bring her rugged style of play to the Beauts organization.

“I am a hard-to-play-against, physical defender,” she said. “I will block shots, battle hard, and move the puck up ice at all costs. Although I am defensive-minded first, I do contribute offensively by joining the rush and shooting hard from the point. I look forward to showing both sides of my game at this level and hope to contribute to the team’s success in all situations.”

Fieseler To Return To Buffalo Beauts

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BUFFALO – Stay-at-home defender Samantha Fieseler is returning to the Beauts for the upcoming 2022-23 Premier Hockey Federation season. The Beauts and Fieseler came to terms on a single-year contract. Salary details will not be disclosed. The 25-year-old native of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada desired to re-sign with the Beauts because of the organization’s impact upon her professional career.

“I decided to return to Buffalo because I wanted to continue my professional hockey career in a good, hard­working environment,” said Fieseler. “This is the type of environment that the Beauts offer day in and day out.” 

Fieseler played in 18 of the Beauts’ 20 regular season games during the 2021 -22 season. She had three blocked shots and was responsible for five takeaways while primarily serving as part of the team’s third defense pairing. Fieseler’s first season in Buffalo was her third professionally. She was a member of the Metropolitan Riveters in 2020-21 and Göteborg HC (SDHL) in 2019-20.

The Beauts organization is excited to see what Fieseler can bring in her fourth campaign at the professional level.

“Sammy brings a lot of experience to our blue line even though she is still young in her pro career, ” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “She has a very strong build and is difficult to compete against in front of the net or along the boards. She’s hard-nosed and tough. We wanted to bring Sammy back because we know that she is a reliable defender and she brings the qualities of a great teammate that our organization desires.”

Fieseler played collegiately for Mercyhurst University (NCAA DI) from 2014-15 through 2018-19. In 138 career games she scored 15 goals, 23 assists and 38 points. Having re-signed with the Beauts, Fieseler is now reunited with her Mercyhurst teammates Emma Nuutinen and Summer-Rae Dobson.

Prior to her time at Mercyhurst, Fieseler was a member of Team Canada’s U18 Women’s National Team that won the gold medal in Budapest, Hungary at the 2014 IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship. Two of her teammates on that squad were current Beauts Jess Healey and Kassidy Sauvé. Fieseler recorded a pair of assists in five games – one of which came in the championship game against the USA which Canada won 5-1.

Primed to partake in her second season for Buffalo, Fieseler believes that the team has what it takes to get the job done.

“The Beauts are going to work hard on and off the ice and continue building solid team chemistry,” said Fieseler. “We want to bring the Isobel Cup home to Buffalo.”

Recapping NYS Women’s Ice Hockey

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By Janet Schultz, NYHOL

After a summer break from the world of ice hockey, it’s time to prepare for the 2022-23 season with a look at what has happened and when teams will be hitting the ice.

First up is a quick capsule of collegiate women’s ice hockey so you can prepare your calendars for the home openers. We also have some new teams coming in this season.

WEST SECTION

Rochester Institute of Technology

Sarah Coe was named Goaltender of the Year for the CHA after getting RIT to the semi-finals against Syracuse, where they lost 3-2 in overtime.

Jordan Marchese took home the Stephen Walls Leadership Award and Coe was named All Rookie.

RIT said farewell to Seniors Taylor Sims, Abby Davis and Marchese.

Celeste Brown enters her third season as head coach when the Tigers hit the ice for an exhibition series on September 23 and 24. Their home opener is October 7 and 8 against St. Michaels.

Nazareth

Ending the season 27-2-0 and bidding a fond farewell to Seniors Maria diCresce, Nikolle Van Stralen (Bloomfield NY), Stephanie Kubis (Syracuse), Madison Nichols (who just signed with the Buffalo Beauts), Gabriella DeMeo (Hamburg), Kyla Thompson, Elie Fallieras, Cristina Darby (Saratoga Springs), Abbey Luth, Harlay Redders, Delaney Carle, Keeley Rose (Clayton), Adriann Brehm and Noelle Girorih.

Head Coach Chris Baudo has been coaching since the Inaugural Season in 2018. He and the team are back on the ice against William Smith for an exhibition game on Sunday, Oct. 16 in Geneva. Their home opener is scheduled for November 4 against Chatham at Bill Gray’s Iceplex.

Buffalo State

Rachel Grampp, long-time assistant coach for the Bengals, was named Interim Head Coach and then Head Coach of the Buffalo State Women’s Ice Hockey Team this season. The announcment came three games into the season. Grampp is a WNY native coming from the Williamsville Girls Ice Hockey Team of the WNYGVIH Federaton and then from Elmira College.

Not a great season in the record books, going 1-23-1 but with only three graduates, the team is looking forward to the upcoming season. They will be without Seniors Angelina Cruzal, Tori Fadeley and Rianna Schacker.

One historic note for this season: Sarah Jackson, a native of Niagara Falls who played for the NIagra Falls Rapids, scored her first collegiate goal on February 19 at Plattsburgh.

At the time of this posting, the Bengals schedule was not available.

University of Buffalo

The UB women’s ice hockey team has named their officers for 2022-23. Carlee Foley will serve as President; Izzy Battaglia, vice president; Emily Matthew, treasurer ad Sam Czora, Secretary.

Niagara University

Niagara will be having a women’s ice hockey team this season. The team will be playing in the ACHA D2 and will be coached by Anna Quattro, a WNY native who played in several teams in the Buffalo area. Ashley Beebe will be associate coach. The Purple Eagles will hit the ice October 1 at SUNY Brockport followed by a home opener on October 16 against SUNY Oswego at 2 p.m. at Dwyer Arena. Their next game will be at the West Virginia University arena on October 21 at 9:30 p.m. Contact annaquattro13@gmail.com for more information.

