BUFFALO – Buffalo Beauts winger Claudia Kepler is returning to the team for two more seasons. The late-addition signing last season made an immediate impact for the Beauts during the 2021-22 Premier Hockey Federation season by scoring timely goals. Kepler is now back for the long haul.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be back in Buffalo for two more years,” said Kepler. “I’m looking forward to growing further as a person and as a player for the Beauts. I also can’t wait to be back with the fans again!”
Kepler scored three goals in eight regular-season games for Buffalo this past season. Her most notable contribution was tallying the game-winning goal in the Beauts’ 3-0 victory against the Toronto Six during the outdoor “Buffalo Believes Classic” game on Feb. 21. Kepler’s three goals came off of a mere 13 shots on net, and her .214 shooting percentage tied her for third-best in the PHF.
“We are glad to secure Claudia for both Season 8 and Season 9,” said Beauts assistant coach Julia DiTondo. “Her shooting ability and tenacity are key attributes that we were looking to reacquire. She had a clutch performance in the outdoor game last season, and we are eager to see what she can do in a full season. I know it’ll be exciting to watch her play.”
Kepler has been a proven scorer at all levels. She played the first three seasons of her collegiate career with Ohio State University before transferring to the University of Wisconsin to play her senior season. Kepler achieved double digits in goals in each of her four NCAA seasons. Her finest output came at Wisconsin when she scored 22 goals in 38 games and served as a team captain for the Badgers. At the completion of her collegiate career, Kepler had compiled 60 goals, 32 assists, and 92 points in 145 NCAA games.
At the professional level, Kepler signed with HV71 in Sweden’s SDHL for the 2018-19 season. There she finished tied for second on the team in goals (14-13-27 in 35 games). She moved onto China in 2019-20 where she played for KRS Vanke Rays Shenzhen in Russia’s women’s professional hockey league, the ЖХЛ. Kepler continued her scoring prowess going 8 -9-17 in 24 games and helped lead KRS to the championship over Ufa Agidel.
In addition to her scoring capability and previous championship success, Kepler feels that her character and mindset can continue to help the Beauts.
“As a player, I hope to continue bringing experience and positivity to the organization,” Kepler said. “I am also looking forward to bringing creativity, hard work, and fun onto the ice every day.”