It’s been a very exciting end of the 2017 season for the Buffalo Beauts, and for a handful of players, the elation just keeps growing. Prior to the news that the Pegula family had purchased the Beauts, the league announced a set of exhibition games against Team USA as a final primer for Pyeongchang. Today, we learned that the Beauts will be heavily represented at the friendlies, with forwards Corinne Buie. Jess Jones, and Hayley Scamurra all getting the nod.
The roster was selected from the current active group of NWHL players by deputy commissioner Hayley Moore, with input from the league’s coaching staffs. “I got the call from Hayley [Moore] on the same day that the news broke about the new ownership, so it was a great set of Christmas presents,” Buie told 716 Sports Podcast on a phone interview.
Her linemate, Jess Jones, was equally excited to get the call. “It was awesome to be chosen. The game is going to be a lot of fun.”
Both Buie and Jones have faced many of the players on the national team throughout their collegiate and professional careers. Buie is eager for the challenge ahead. “I’ve played with a lot of the girls, and against them as well. Facing this national team is probably the highest level of hockey I’ve ever gotten to play.”
Jones echoed her linemates’ sentiments; “It is really cool to be facing these players at the top of their game. Everyone wants the opportunity to show their skills against the best of the best, and these games are our chance to do just that,” Jones said.
The pair have spent a lot of time together, playing on the Beauts’ top line this season. Buie says Jones is, “super-skilled, and a great teammate.” She pointed out that Jones is starting to get hot, so this is the perfect time for her to get the chance to show the world what she’s got.
Jones was equally complimentary. She described Buie, ‘my right wing’ as, “a big forward with lots of speed and a cannon of a shot.”
Buie is a four-year veteran, and is blown away by the evolution of women’s hockey in just that short time. “I got to come home and watch some high school hockey over the holidays,” she explained. “Everything is growing super fast. I was amazed at the skills these young girls are developing. Every year, when we get fresh players out of college, they are always a step above the last. It really is amazing.”
Jones has just surpassed the 100 game mark in her professional career, and marveled at the growth her sport has experienced in that time. “When I began, there was no all-star game [for our league.] Getting the chance to play at the ACC the following season was huge. The stage just keeps growing – from a men’s hockey arena, now to the international spotlight. It’s really exciting.”
“This is great exposure for the league,” Buie added. “It’s going to be fun for fans to watch, and I’m excited to help this league grow.”
The storylines that have developed over the last week are an incredible bookend to what was an already amazing 2017 for the Buffalo Beauts. After a Cinderalla run to the Isobel Cup, the players joined in solidarity with their Team USA colleagues against USA Hockey, forcing the organization to recognize the inequity in their treatment of the athletes. The team became the first privately owned club in North American women’s hockey, and now they will take the ice against the potential gold-medal winners in the 2018 Olympic Games.
Closing out the conversation, Buie was clearly awestruck by everything that’s taken place in the last 360 days. “I’m so excited to play against the Olympic team. This is a memory I’ll have for the rest of my life.”