Hilbert College

Hilbert College has added a women’s ice hockey team to its sports lineup. Serving as coach will be Cole Klubek. Klubek brings a vast athletics background to Hilbert, much of it coaching hockey at various levels. 

Klubek, a Hamburg High School graduate, is currently the Hockey Director at Kendall Ice Arena in Miami Fla. As Hockey Director, he manages practice and game plans, new player recruitment, budgeting, USA Hockey compliance, and coaching. Prior to Miami, Klubek served as the head coach of the Laramie Outlaws (14U) in Laramie, Wyoming. He spent his years after high school in the United States Air Force. As a result, Klubek moved around quite a bit, but one thing always remained constant, he was involved in athletics. It started in 2008 in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he began coaching youth in-line hockey before being deployed to Iraq in October 2010. When he returned from Iraq, he would be stationed in Mississippi and he got involved with the Mississippi State University ice hockey program.  The club program was about to fold, but Klubek jumped at the opportunity and helped recruit some more players and revitalized the program. After about two and a half years, Klubek was on the move again and headed to Germany. During his stint in Germany, Klubek served as the head coach of a professional women’s hockey team – Maddogs Mannheim. Klubek enrolled at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in January 2018 and earned his Bachelor of Arts in English in May 2020. While at Lincoln, he served as a two-year captain as punter/kicker on the NCAA Division II football team.

Klubek has named Maddie Norton and Seth Van Voorhis assistant coaches. 

Norton is a familiar name in the WNY area as a former player with LID of the WNYGVIH Federation, then on to the University of Buffalo and most recently as owner of Maddie Norton Sports Performance and Hockey Development, working with hockey players in building their skills at all levels. 

Voohis brings 12 years of hockey coaching experience to the Hawks with stops at both the collegiate and high school levels. Most recently Van Voorhis was the associate head coach for the University at Buffalo men’s ACHA D1 program. Previously he coached with West Seneca East High School, Orchard Park High School, the Southtowns Stars, Dippin’ Dots youth hockey, and the Center State Stampede. Additionally, he was the video replay coordinator for Colgate University’s men’s and women’s hockey program. Van Voorhis is a member of the NHLCA BIPOC Coaches Program.

Hilbert will open their inaugural season with two games against the North York Storm at Leisure Rinks on October 14 and 15. They then faceoff against Alvernia College in Pennsylvania on October 28. 

They will be focusing on joining the NCAA as a DIII team.

CENTRAL NEW YORK

William Smith

The 2022-23 season kicks off on October 16 with a exhibition game against Nazareth College on home ice. Season opener will be at Morrisville on October 29 followed by the home opener the following night against Morrisville.

William Smith said good-bye to five seniors: Emily Martino, Mary Kate Martino, Taylor Ettore, Anna Krajewski and Amanda Aalto.

Matt Cunningham completed his first year as Head Coach and is the third coach in the history of the program. In its first year in the New England Hockey Conference they lost 4-0 to Elmira in the semis of the championship playoff series.

Utica

Coming off a 21-6-0 season the Utica Pioneers will open at home on October 23 against Norwich.

They will be without Seniors Caley Susitti, and Sirena Fitzery (Hamburg), Lindsay Winter, Savannah Gutierrez, Georgiana Santullo, and Rebecca Brown.

Syracuse

Victoria Klimek, class of ‘22, has signed a pro contract with the Lehsands IF Swedish Ice Hockey.

Syracuse went 15-11-6 this past season and bid farewell to Seniors Shelby Calof, Lauren Bellefontaine, Abby Moloughney and Arielle Desmet.

They also bid farewell to the only coach of the team, Paul Flanaghan, who retired at the end of the season with one finale accolade, being named the CCHA Coach of the Year for 2022. He spent 23 years as head coach posting a 204-225-49 record at Syracuse. Flanaghan had 2 NCAA Tournament appearances, 2 CHA Tournament Championships and 1 CHA Regular Season Championship. He was 2001 ACHA Coach of the Year; had his 400th win on January 18, 2020 and is the seventh college coach to achieve that record.

Britini Smith has been named the new Head Coach of the Orange. Britni has been at Clarkson for 8 seasons, during that time the former St. Lawrence University standout has played a vital role in helping Clarkson post 207 victories, three ECAC Hockey regular season titles, three conference tournament crowns, seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, showings in four Frozen Fours and back-to-back NCAA National Championships (2017, 2018).

Smith has plenty of coaching experience with Hockey Canada. The Port Perry, Ont. native has been an assistant coach with the Women’s Development Team (2018-19), acted as an assistant coach at the U-18 2016 IIHF World Championships, helping to guide Canada to a silver-medal showing and was camp coach for the 2014 National Development Team.

She served two seasons as a top assistant coach at the University of Toronto (2012-14), helping lead the Varsity Blues to a 21-9 overall record, including a 17-6 CIS mark in 2013-14 prior to coming to Clarkson.

An all-star defenseman for St. Lawrence, Smith played in 146 games for the Saints (2006-10) and accumulated 74 points on 20 goals and 54 assists from the blueline. As a senior, she was named a Top-10 finalist for the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Smith tallied the third-most points in the country by a defenseman in 2009-10, recording eight goals and 17 assists. She also gained Second Team All-ECAC Hockey honors in her junior and senior years and was a three-time conference All-Academic Team member.

Smith played professionally in the CWHL for the Toronto Furies from 2010-14, serving as captain for the 2014 CWHL Champions. She also played for Hockey Canada’s U-22 National Team from 2006-10.

