BUFFALO – A member of the Austrian Women’s National Team – Antonia Matzka – has signed with the Buffalo Beauts for the 2022-23 Premier Hockey Federation season. The 5-foot-8, left-handed defender has played for her country’s national team since 2014. Matzka played her NCAA collegiate career with both Holy Cross and the University of Vermont. She graduated from Vermont earlier this month and will now begin her North American professional career in Buffalo.
“I decided to join the Beauts because of the supportive and welcoming environment I felt right from the beginning, from the entire organization,” said Matzka. “I am extremely excited to be part of such a competitive team and to develop as a player both on and off the ice this upcoming season. I can’t wait to be part of the Buffalo hockey community and play in front of the best fans.”
Matzka played 146 NCAA games – 32 of which came this past 2021-22 season for Vermont, with the previous 114 games all played for Holy Cross from which she transferred following the 2020-21 season. She totaled 10 goals, 30 assists, 40 points, and 80 penalty minutes during her NCAA career. Matzka served as a captain for Holy Cross during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. Her finest offensive season at the D1 level came in 2019-20 when she went 3-5-8 in 33 games, leading Crusaders blueliners in points and assists, and tying for the defender lead in goals.
“While Toni is very congenial off the ice, she plays a very hard-fought style of hockey on the ice and is very strong,” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “We really like her size and strength. Toni has great leadership skills and has been playing the game at a high level since she was quite young. We feel that she will add a great deal of strength and smarts to our back end.”
At the international stage, Matzka has played for Austria at four different Women’s U18 World Championships and six Women’s World Championships. She helped Team Austria to silver medals at the 2015 and 2017 IIHF Division 1A Women’s World Championships. She was named Austria’s Best Player at the U18s in 2015 and 2017 as well.
Matzka has played professional-level hockey since she was 13 years old in the European Women’s Hockey League (EWHL). She has played 28 EWHL regular-season games for EHV Sabres Wien, scoring a goal and 13 assists.
Having signed a 1-year contract with the Beauts, Matzka is now prepared to make her professional debut in North America. She feels that fans will enjoy her physical style of hockey.
“I am a physical and aggressive defender in our own end,” said Matzka, “but I also like to contribute offensively by joining the transition rush and shooting from the point. Some of my strong suits are puck possession and distributing the puck to my teammates on breakouts and regroups. I have a team-first mentality and hope to contribute to our team’s success in all situations.”