BUFFALO – The Buffalo Beauts announced that they have signed the first overall selection in the 2021 NWHL International Draft. Swedish goaltender Lovisa Berndtsson is the newest player to don “Beauts Blue”. A veteran of 14 seasons of professional level hockey in Sweden – including nine in the SDHL – she will be playing her first pro season in North America, now at the age of 32.
“It means a lot to me and I’m very happy that the Beauts have given me this opportunity,” said Berndtsson. “After many years in Sweden, it will be a great experience to play in North America. I also look forward to getting to know the city of Buffalo. I feel extremely honored to represent the Buffalo Beauts this coming season and can’t wait to get the season started!”
Berndtsson’s career in Sweden saw her play primarily for Djurgårdens IF in the SDHL. She was the club’s main goaltender from 2015-16 through this past 2020-21 season. Berndtsson’s six seasons for Djurgårdens saw her compile a solid record of 92 wins in 150 regular season games. Her most key season came in 2016-17. Berndtsson went 17-10-0 in 27 regular season games, and put forth phenomenal numbers of a 1.77 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage. She was even better in the postseason – six victories and only a single loss, three shutouts, with a whopping 0.98 GAA and a .958 SV%. Such a performance culminated into Berndtsson and Djurgårdens winning the 2016-17 SDHL championship.
“I’m a calm goalie, so I hope to help spread calmness and stability within the team,” Berndtsson said. “I work a lot on having good positioning to make my game easier. I love to compete and hope the fans will notice all of this in my game.”
On the international stage, Berndtsson’s incredible 2016-17 performance would also see her named to Team Sweden for the 2017 Women’s World Championship. In an example of good things coming to those who wait and persevere, it was not until Berndtsson was 27 years old that she made her National Team debut.
“Lollo is extremely calm under pressure,” said Beauts General Manager Nate Oliver. “She is a proven champion in one of the finest hockey leagues in the world, and she has found a lot of success in her career all because of her hard work and determination. She is the epitome of an athlete who does not have an ounce of quit. With Lollo we know that we are getting a veteran number-one netminder whose experience can rub off on our two younger goalies, and she can step in to win us tight games when we need her to do so.”
Berndtsson herself is already looking forward to working alongside Buffalo’s two other highly talented goalies, Carly Jackson and Caty Flagg. It is an opportunity for all three netminders to play off of one another and build something special in Buffalo’s goal crease.
“I am really looking forward to working alongside CJ and Caty,” said Berndtsson. “I’ve only heard great things about them, and I can’t wait to get to know them both. I think we can all learn from each other and have a great season together.”