Morrisville

They closed out their season with a loss against Potsdam and a 6-16-1 record. Sierra Voeller is the only player to graduate this season, bringing back an almost full roster of experienced players. 

Oswego

Coach Mark Digby was named for the 2019-20 season and has managed to coach the Lakers to a 16-8-1 record last season. 

Graduating this season are Chyne Kennedy, Taylor Hudon (Alexandria Bay), Philomena Teggart, Aislinn McAleer

Cortland upset the Lakers 1-0 in overtime of the NEWHL semis; ending Oswego’s season. Brooke McArdl

Elmira

With a 25-4-1 record the Soaring Eagles graduated Jenny Heath, Morgan Mordini, Brianna Haviland, Mary McCafferty, Brooke McArdle and Elya Beaudin. 

Cortland

Congratulations to Seniors Ally Stout, Kirsten MacDowell, Quinn Metcalf (Churchville), Emily Kromer (Angola), Lindsay Reyes, Johna Ezzard, Amanda Gaffney (Williamsville), Emily Steen and Katelyn Kantor. Head Coach Rick Filighera was named the 2022 CCM/American Hockey Coaches Association NCAA DIII Coach of the Year along with his assistant coaches John Briggs, Natalie DiMeglio and Chelsea Allain, being named Staff of the Year. 

Cortland dropped their last regular season game to Canton but had already secured a place in the NEWHL playoffs. They beat Oswego 1-0 in overtime to move on to the finals where Plattsburgh scored 57 seconds into overtime to take the championship from Cortland 4-3.

EASTERN NEW YORK

Manhattanville

Seniors Tia Martignetti, Holly Meredith (Saratoga Springs), Kerry Carr (New Hartford), Taylor Ham (Saugerties), Laney Nash, Ana Tittmann helped Manhattanville to move to the champions where they were defeated by #1 Nazareth in the UCHC finals. Morgan Miller was named UCHC Defense Player of the Year.

Union

Coach Josh Sciba was named to the 2022 USA Women’s National Team coaching staff. He will join Head Coach John Wroblewski and Assistant Coach Shelley Looney on the bench for the Women’s Worlds in August.

Union will open their 2022-23 season September 23 and 24 in New Hampshire and then face RIT as their home opener on October 21.

Congratulations to Seniors Grace Herting, Katie Sonntag, Cassidy Michalicka and Maia Martinez.

RPI

Coming off a 9-23-0 overall season, RPI will play the Montreal Carabins, St.Cloud University, Boston University and Providence before opening at home against Mercyhurst on October 14 at 3 p.m.

They lost four to graduation with Delaney Weiss, Emma Hicks, Lilli Friis-Hansen and Mikayla 

Capelle.

NORTHERN NEW YORK

Potsdam

Potsdam lost in the NEWHL semi-finals to SUNY Plattsburg 8-0 after a 9-15-1 season.

They lost three players to graduation…Ellie Cleary (Buffalo/Buffalo Bisons), MaKenzie Martin (Potsdam/Potsdam High School) and Stephanie Dunlap.

Potsdam will open their season right off with NEWHL competitors Oswego on November 4 and Buffalo State on November 5, both on home ice in Maxcy Arena.

Plattsburgh

The Cardinals ended their season 26-3-1 and with a 3-2 victory over SUNY Elmira in the third place game of the NCAA DIII Tournament.

It was also the end of collegiate careers for Seniors Holly Schmelzer (East Amherst/NJPE/Williamsville HS), Sierra Benjamin, Nicole Unsworth, Sara Krauseneck, Emma Killeen and Taylor Whitney. It was also the last game for Graduate Students Kaitlin Drew-Mead (Niagara Falls/Buffalo Bisons/Monsignor Martin WNYGVIH) Erin McArdle and Annie Katonka.

Plattsburgh will open with exhibition games against St. Michaels and then open the NEWHL season at Morrisville on November 4 and 5 before returning for their home opener vs Potsdam on November 11.

A note…Assistant Coach Julia Duquette is in her fourth season and is a familiar name to WNY as she played with Monsignor Martin of the WNYGVIH Federation and also coached with Bishop Kearney in Rochester. She also played for Plattsburgh.

Clarkson

Clarkson closed out the 21-22 season with a 22-12-3 record. They lost the ECAC Quarterfinal match to Quinnipiac, winning only one of the best of 3 series. In the NCAA quarters they lost 3-1 to the University of Wisconsin.

The Golden Knights bid farewell to Seniors Olivia Hanson, Morgan Helgeson, and Miranda Gaudet, as well as Graduate Students Caitrin Lonergan, Kristina Schuler and Amanda Zeglen.

The team will pen the 2022-23 season at Sacred Heart on September 23 and 24 and then host their home opener on September 30 and Oct. 1 against Bemidji State.

Alum Britini Smith has been named Head Coach for the Syracuse Women’s Ice Hockey team, replacing her former coach Paul Flanaghan, who retired.

St. Lawrence

With two losses to Yale in the ECAC Quarters, St. Lawrence went 15-15-7 on the season. They graduated Grace Smith of Ithaca, Claire Duley, Stephanie Voge, Fristen Guerrjero and Jamie Rainwell, as well as graduate students Jessica Poirier, Brittany Gout, Skyler Polver and Nara Elia.

The Saints will open the 2022-23 season at Colgate on September 18 before returning for their home opener against the University of Minnesota at Duluth on September 27.

Canton

The Roos had their best start in program history and tied the program record for the most regular season wins and fell one victory short of the all-time wins record. With a 13-10-1 season they bid farewell to Seniors Maggie Convery, Micahla MacIntyre and Klly Leathem.

The Roos will open the season with a double-header exhibition against Utica at home on October 21 and 22 and then officially open their NEWHL season against Buffalo State College on November 4 at 4 p.m.

