Anjelica Diffendal - Standing Tall in Her Second Season

by Gavin Watson

Anjelica Diffendal is a 6-foot forward for the Beauts and one of the team’s most accomplished players in only her second season. The Beauts drafted Diffendal 7th overall in the 2021 Premier Hockey Federation Draft and she made an immediate impact.

“I think the skill and level of the game is much faster in the PHF than it was in college,” Diffendal said. “The girls are more skilled”.

The change from college to the PHF was hard to tell as Diffendal broke out to a strong start in her rookie campaign playing all 20 games while tallying six goals, four assists and 10 points. Her six goals tied for the Beauts team lead.

Her solid rookie performance also saw Diffendal named a finalist for the PHF’s annual Newcomer of the Year award.

“I was definitely shocked,” she said. “It was my first year in the league. It was a cool thing to have and be named as a finalist.”

Being a finalist for the Newcomer of the Year wasn’t the only accolade Diffendal received in her rookie season. She was also named to the 2022 PHF All-Star Showcase, which was hosted in Buffalo.

“I think it was a good confidence boost for me,” Diffendal said. “It was definitely exciting and I was honored. Especially since the showcase was in Buffalo.”

In the current 2022-23 PHF season, Diffendal has four assists through the Beauts’ first 14 games. She feels that speed is an important part of her game.

“It’s definitely one of my top attributes,” Diffendal said. “It doesn’t look like I’m moving cause I'm so big but I think my speed definitely helps me with my game and just spreading the ice”

So why does Diffendal wear number 24? The backstory comes from the fact that she is from the Pittsburgh area and grew up loving the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins

“Growing up I used to like Matt Cooke who played for the Penguins and won the Stanley Cup with them. He was a tough, rugged player, and he wore 24 too. So once I went to college at RMU (Robert Morris University), I wanted to wear it as well and because it was available.”

The Pennsylvania natives' community ties run deep. The forward along with fellow teammates Amy Budde and Jenna Soukko got involved in this year's FeedMore WNY campaign.

“We're very privileged in being able to play hockey and some people aren’t as fortunate,” said Diffendal. “Giving back is something I like to do and feel is very important.”

The Beauts next game is on the road when they face the Toronto Six on February 4th at 2:00pm EST at Canlan Ice Sports – York arena in Toronto.