Lando Closing in 100 Career PHF Games

by Jay Ashdown

After the All-Star break concludes, Beauts fans can continue to have a major event to look forward to when defender Elena Orlando reaches a career milestone - playing in her 100th career PHF regular-season game.

Orlando will join a very special group of players to accomplish this feat along with the Boston Pride’s Jillian Dempsey and Kaleigh Fratkin, and the Connecticut Whale’s Shannon Turner. Being a pioneer to the league is already an accomplishment as is but continuing to play through the years to get to this milestone is an incredible accomplishment.

“It’s really awesome, I’m super lucky to have been able to play since year one,” Orlando said. “It’s really exciting. It takes a different perspective to be able to see what we started with and how much the league has grown.”

Throughout her time in the league, Orlando has put together an outstanding career. In the league’s first year she was a member of the New York (Metropolitan) Riveters, played in 17 games, and posting an assist. After she finished her first season in the league, she would spend the next five seasons with the Connecticut Whale, playing in 72 games with them and posting six assists.

While Orlando does not rack up the goals or points, she has made a name for herself as one of the league’s better shutdown defenders and was even rewarded for her stellar play in the 2019-20 season by being named to the All-Star Game.  

This past offseason, Orlando switched things up and made Buffalo her third stop in the league by joining the Beauts. She has played in all nine games for the team this season and she is just two games away from an incredible career achievement.

“I didn’t realize how close I was,” Orlando said. “I think back to Season One when I was talking to my dad and I thought ‘Oh, maybe I’ll play another year and see how we go from there,’ and here I am seven years later still going and I’m just lucky to still be playing.”

When Orlando signed with the Beauts this past September, it came as a surprise to many hockey fans, as she had already announced her retirement on July 13. When the Beauts came calling, however, she had a change of heart and joined the team. It is a decision that ultimately will bring her to an incredible milestone that so many players dream of.

“They had a really good offseason in terms of signings, and I’ve known [General Manager] Nate [Oliver] for a very long time,” Orlando explained. “When I talked with him he told me what they’re trying to build and it’s something I wanted to be a part of.”

The Beauts will play a 2-game series at Minnesota this upcoming weekend before returning home to play a two-game set against the Metropolitan Riveters. Orlando is expected to achieve the 100-game plateau on Sunday, Feb. 6 against the Whitecaps.