NEWS AND NOTES

NY Hockey News

…Dawson Miletich is the recipient of the Bob Allen Scholarship. He plays for the Adirondack 46ers.

…Buffalo’s Eric Guzdek was named President of the NYSAHA and Linda “Groffy” Jenkins was named Secretary. John Ransom was re-elected treasurer and Joe Baudo was re-elected as a USAH Director.

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Around WNY…

The WNYGVIH Federation will begin their 13th season this Fall. Alden High School girls will be joining Lancaster/Ioquois/Depew to form one team. A new logo is coming.

..Morganne Dee was named Arcadia College Female Athlete of the Year. Dee played for LID of the WNYGVIH.

…Allison Greene of CASH was named Clarence High School Female Athlete of the Year.

…Ava Incorvaia was named Kenmore East Female Athlete of the Year and Carissa Buyea was named Kenmore West Female Athlete of the Year. 

…Jaclyn Supples was named West Seneca West Female Athlete of the Year.

…Maddie Norton, a former player in the WNYGVIH has been named assistant coach for the newly formed Hilbert College Women’s Ice Hockey Team. They will hit the ice this season.

…Sarah Waszielewicz has signed with the Lindenwood College Women’s Ice Hockey Team.

Bill Pavone (left) receives the first James Rusin Award for Contributions to the WNYGVIH Federation. (File Photo by Janet Schultz)

…Bill Pavone, a founder and continuing supporter (at every game) of the WNYGVIH Federation is the recipient of the NYSAA Award for Community Service. 

…Aizah Thompson was invited to and participated in the USA National Development Camp for women’s ice hockey.

…Former WNYGVIH player Erin Gehen has retired from the PHF Buffalo Beauts team to focus on her career as an associate director of athletics / volunteer assistant women’s ice hockey coach / compliance officer  at SUNY Elmira.

PLEASE send Janet Schultz (Janet@nyhockeyonline.com) all your women’s ice hockey news. Especially looking for for news on players native to New York State who may be playing at colleges/high schools/prep schools out of state. We will also share your tournmaent and special event information. Janet and Randy will be trying to get out to as many games as they can now that things are “bsck to normal.” We only made it to a couple collegiate games in the past two years.

Buffalo Beauts Sign Players for Upcoming Season: A summer recap!

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MacPherson Returns to Beauts for fourth season and as the 2022 Unsung Hero

Story and Photos by Janet Schultz, NYHOL

Buffalo Beauts

The Buffalo Beauts will kick-off their Eighth Season and call the Northtowns Center in Amherst home.   Over the past few months General Manager Nate Oliver and Head Coach Rhea Coad have been searching and signing players that will have an impact on the team and hopefully lead them to the Isabel Cup.

The Beauts most recent signing is Summer-Rae Dobson who just completed her collegiate career with the University of Connecticut Huskies and four seasons prior with the Mercyhurst University Lakers. She has inked a two-year deal with the Beauts. After 162 games played she has a 51-57 record for 108 points.

Here’s a recap of the signings over the summer:

Michaela Boyle has signed a one-year contract with the Beauts after completing her college career with Boston College. Boyle played five seasons in the NCAA with Clarkson, Robert Morris University and most recently Boston College. In 118 NCAA games she posted 38 goals and 25 assists.

Klienbach signs for second season

Veteran Forward Grace Klienbach has re-signed with the Buffalo Beauts for her second season and fifth in the PHF. She has been the recipient of two consecutive PHF Foundation Awards for her positive outreach in the community through hockey. She played in all 20 regular season games plus the single play-off game last season for the Beauts.

A premiere goaltender has been added to the roster with Kassidy Sauve from Finland’s HPK. She went undefeated for Finland in eight regular season games along with a 0.88 goals-against average and .964 save percentage.

The Beauts have signed Nazareth College stand-out Madi Nichols to a one-year contract. Nichols led the Golden Flyers in scoring for the past two seasons. She had 13 multipoint games in 2021-2022 with her best being a 5 point night against Neumann College with 2 goals and 3 assists.

Returning to the Beauts for a second season is Anjelica Diffendal, a seventh round draft pick in 2021 and the Rookie who led the Team in points and plus/minus last season. 

Autumn MacDougall returns for her third season after being selected in the 2020 draft as the 14th overall selection. MacDougall’s 14 points in 20 games were tops for the Beauts in both offensive categories this past season. She had a 7 game point streak in January and February when she had 8 points in seven consecutive Beauts games.

Winger Claudia Kepler, a proven scorer signed a two-year contract with the Beauts after having 3 goals on 13 shots last season. 

Cassidy MacPherson signed up for a fourth straight season with the Beauts and returns as the  Team’s 2022 Unsung Hero after a 6 goals/14 assists record in 5 games played. 

The Beauts made a big splash by signing two-time Olympian Emma Nuutinen to a one year contract. The Bronze medalist for Team Finland is a seven-time member of the Finnish Women’s National Team and is 2-1-3 for scoring in 12 Olympic contests between 2014 and 2018.

Antonia Matzka has signed on with the Beauts after playing on the Austrian National Women’s Team and graduating from the University of Vermont this past June. In addition to playing for the NCAA Catamounts, she  also played for the Holy Cross Crusaders and with the EWHL. During her NCAA career she posted 10 goals, 30 assists and 80 penalty minutes.

Jenna Suokko was the first Finnish player to register a point and score a goal in the PHF last season. The Winger is in her 12th season as a professional hockey player, her second in North America. Previously she played for Finland’s Naisten Liga where she scored 94 goals and 95 assists in 191 games. She also represented Finland at three different Women’s World U18 Championships. 

