In the wake of the 2017 Isobel Cup championship, which represented the swan song for Buffalo Beauts heroines Brianne McLaughlin and Kelley Steadman, the result has been a very busy off-season. As the club looks to be the first in NWHL history to capture back-to-back Cup wins, a remarkable effort has involved reloading with significant star power.
Among such captivating acquisitions involves talented scorer Rebecca Vint, whose hockey heroics have involved thrilling performances on both sides of the border. Prior to her professional career, Vint rewrote numerous scoring records with the Robert Morris Colonials of the College Hockey America (CHA) conference.
Coincidentally, both McLaughlin and Steadman also hold a Colonials connection. McLaughlin graduated as the most accomplished goaltender in program history, while Steadman served in an administrative capacity, capturing the 2017 CHA championship.
Having spent the last two seasons competing professionally in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Vints consistency and solid playmaking abilities were also complemented by a strong sense of compassion, as she helped organize two hockey related fundraisers for cancer research. Such an amazing body of work also resulted in a cherished milestone, as Vint gained the opportunity to compete in an All-Star Game contested at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre last January.
Ready to contribute her skills for the 2017-18 campaign with the Beauts, it should result in a seamless transition for Vint. Of all the teams in the NWHL, the geographic proximity of Buffalo was definitely a key factor, as the Queen City is a stones throw away from Toronto. The fact that the club also holds the momentum of a championship and has a fan base of highly devoted fans certainly added luster to the decision to join the Beauts.
“Buffalo was my top option because of the location. It was the closest and easiest way to continue my pro hockey career south of the border while still being able to work. Having the opportunity to be part of the defending Isobel Cup Champs and defend the title is pretty awesome too!”
Having amassed 41 points, on the strength of 27 goals, in 43 games played during her two seasons of professional play in the GTA, Vint emerged as one of the cornerstones of the clubs offensive attack. In addition to being a finalist for the Rookie of the Year Award following the 2015-16 season, she helped to propel her club back into the postseason picture. With expectations of another championship in Buffalo, Vint will be counted upon to be a centerpiece of the Beauts offensive attack,
“I am looking forward to contributing any way I can, on and off the ice.”
As the season approaches, there will definitely be a major league feeling to Vint’s heralded arrival in Buffalo. Taking into account that the coaching staff features a pair of former Buffalo Sabres competitors, including Craig Muni, who won the Stanley Cup during the Edmonton Oilers halcyon days, along with goaltender Tom Draper, another new arrival for the 2017-18 season, it will heighten the sense of professionalism for an already strong team culture.
“I am really excited to meet my new team and coaching staff, it seems like there is a great team/coach atmosphere and I am ready to officially be a Beaut.”
Undoubtedly, a player of Vint’s caliber made her a highly sought after free agent. She is the kind of game-changing talent that any of the NWHL’s franchises would have been ecstatic to have on their roster. Adding to the euphoria of Vint’s acquisition is the fact that she shall be joined by two other teammates who also made their mark in the GTA.
Jess Jones, who called Steadman a teammate at the CHA level with the Mercyhurst Lakers from Erie, Pennsylvania, also joined Vint in the All-Star Game at Air Canada Centre. Having scored a hat trick at the Game, it was the kind of event that served as a coming-out party for Jones, establishing her as one of the premier forwards in the game.
With the strong on-ice chemistry between Jones and Vint, who were also linemates throughout the 2016-17 season, it will definitely provide the Beauts with the foundation to form a solid scoring line. Along with blueliner Sarah Edney, this tremendous triptych of talent all played together in the GTA.
As all of these tremendous acquisitions signify a new chapter for elite Canadian talent gracing NWHL ice, it may also represent a paradigm shift for the Beauts, placing themselves in position to emerge as a perpetual contender for the Isobel Cup for many seasons to come. Indubitably, Vint is euphoric at the possibilities that the upcoming campaign holds, with no ceiling to her amazing potential,
“I am very confident I can help the Beauts defend the Isobel cup, especially having my former liney Jess Jones and D-man Sarah Edney joining me. We are excited for what the Beauts future holds.”
All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated