The Buffalo Beauts have announced the signing of the inaugural captain, 2017 Isobel Cup Champion, and 2018 gold medalist Emily Pfalzer.
The Buffalo native is fresh off her ESPY win for ‘Best Game,’ which refers to the shootout victory over Hockey Canada to secure the first gold medal for women’s hockey since 1998. She is a three-time IIHF World Champion, and was the first defender in Boston University history to reach 100 points in her NCAA career.
Pfalzer was a driving force behind Buffalo’s first two Isobel Cup appearances, scoring five points in five playoff games in 2016. The diminutive defender’s vision was key to the Beauts’ transition game through its first two seasons. The team depended on her speed and elusive puck-carrying to break into the offensive zone, which would allow for a needed change, and to set up for a solid cycle.
Pfalzer saw a lot of minutes in her two years in the NWHL. The league does not track time on ice, but anecdotally, there were many games that she would approach 30 minutes. As the ‘quarterback’ of the league’s leading power play unit through its first two years, much of her ice-time was on special teams, and she gave the Beauts a clear advantage in that regard. Her ability to move with the puck opened up a lot of space for shooters like Kelley Steadman and Megan Bozek, who would capitalize on the attention Pfalzer would draw.
The fourth 2018 Olympian to sign with the team, Pfalzer joins one of the strongest rosters in league history. It is clear that general manager Nik Fattey has his sights set on the Cup.
With mere weeks before training camp, the Beauts have only five roster spots remaining. Pfalzer is a huge signing for the club amidst whispers that she might not return. Surely, Fattey will continue to make impactful moves as the lineup begins to finalize.