Allison Attea, a local favorite from the WNY area, has re-signed for a second season with the Beauts. She played 111 games with Holy Cross posting a 8-12 record for 20 points. She comes from the Monsignor Martin Team of the WNYGVIH Federation. Known as a stay-at-home defender, Attea led Holy Cross in blocks. She played in 16 of the 20 PHF games for the Beauts last season, out for four with an injury. 

Goaltender Lovisa Berndtsson has re-signed for her second year with Buffalo and 16th season as a professional hockey player. She previously played for the Swedish Women’s National Team for three seasons. Berndtsson tended the goal for the Beauts in 20 games last season.

Courtney Maud was the first signing from the 2022 graduating class, coming from Merrimack College where she was Team Captain. This will be her first season in the professional ranks after posting 19 goals and 23 assists in 145 NCAA games.

Mikyla Grant-Mentis, the reigning Most Valuable Player in the PHF is returning to Buffalo after a two-year gig in Toronto, after playing for Buffalo late in the 2019-29 season. She posted 13 goals and 17 assists in 19 games and finished the season as a solid +25 for plus/minus and averaged 1.58 points per game last season.

Jess Healey has signed on with the Beauts bringing a strong blue line addition to the team. She was one of the best defenders in Sweden’s SDHL through the 2021 season. She has signed a two-year deal with the Beauts.

Dominique Kremer returns to Buffalo with a two-year contract after leading the PHF in goals by a defender in 2021-22. Originally drafted by the Connecticut Whale, she has played her entire pro career with the Buffalo Beauts. She began playing professionally in Sweden. Her college career was with Merrimack College where she scored 15 goals, 41 assists in 138 NCAA games.

WNY’s Erin Gehen Retires from PHF Buffalo Beauts

Buffalo’s Erin Gehen informed the Beauts that she will be retiring after playing three seasons for the Beauts and serving as alternate captain last season. Gehen posted 8 goals and 9 assists after playing 45 regular season games. In the NCAA she scored 112 goals and 77 assists for 189 points in just 71 career games for Buffalo State College. She led the WNYGVIH Federation in scoring. She is continuing her career as Associate Director of Athletics for Elmira College and as a volunteer coach for their women’s ice hockey team.

The Buffalo Beauts named Jeff State an assistant coach. He is a native of Hamburg, NY.  He played three seasons of junior hockey with the Omaha Lancers and Dubuque Fighting Saints,  He also played for the OJHL Burlington Cougars and two seasons with Merrimack College. He finished his pro career after the 2007-08 season with the Elite Ice Hockey League’s Edinburgh Capitals in Scotland and the ECHL Elmira Jackals.

Several Buffalo Beauts were recipients of PHF awards this season including Elena Orlando and Dominique Kremer, with Orlando receiving the Denna Lang Award and Kremer named Defender of the Year. Cassidy Vinkle too a second star while Grace Klienbach received one of the PHF Foundation Awards.

Carly Jackson was named Goaltender of the Year and Angelica Diffendal was named Newcomer of the Year.

The PHF has appointed four-time Olympian gold medalist from the Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team Melody Davidson as director of League and Hockey Operations. A pioneer in women’s hockey, Davidson served as head coach with Cornell University’s women’s hockey team.

In the PHF:

…The PHF has expanded once more and welcomes Montreal to the League. The team will play in the upcoming season and is the seventh franchise in the PHF. Leadership for the new organization includes President Kevin Raphael and Vice President Emmanuel Anderson with a partnership agreement with Centre 21.02, a high performance hockey center.

Montreal’s team name and logo will be announced in the weeks to come, along with the naming of the coaching staff and roster. 

…Jim Pfeifer has been named PHF chief marketing officer after working with the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA where he served as vice president of corporate partnerships since 2019. 

…The PHF has announced a new salary disclosure policy that applies to all signed player contracts for this season. The policy gives players the option to allow for their salary to be disclosed publicly by their team and the PHF when signing a standard player agreement. A detailed press release can be found at the premierehockeyfederation.com website.

…The Minnesota Whitecaps are relocating from TRIA Arena to the Richfield Ice Arena in Richfield MN.

Wolves Sign Victor, NY Native and former Niagara U. player

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The Calder Cup champion Chicago Wolves announced they have signed defenseman David Farrance and forward Eric Cooley to Standard Player Contracts (SPC) for the 2022-23 season.

Farrance, 23, contributed 1 goal and 3 assists in 50 games for the Milwaukee Admirals last year during his first full professional season. The Rochester, New York native also earned 2 NHL games with the Nashville Predators during the 2020-21 season. Prior to turning pro, he produced 26 goals and 62 assists in four seasons at Boston University. He was named a Hobey Baker Award finalist during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

Eric Cooley

Cooley, 24, contributed 5 goals and 5 assists in 35 games for Ohio State University last year. The West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, native also spent four seasons at Niagara University, where he amassed 24 goals and 73 points in 130 games. He will make his professional debut this fall

Head coach Ryan Warsofsky’s Wolves start to defend their American Hockey League championship on Saturday, Oct. 15, when they host the Milwaukee Admirals in the season opener. Prior to the game, the Wolves will raise a 2022 Calder Cup championship banner to the Allstate Arena rafters.

(NHL.com photo and Niagara University Men’s Hockey Photo)

Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge Fundraising Tournament & Festival Returns July 30

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Ice hockey tournament supporting Golisano Children’s Hospital includes outdoor festival for the entire community, with live music, food trucks, and more

Fairport, N.Y. – Back for a second year, Rochester Jr. Americans, Rochester’s largest youth hockey organization, is hosting a fundraising tournament to benefit Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge and Golisano Children’s Hospital on Saturday, July 30, at Rochester Ice Center, 80 Lyndon Rd, Fairport.This year’s event includes an outdoor festival open to the entire community from noon to 8 p.m.

