Beauts Kremer, Orlando, Vinkle and Klienbach 2022 PHF Award Winners
BUFFALO – Four 2021-22 Beauts players were recipients of major honors during the 2022 Premier Hockey Federation’s Awards Show earlier this evening. Defenders Dominique Kremer and Elena Orlando, as well as forwards Cassidy Vinkle and Grace Klienbach each were winners, while goaltender Carly Jackson (Goaltender of the Year) and rookie forward Anjelica Diffendal (Newcomer of the Year) were both finalists for their respective award categories.
“The Beauts are exceptionally proud of all of our award winners and nominees,” said Beauts GM Nate Oliver. “It is amazing to see Dom, Lando, Vink, and Grace each individually recognized for their tremendous work both on and off the ice. The awards bestowed upon our players are not only well deserved and celebratory, but they are also indicative of the culture we have built within the Beauts, the talent we possess, and our plans for the long haul to be a championship-winning hockey club. Surrounding ourselves with quality individuals is all part of achieving success, and Dom, Lando, Vink and Grace are some of the highest quality individuals that you could ever hope to meet.”
Kremer – an alternate captain for the Beauts – brought home the PHF’s Defender of the Year award. She was also a nominee for the league’s Most Valuable Player award. While playing in her second season for the Beauts, Kremer led the entire PHF in goals (6) by a defender while playing for the team that scored the least amount of goals in the league. Kremer tied for the Beauts team lead in goals (6). Her 11 points (6-5-11) placed her at fifth in the league for scoring amongst blueliners. Meanwhile, her 16 blocked shots during the regular season tied her for 10th among all skaters in the league. Kremer was selected to the 2022 PHF All- Star Showcase as well.
This year’s Denna Laing Award was given to Beauts blueliner Elena Orlando. This particular award (previously known as the Perseverance Award) goes to the player who most exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to her sport. It is named after Denna Laing, who won the league’s first Perseverance Award and played with the Boston Pride in the 2015 -16 season before suffering a serious injury.
The 2021-22 PHF season was Orlando’s seventh season in the league. An original player from the league’s inaugural season in 2015-16, Orlando played in her 100th career regular season game on Feb. 6, 2022. She has not missed a game since the 2016-17 season, and her consecutive game streak currently stands at 86 games (regular season and playoffs combined). The 2021-22 season was also Orlando’s first as a Buffalo Beaut, following five previous seasons with the Connecticut Whale and one for the Metropolitan Riveters.
Vinkle was voted the “Second Star” by PHF fans as one of the Fans’ 3 Stars award. Playing in her first PHF season, Vinkle was an alternate captain for the Beauts and one of the team’s top players. Playing in 19 of the team’s 20 regular season games, she went 3-4-7 in scoring. Vinkle also led the Beauts in shots on goal with 61. A physical and aggressive player, she also led the team in penalty minutes with 30. Vinkle was selected to the 2022 PHF All-Star Showcase too.
The Beauts third and final award winner for the night was veteran forward Grace Klienbach, who was Buffalo’s recipient of the PHF’s Foundation Award – an award that is annually bestowed upon a player from each of the league’s teams for being the individual most actively applying the core values of hockey to her community.
Klienbach won the award for the second season in a row but this time with a different team. Similarly to Orlando, Kleinbach played her first season with the Beauts in 2021-22 following three seasons with the Connecticut Whale. She won the award with the Whale in 2020-21.
On a daily basis, Klienbach develops youth hockey players alongside her husband Shane Morrissey and their 14/94 Hockey program. She coaches Philadelphia's Little Flyers U14 Tier 2 Girls and recently led the team to a national championship back on April 4. In honor of her receiving the Foundation Award, PHF sponsor Principal made a donation of $10,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware – a charity selected and supported by Klienbach.
It is worth noting that recently signed Beauts forward Mikyla Grant-Mentis was the “First Star” recipient for the Fans’ 3 Stars award, but accomplished this while still a member of the Toronto Six. Grant-Mentis signed with the Beauts on May 9, 2022.
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 hockeyin 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 annuallyfor the Isobel Cup.