Beauts Add Blueline Leadership

Photo from nwhl.com

Photo from nwhl.com

The Buffalo Beauts have solidified two of the nation’s top blueliners, the team announced on Monday, July 13th. Beauts GM Linda Mroz has signed former RIT captain Lindsay Grigg and Maine University captain Kelly MacDonald to contracts for the upcoming season, set to kick off here in Buffalo on October 11th.

Another goal for the RIT captain.  Photo from brantfordexpositor.ca

Another goal for the RIT captain. Photo from brantfordexpositor.ca

Grigg is known for her offensive prowess as much as her defensive abilities; during her junior and senior seasons, she played both forward and defense, and in her final campaign at RIT, managed 21 points in 38 games, which included the game winning goal for the College Hockey America Conference Championship. During her time at RIT, she played with current Beaut Erin Zach, where the two women helped lead the team to the conference title. In her junior year, Grigg took over 150 face-offs, winning 53.2%. This may seem like a silly statistic, but it could make for some interesting power-play strategies. Analytics often ties puck possession with face-off wins, and the ability for an additional player on the ice to excel at power plays could prove very useful to the Beauts this season. Her offensive capabilities are just the icing on the cake, as Grigg also led the country in blocked shots during her junior season with 127. Mroz told NWHL.co, “Lindsay was a standout defenseman at the Buffalo training camp. I noticed her straight away; she held the blue line during the scrimmage, unloaded her shot when the opportunity was there, played physical during drills and scrimmage, and exhibited poise and smarts.”

MacDonald’s defensive efficiency is evident in her time at Maine. In her junior season, she led the team with a +14 rating,

MacDonald is a strong, smart defenseman. Photo from Melissa Wade/USCHO

MacDonald is a strong, smart defenseman. Photo from Melissa Wade/USCHO

and appeared in all 34 games for the Black Bears. Elected captain in her senior year, her leadership shone on and off the ice, as she was named to the All-Academic team twice in her tenure and was a Maine Scholar Athlete Award winner. “To have the chance to compete against some of the best talent in the world again is an amazing opportunity. I look forward to the challenges and successes that are to come,” McDonald said to NWHL.co, “I feel very fortunate and excited to be a part of history in this inaugural season. This is a pivotal time for women’s hockey and I am honoured to have this opportunity to help grow the game. I am confident that the NWHL will emerge as the elite league for women’s hockey in the world.”

Mroz took note of Kelly when she attended camp here in May. “Kelly attended the Buffalo training camp and I was impressed with not only her drive, but her patience with the puck, her ability to see the ice, move the puck and get her shot to the net. Kelly will be a great addition to Buffalo.”

Grigg and MacDonald have the makings of a great number one d-pair. Lindsay is an incredibly talented two-way threat and will add to the offensive side whenever she is on the ice. MacDonald is a steady stay-at-home defenseman who is dependable in transition and solid when the rush comes the other way. Hockey teams dream of such a dynamic duo at the blue line, and Mroz has certainly begun constructing herself quite a team.

Hopefully, Grigg can help lead the team to a championship for her second time.  Photo from democratandchronicle.com

Hopefully, Grigg can help lead the team to a championship for her second time. Photo from democratandchronicle.com

Be sure to stay tuned as more signings come. This exciting, historical offseason is moving quickly – we’re just two weeks out from the International Development Camps and nearly one month from the end of free agency. Coming soon, as well, is the unveiling of the Beauts inaugural uniforms. There is no telling who might sign next, but Hockey Heaven is ready for the next citizen to lace up the skates and don the Black and White.

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