The outdoor festival will feature live music from Tommy Brunett Band, Begging Angels and the M80’s. There will also be food trucks, a beer tent, a used hockey equipment sale, and games. Attendees can bid on silent auction items that include a suite at an upcoming Rochester Americans or Rochester Knighthawks game, signed hockey items, PGA tickets and more. All proceeds will benefit Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge Foundation for Golisano Children’s Hospital.

In addition, the Jr. Amerks will host a 3v3 fundraising tournament indoors at Rochester Ice Center throughout the day. Over 200 Jr. Amerks players will participate in this 3v3 tournament, which includes games and the Jr. Amerks Slap Shot Challenge, where players will compete to win prizes for the hardest slap shot in each age division. Last year, the Jr. Amerks raised over $6,000 for Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge.

“Last year’s event was a big success for Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge, and we wanted to come back and make this year’s event bigger, better, and open to the entire community,” said Jennifer O’Donnell, one of the founders of Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge, and mother of Kyle O’Donnell. “This all started with our son Kyle’s vision and determination, and we hope this year’s event will get him closer to reaching his goal of helping Golisano Children’s Hospital improve the experience for both children and families who visit the hospital.”

Kyle O’Donnell, 17, is a former Jr. Amerks player who was diagnosed with pediatric cancer last year. He is undergoing treatment at Golisano Children’s Hospital, and started the Slap Shot Challenge as a way to support a health, fitness and well-being program for oncology patients and their families as they deal with the stress, pressure and anxiety of oncology treatments. Recently, Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge presented its first $10,000 check to Golisano Children’s Hospital. The proceeds will go toward updating the Hospital’s teen lounge. Kyle is a 2022 graduate of Fairport High School, with plans to attend Nazareth College in fall 2023.

Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge Tournament & Festival is sponsored by Wegmans, Rochester Ice Center, ADMAR, YEW!, Brand Specialties, Kona Ice, Doodle Bugs!, Rentals To Go, Ray Sands Glass, and Mr. Glass. For more information, visit www.jramerks.com/kylestournament or www.kylesslapshot.org

Beauts Sign Dobson To Two-Year Contract

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BUFFALO – The Buffalo Beauts have signed forward Summer-Rae Dobson to a 2-year contract for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 Premier Hockey Federation seasons. Dobson recently completed her NCAA career this past season with the University of Connecticut Huskies, following four prior seasons with the Mercyhurst University Lakers. The high-energy forward is primed to begin her professional career and to do so with Buffalo.

“I chose to play for the Buffalo Beauts because of the amazing culture they have built over the years in this league,” said Dobson “Right away after talking to the staff, I knew that this place was the best fit for me. The Beauts have always been a team with great work ethic and character, and it is an honor to now call Buffalo home.”

Dobson played 162 NCAA games in a 5-year collegiate career that was primarily played for Mercyhurst from the 2017-18 season through 2020-21. She would play her fifth and final season with UCONN during the recent 2021-22 campaign. Across her 162 games, Dobson scored 51 goals, 57 assists, and 108 points. 18 of her 51 goals came on the power play while 13 were game-winners. The Beauts sought to add her to make improvements in both special teams and finishing around the net. 

“We love Summer-Rae’s enthusiasm and her energy,” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “She is a very spirited player, and it comes across in her game. We are excited to reconnect Summer-Rae with Emma Nuutinen, as the two were linemates at Mercyhurst and made for a very potent duo. They have a real affinity for each other. But no matter who Summer-Rae is on a line with, she brings the same intensity every shift and plays a complete game. She can be that shot in the arm when you need a clutch goal –whether she’s scoring it herself or setting up a teammate.”

Dobson placed second on the Lakers in scoring for both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons just behind her linemate Nuutinen. She was named to the 2019-20 CHA All-Tournament Team while with Mercyhurst and helped the Lakers win the CHA title in both 2018 and 2020. With UCONN, Dobson tied for the team lead in goals with 13 tallies in 37 games last season. She never played an NCAA season in which she was a minus player.

She played for Ridley College preparatory school prior to beginning her collegiate career and served as team captain in 2016-17. Dobson was a member of the 2016 Team Ontario Blue U18’s national team for Canada.

Now Dobson is excited to show the Buffalo faithful what she can do.

“Beauts fans can expect a hard-working, 200-foot reliable player that will never give up,” she said. “I love playing on the offensive-side of the puck as well as protecting our own net. I love being part of a team and I always will put my teammates first. I cannot wait to play in front of the best fans in the league”.

RPI Men’s Hockey Announces Incoming Class

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TROY, N.Y. – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s hockey team will add 10 players to its roster for the 2022-23 season, C. Lloyd Bauer ’55 Endowed Men’s Varsity Ice Hockey Coach Dave Smith has announced. Four are from the United States and six are from Canada, while six are forwards, three are defensemen and one is a goaltender. Three of the newcomers are transfers.

“We are really excited about the addition of 10 new players to our program,” said Smith. “We have a mix of transfers and first-year players with a lot of hockey experience. Two of our objectives were to increase our team speed as well as our overall skill level. Coach [Chuck] Weber and Coach [Mathias] Lange have done a great job getting these high character players to RPI. Being a student-athlete at Rensselaer is a special experience that each of these men recognize and they will be positive contributors to our overall athletic and academic community. Our staff is excited to get started with this group.”

