BY RANDY SCHULTZ –Meghan Fonfara feels that she has come full circle in her hockey career. Following an athletic career at Iroquois High School that saw Fonfara letter in four different sports including girls ice hockey, it was on the Elmira College where the talented forward played four more years of women’s hockey.
Today, with her college days behind her, the 22 year-old Elma NY native is back in Western New York looking to play pro hockey with the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League.
While she is listed on the Beauts training camp roster, Fonfara is listed as an invitee to camp. She is hoping to stick with the team once training camp breaks.
“I’m really excited, but I don’t know what to expect,” said Fonfara. “They had me playing defense the first day. I really have never played the position before.
“I’m not sure if I’m staying there. All I know is that I’m excited to be here.”
Fonfara admits that first day of practice had its moments.
“It was a little shaky in the beginning,” remarked Fonfara, who also played her youth hockey with the Buffalo Bisons organization. “I’m getting to know the rest of the girls on the team.”
How does it feel to be back in Western New York?
“It feels great to be home,” stated Fonfara. “I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario. Playing for the hometown team with the family being able to come out and watch
“And the fans seem to be pretty awesome here.”
Does Fonfara feel like a pioneer of sorts?
“A little bit,” answered Fonfara, who began playing hockey when she was three. “I was with a new team or sorts when I was in high school. Now I’m with a relatively new team here in Buffalo with the Beauts.
“The talent here is exciting to play with. I’m playing with Olympians and players who have played for D1 teams from all over the country.
“I know I could have played with some other teams. But I wanted to come back to Buffalo and Western New York.”
For now, Fonfara hopes the Beauts invitation will lead to a new chapter in her hockey life.
“I’m looking forward to this opportunity and I plan to make the most of it.”
(Photo by Janet Schultz)