716 Sports Podcast is excited to announce Buffalo Beauts’ Director of Operations, Linda Groff-Mroz, will be contributing her behind-the-scenes perspective on the 2016-17 season.

Well it’s the beginning of a new week which only means my job has already started.  The boys woke up with fevers, as did I which means today is going to be a trying day. I have to get things done, catering to two sick kids and try not to fall over…the game must go on and so must I.

I’m so excited for this weekend of hockey. We are celebrating Halloween at the Beauts game, and it’s my favorite holiday.  I already know what I am wearing, I’ve cleared it with the boss. I still need to dress professionally, but I can have fun with it for sure…little devil that I am. 

Cooper is whining that his throat hurts, and Riley’s stomach hurts, nothing cures my kids like tea and toast.  It holds them off just so I can send a few emails about this week, checking in for my TO DO list, among other odds and ends around my house.  The boys are entertained by Dark Shadows (yes the vampire movie with Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins.)  It’s Halloween in our house and Halloween movies play the entire month of October.  Soup is on the stove for the boys, coffee is on for me, computer is open to emails…working, slowly, but working.

It’s the last week of field hockey for my varsity team, we have just 2 games left this week, so between answering emails for the Beauts and the game, emails about Sniper School at Custom Edge, emails about girls varsity hockey and emails about this week for field hockey, my eyeballs are on fire from reading so much mail.  Cooper is supposed to go to hockey today but that’s not going to happen, stay home from school, stay home from sports. Those are the rules.  Riley and Cooper are on separate couches under their “bus blankets” mema bought them – they needed bus blankets like mommy, just in case they get a chance to travel with the Beauts, they are ready for the bus.

Field hockey this week was unbelievable and I can’t believe the season is over already; it feels like we just started.  The varsity team finished undefeated 10-0-0, for the first time in school history.  My heart was full of joy when the final seconds of our last game counted down to “0” and the girls stormed the field.  It reminded me of last year during playoffs for the Beauts when we went onto the finals.  The work that these athletes put in day in and day out is remarkable and the benefits are displayed on the field and worth all my time and effort.

 I've got wise...

I've got wise...


My week went by faster than I had anticipated, and it’s game day.  I woke up at 6am because I had to teach a USA Hockey coaching clinic at UB, my eyes are burning because I’m so tired.  But, it’s game day! Halloween game day!  My bag for the rink is already packed and by the front door. I loaded up the snacks for the girls and packed the cooler with hummus, cheese sticks and yogurt.  Truck is packed and I’m off to UB.  Of course I mention that I’m the game day operations manager of the Beauts and it would be great to see all of these coaches at the game later today…it’s also Bills game against the Miami Dolphins…text messages, facebook messages and emails start pouring in around 830am from volunteers.

“Hi Linda, sorry for the short notice, but I won’t be able to make it today, I’m sick” or “Hi Linda, sorry I can’t volunteer today, I’m out of town” or “Sorry Linda, I’m not coming today because the Bills are on” – my anxiety starts to kick into high gear and panic mode sets in.  Desperate times call for desperate measures – I start texting everyone and anyone…I texted my varsity team and let them know they would receive community service hours if they could help me out, but all of them were busy and couldn’t make it.  Texted friends and family and all were either watching the Bills game, out of town or already had plans.  I called Ric to let him know the status for the game and he told me not to panic, he was going to call his boys to come and help.  And help they did.  We worked with what volunteers we had. 

The Ghostbusters are in the house!!!  So excited to have them here for the puck drop and hang out for the day.  I met Dan over the summer playing roller hockey and when I found out he was a Ghostbuster, it was a no-brainer to have him and his buddies at a Beauts game to drop the puck.  I even bribed his wife to come volunteer to sell chuck-a-pucks, that way she could take pictures of the puck drop and watch the game.  Many thanks to Dan and his wife Jen for helping me out, I still owe the two of them dinner…hope they like peanut butter and jelly.

Beauts are down 4 to 0 within the first 5 minutes of the game…seems to be fitting for today because everything that could have gone wrong has, but like the city of Buffalo, the Beauts are hard-working and battled back hard, just as I did for the remainder of the game. 

 Mess with Skeats, take a seat.

Mess with Skeats, take a seat.


We have a few weeks off due to the Four Nations cup, but that does not mean I get to rest…planning for November 12, 13, and 20 are already underway.  Trust me, you won’t want to miss a single game this month, the surprises we have in store, I’m so excited but I’m not giving anything away.  See you are the rink on November 12!