Below is the list of Rensselaer’s recruits with their 2021-22 statistics:

Carson Cherepak (6’0″, 161)
Goaltender from Winnipeg, Man. / Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
38 GP: 30-7 record – 2.21 goals against average – .921 save percentage

Nick Ardanaz (5’10”, 170)
Defenseman from Surrey, B.C. / West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL)
53 GP: 4 goals – 31 assists – 35 points

Max Smolinski (5’10”, 174)
Defenseman from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Fargo Force (USHL)
62 GP: 4 goals – 17 assists – 21 points

Nick Strom (6’0″, 185)
Defenseman from Dayton, Minn. / Western Michigan University (NCAA)
40 GP: 5 goals – 8 assists – 13 points (for Fargo Force in 2020-21)

Finn Brown (6’3″, 190)
Forward from North York, Ont. / Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL)
47 GP: 15 goals – 8 assists – 23 points

Brendan Budy (5’11”, 192)
Forward from Langley, B.C. / University of North Dakota (NCAA)
22 GP: 1 goals – 0 assists – 1 point

Danny Ciccarello (5’11”, 201)
Forward from Kirkland, Que. / Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL)
26 GP: 9 goals – 4 assists – 13 points

John Evans (5’10”, 161)
Forward from South Surrey, B.C. / West Kolowna Warriors (BCHL)
47 GP: 19 goals – 29 assists – 48 points

Austin Heidemann (6’0″, 190)
Forward from Maple Grove, Minn. / Mercyhurst University (NCAA)
38 GP: 12 goals – 16 assists – 28 points

Sutter Muzzatti (6’5″, 216)
Forward from Okemos, Mich. / Austin Bruins (NAHL)
50 GP: 12 goals – 34 assists – 46 points

The Engineers open their 2022-23 schedule on October 1, with a home scrimmage against Colgate University, before beginning regular season play on October 7 and 8, when they welcome Mercyhurst College to the Houston Field House for a two-game series.

August 8 is the 28th Annual RPI Men’s Hockey Golf Tournament at Shaker Ridge Country Club. Registration is available here.

(RPI Men’s Hockey Photo)

Potsdam Native Retires From USA Hockey Duties

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Hall has spent over four decades volunteering for USA Hockey.

Bill Hall grew up in the 1950s and ‘60s in the small town of Potsdam, N.Y., near Ottawa. He was 13 years old when his family got their first TV set, and he spent Saturday nights watching “Hockey Night in Canada.”

That started his love for hockey, and he became driven to help grow the sport in any way he could.”

“I grew up influenced by men and women who instilled in me the sense of volunteerism, which I didn’t realize until much later on,” Hall said.  

Hall’s first role as a USA Hockey volunteer dates back to 1978, when he was recruited to be a presenter to run a Level I coaching clinic.

That started a life of volunteering with USA Hockey. Hall retired from his USA Hockey duties in June following more than 30 years as a volunteer on the USA Hockey Board of Directors. He served as the board’s secretary since 2004. Upon his retirement, Hall received a President’s Award for his volunteer service to USA Hockey.

Hall served in various roles and committees within USA Hockey, including the Player Development Committee since 1992. He held leadership positions with the New York State Amateur Hockey Association from 1991-2004, Playing Rules Committee from 2004-22 and Player Development Committee from 2015-22.

He was placed into roles because he’s a “task master,” said Donna Guariglia, USA Hockey’s treasurer for seven years who’s known Hall for more than two decades and worked on a lot of the same committees together.

“You give him a job, start to finish he’ll complete it,” Guariglia said. “He’ll cover all the bases. He’ll make sure that we looked at every single possible scenario.”

Guariglia was always impressed with how much Hall cared about his USA Hockey roles and how he made players his No. 1 priority in any decision.

Hall said he’s proud of chairing the discussion and rules put forth by the Playing Rules Committee and making sure player safety was always at the forefront.

“I’m proud of the participation of all the members of the playing rules committee and addressing all those issues over the years, which included taking a real strong direction at strengthening the rules with regard to player safety and concentrating on that,” Hall said.

Hall also worked as a camp advisor at the National Junior Camp and was USA Hockey’s director in New York from 1991-2004. Hall’s coached at all levels of hockey from mites to juniors. In 1985, he was an assistant coach for the USA Hockey junior select team. His coaching led him into player development roles. He also chaired a body checking task force in 2010-11.

In his only paying gig in hockey, he was an off-ice official in the NHL from 1995-2010, working all the New York Islanders home games.

“And it didn’t pay much,” Hall said with a laugh.  

Hall’s main paying gig was being a Suffolk County (New York) police officer.  He even turned that into an opportunity to grow the game, as Hall was a volunteer with the Suffolk County Police Athletic League when it held Hockey for Free nights open to children 10-and-under at the local hockey rink.

“There’s nothing that brings people out more than ‘free,’ in my opinion,” Hall said.

USA Hockey later adopted the concept. Try Hockey for Free initiatives still happen across the country multiple times each year and a number of NHL teams have been involved.

What also sticks out to Guariglia is how Hall went out of his way to make anyone feel welcome. Hall certainly made her feel welcome as a woman serving on committees at USA Hockey, she said.

“He’s just genuinely one of the nicest people at USA Hockey,” Guariglia said. “I’m not sure you’re going to hear anybody have a bad thing to say about him.”

She saw Hall develop great relationships with young players coming up through the USA Hockey ranks. It wasn’t just about hockey for Hall; he wanted to help these kids become young men and go on to do great things, Guariglia said.

Over the years, as Hall encounters players he’s worked with and coached, many come up to thank him for his help. Some he’d see before their NHL games when he worked in the Islanders’ arena. It’s very rewarding to be a part of it all, Hall said.

“I was looking to become a better person by helping other people become better in their lives as well,” Hall said. “I guess that’s what I was trying to do all those years.”

