Beauts Begin the 2022-23 PHF by Playing Host to Montreal
BUFFALO – The Buffalo Beauts open their eighth season in the Premier Hockey Federation by playing host to the league’s newest team for a pair of home games. The Montreal Force come to the Northtown Center – affectionally known as “Fort Beaut” – to face the Beauts on Saturday November 5 at 7pm EST and again on Sunday November 6 at 1pm. These will be the first two games of the 2022-23 PHF Season for both clubs.
“We are very excited to be part of hockey history as la Force de Montréal will play their inaugural regular season games in Buffalo,” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “We have been preparing for the Beauts’ first games of Season 8 since early-April, and it’s wild to believe that we are actually here.”
The Beauts lost all three of their preseason games – 5-1 and 2-0 losses to the Metropolitan Riveters on October 14 and 15 respectively, and a 7-1 loss to the Connecticut Whale on October 22. Despite the defeats, the team became better synchronized as each period went along. Numerous bright spots were found, including the power and craftiness of Emma Nuutinen, the feisty goaltending of Kassidy Sauvé, and the energy and drive of players like Grace Klienbach, Cassidy MacPherson, Summer-Rae Dobson and Jenna Suokko.
The Beauts hope that their boost in offensive output with the likes of Nuutinen and Mikyla Grant-Mentis, combined with returners Autumn MacDougall, Claudia Kepler and Anjelica Diffendal are enough to reverse the team’s fortunes from 2021-22 to 2022-23.
“I think we just need to come out fast and play with intensity,” said MacPherson. “If we do all the little things right and execute our systems well we will have success.”
The Beauts have six rookies on their current roster. Defenders Maddie Truax and Antonia Matkza, and forwards Dobson, Courtney Maud, Madi Nichols, and Michaela Boyle are all expected to make their professional debuts this weekend.
Even though they are the new kids on the block, Montreal will be far from pushovers for the Beauts. The Force have a variety of players who are all too well known to Buffalo.
Standout Montreal forward Brooke Stacey starred for the Beauts in both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons (8-9-17 in 20 career games as a Beaut) – she will be playing her first games at the Northtown Center since 2020 and is a former All-Star for the team. Current Beauts players Sauvé, Jess Healey and Samantha Fieseler won a gold medal alongside Stacey at the 2014 U18 Women’s World Championship with Team Canada.
Additionally, Montreal forward Sally Hoerr was a close consideration for Buffalo when she attended the team’s free agent camp in June 2022. Alyssa Holmes and Kristina Shanahan were teammates with Beauts defender Antonia Matzka at the University of Vermont. Samantha Isbell played with the Beauts’ Nuutinen, Dobson and Fieseler at Mercyhurst University. Catherine Daoust played with Beauts defender Healey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Meanwhile, Christine Deaudelin attended the Ontario Hockey Academy (OHA) with Beauts head coach Rhea Coad.
Still for many, these games will be the first opportunity to see the Force’s players firsthand.
“I have to say that I don’t know much about Montreal or have seen anything of their games before,” said Beauts goalie Lovisa Berndtsson, “but I think the most important thing for us is to focus on the details and stick to our game plan. Trust each other, play together as a strong unit, and enjoy the fact that we get to play on home-ice in front of our amazing fans again!”.
Berndtsson is the most veteran Beaut (she turns 34 in December) and has been playing at the professional level since she was 14 years old. She made 145 saves from the 166 shots she faced in her seven games last season. Berndtsson finished the 2021-22 campaign with a .886 save percentage and a 4.36 goals-against average.
Tickets for both Beauts games can be purchased at https://beauts.goigniter.com/. Sunday’s game is the Beauts’ “College Day”. College students can purchase tickets at the door for $12.00 when they present a valid college student ID. Everyone is encouraged to wear apparel of their favorite college or university to the game.
About the Buffalo Beauts
The Buffalo Beauts are a professional women's ice hockey team based in Buffalo, New York and competing in the Premier Hockey Federation (formerly the National Women’s Hockey League). The Beauts are one of the Founding Four teams that stepped on the ice in 2015 and the 2017 Isobel Cup Champions. The team is owned and operated by NLTT Hockey Ventures. Visit beauts.nwhl.zone to learn more.
About Premier Hockey Federation (PHF)
The PHF is the leading home of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and maintains the mission to provide strong role models and fuel the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup.
Contact: For media information, please contact Nate Oliver: firstname.lastname@example.org.