Hall is still available to help USA Hockey, he said, but he stepped aside to let someone else be part of the conversations. He’s not going to stop watching hockey, and his support for USA Hockey will continue, too.

“I’ve been there [at USA Hockey] for a long time, and it’s always good to get somebody else’s outlook in there,” Hall said.

Having volunteers like Hall is important and getting harder to find, Guariglia said. USA Hockey will miss Hall in his committee roles because he looked “at the big picture and he had this world view of how USA Hockey should function,” she said.

As for those coaches from back home in Potsdam whom he played for as a kid, Hall said he thinks of them quite often.

“Those guys who coached me and ran those youth programs when I was growing up in Potsdam were probably the ones that influenced me the most to volunteer,” Hall said.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Beauts Add Michaela Boyle With One-Year Deal

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BUFFALO – The Buffalo Beauts have signed forward Michaela Boyle to a 1-year contract for the 2022-23 Premier Hockey Federation season. Boyle won the 2018 NCAA Championship as a freshman at Clarkson University and proceeded to assemble a stellar collegiate career. Having completed her NCAA eligibility following the 2021-22 season, she is excited to begin her professional career as a member of the Beauts.

“I chose to play for the Beauts because their team identity and culture aligned with what I was looking to become a part of,” said Boyle. “I am very excited as I take my first step into professional hockey.”

Boyle played 118 NCAA games in a 5-year collegiate career that included stops with Clarkson (2017-18, 2018-19), Robert Morris University (2019-20, 2020-21) and most recently Boston College (2021-22). The 5-foot-3 native of Reading, Massachusetts totaled 38 goals, 25 assists and 63 points within those 118 games. Her finest output came during the 2019 -20 season when she potted 22 goals in 36 games for the RMU Colonials. Her 22 tallies were eighth in the entire NCAA and she led all forwards with 11 goals on the power play that season.

“Michaela comes from well-established collegiate programs that have built their success by having a winning culture,” said Beauts head coach Rhea Coad. “Michaela is a skilled forward who has played with and against top-end players. She is always continuing to better herself on and off the ice. We are excited to see what she does and what she brings to our roster this season.” 

16 of Boyle’s 38 goals in college came on the power play – an area where the Beauts struggled this past season (.098 PP% for fifth place in the PHF) and are looking to improve. Boyle is a 4-time participant in USA Hockey National Development Camps (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). She skated with the Boston Pride during the 2021-22 PHF season as a practice player. Eager to become a pro player herself, Boyle is enthusiastic about the strides that the PHF continues to make.

“I am most excited to see how the league continues to grow and the caliber of hockey that is played each weekend,” said Boyle. “I think as each season passes the level of competition rises within the league and it is only going to get better and better.”

Draft Day Two With The Buffalo Sabres

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(Mats Lindgren with his press conference)

By Warren Kozireski —

MONTREAL — After their haul of three forwards in the first-round on day one of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, the Buffalo Sabres continued to stockpile prospects with eight more selections on day two. Five of those have played their junior hockey overseas and, as has become customary for the team, the last three hail from Sweden.

In the second round, the Sabres were the first to select a goaltender in NHL Central Scouting’s top-rated European-based goaltender, 6’5”, 233 lb. Topias Leinonen, who led Finland to a bronze medal at the 2022 Under-18 World Championship with a 3-2-0 record, a 2.61 GAA and a .897 save percentage.

“We fell like he’s just scratching the surface…we think he’s an athletic kid with a lot of upside and just a smart goalie,” Sabres Director of Amateur Scouting Jerry Forton said. “And I will add that there was a major gap on our list to the next goalie.”

Their third-round pick—74th overall—was Viktor Neuchev, a forward who scored 40 goals for Avto Yekaterinburg of the MHL in Russia last season and finished with 67 points in 61 games.

Buffalo went defense in the fourth round with Mats Lindgren of the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL. The offensive blueliner recorded 44 points in games last year and added seven assists in the 2022 WHL Playoffs to help Kamloops advance to the Western Conference Championship.

“It got a little antsy—you always see these lists and kind of where you’re projected, but I was sitting there waiting, but just hearing my name was tremendous and you get the feeling of happiness for all the work you put in all these years,” Lindgren said.

“I think in the playoffs I showed that I can play a two-way game and before the season I was more of an offensive defenseman, but I think I proved as the season went along that I can play both sides.”

Lindgren’s father, Mats played 387 NHL seasons with Edmonton, the New York Islanders and Vancouver,

In the fifth round, defenseman Vsevolod Komarov was the 134th overall pick. The 6’2”, 182 lb. Russian registered 19 points in 60 games for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL last year.  

Buffalo had two selections in both the sixth and seventh rounds and started with forward Jake Richard of the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. The University of Connecticut commit recorded 48 points in 56 games and was second among USHL rookies with 30 assists.

They then took Swedish forward Gustav Karlsson with their second selection of the sixth round. Karlsson scored 31 goals in 41 games for Orebro HK of the J20 league, which tied for second among all skaters. He finished the regular season with 48 points and added six points in five playoff games.

The Sabres stayed in Sweden with their final two selections. Joel Ratkovic Berndtsson was Buffalo’s first pick of the seventh round. He posted 22 goals and 49 points in 47 games for Frolunda’s junior team.

They used their final pick to select overage forward Linus Sjodin, who played 49 games in the SHL, recording 11 points in 49 games and added five goals in eight games with Rogle’s junior team.

“It was a big day for us; we had a plan and the work was done for a long time going into the draft, but as you get later in the rounds, I’m looking for passion…and I think we found that,” General Manager Kevyn Adams said.

(Sabres Photo By Koz)