An integral part of NWHL lore and gaining a place in hockey immortality as the only player to win the first two Isobel Cup championships, Corinne Buie returns for another season with the Buffalo Beauts experiencing a tremendous momentum. Considering that Western New York boasts one of the most loyal fan bases in American sport, Buie has quickly become a venerated fan favorite, gaining an important place amongst its sporting luminaries.
Testament to Buie’s local impact is highlighted by the fact that she was named team captain this season. Inheriting the role from Emily Pfalzer, it is a well-deserved honor, which represents an exciting new chapter for Buffalo’s place in women’s hockey history. Definitely, accepting said role with a combination of achievement and fulfillment, Buie is proud to represent both team and community:
“I feel honored to be chosen for the role and appreciate the opportunity. It means a lot! “
With an eventful preseason that involved the Beauts taking on the Chinese national women’s team, along with a unique “Battle of the Sexes”, challenging the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, Buie logged three total points over both contests. Recording an assist in a hard-fought 9-4 loss against the Jr. Sabres, Buie displayed her brilliance with an inspiring performance against China.
As China’s national team anticipates the 2022 Winter Games with tremendous optimism, taking on the role of host country, the squad enjoyed a 2-0 lead after one period of play. Rising to the occasion in the second period, Buie helped to shift the momentum into the Beauts favor. After Hayley Scamurra scored the Beauts’ first goal of the game at the 4:07 mark of the second, Buie followed it up with a game-tying goal at the 7:28 mark.
With the end of the second period resulting in the Beauts reclaiming the lead, as Canadian All-Star, and touted free agent acquisition, Sarah Edney put the biscuit in the basket, Buie would put the game out of reach in the third. Scoring her second goal of the game, while rookie sensation Taylor Accursi recorded her second assist of the game, adding an exciting new dimension to the Beauts’ offense in a 4-2 final.
Having led the Beauts in power play goals last season, Buie is quickly making her mark once again this season. Already emerging as one of the Beauts’ top scorers, she is also among the team leaders in shots on goal, constantly igniting the offensive attack for the defending Isobel Cup champions.
Such matches were prologue for the exhilaration to come. Prior to the opening faceoff for the Beauts home opener against the Boston Pride on November 11, the impact of the Isobel Cup reached its full realization. With a championship raised to the rafters, which also involved the return of Brianne McLaughlin to the Harbor Center, resulting in an approving roar of applause from the ecstatic crowd on-hand, the sense of celebration was complemented by the distribution of championship rings to its exultantly victorious players.
While the championship ring has become an obligatory component to commemorate victory in all facets of sporting competition, it takes on multiple functions too. From its perception as a status symbol to a cherished artifact, the rings certainly represent a significant success that symbolizes a key pinnacle in any athlete’s career.
For Buie, who scored in the Isobel Cup championship game against her former team, the banner ceremony and the reception of the ring rekindled such jubilant moments. As the Cup provided the Queen City with its first major hockey championship since the 1970 Calder Cup, to see the banner raised to the rafters provided Buie and her Beauts teammates with a heroic closure to such an unforgettable time,
“It was a great night! Ric (Seiling) did a nice job recounting our victory and paying tribute to all our fans, who continue to be so supportive. It was an awesome feeling to see the banner raised at Harbor Center in front of a great crowd, including a group of my friends and visiting family. The ring is really amazing, I love it.”
Emerging victorious in the 5-3 win on November 11 resulted in Buie peppering the Pride net with an impressive eight shots on net, creating countless scoring opportunities. Hitting her offensive stride in the defeat of the Pride, key contributor in the second period, along with new acquisition Rebecca Vint, they would gain the assists on a power play goal by Accursi.
Before the period would expire, Buie would also find the back of the net, providing the Beauts with a four goal cushion. Although the Pride would make it interesting, scoring thrice in the third period, Buie’s goal stood as the game-winner, a game which saw 10 different members of the Beauts record at least one point.
So far this season, Buie recorded at least one point on the power play during consecutive games, showing tremendous consistency on special teams, punishing opposing teams. More importantly, she has developed good chemistry with the Beauts’ prized acquisitions.
Considering the many new faces on the Beauts this season, the level of impressive talent shall be crucial in the defense of the Isobel Cup. As team captain, Buie observes the new-look roster with a sanguine approach, confident that the germinating harmony shall bloom into positive results,
“Yes, definitely. Even though we haven't been together that long, everybody gets along and we have a great time when we're together. We've only had one road trip but I'm looking forward to the next one. We have a highly skilled group of players and we have incredible depth.”
Another early season highlight involved competing in the first regular season neutral site game in league history. Challenging the new-look Metropolitan Riveters at the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex in Rochester, New York, the community has featured iconic teams in the American Hockey League and the NCAA, along with an outdoor women’s game several seasons ago that featured the RIT Tigers host the Clarkson Golden Knights, another proud program based in New York State.
As the innovative neutral site game represented the next step in the league’s evolution, introducing its exciting brand to an entirely new market, it allowed the distinguished competitors on both teams the treasured opportunity to be ambassadors.
In spite of a 6-2 loss against the Riveters, the match rekindled fond memories of another proud moment in her Buie’s NWHL career. Having graced the ice in the 2017 All-Star Game, the first professional women’s ice hockey game contested in the state of Pennsylvania, increasing awareness of the league, while meeting the fans add luster to her legacy as a memorable competitor for the Beauts.
“It was exciting to bring an NWHL game to Rochester and be part of Bauer's Fire on Ice hockey tournament. Rochester is a great hockey town! There was an energetic crowd and many girls’ hockey teams in attendance. It wasn't a typical game for us, but it was still a great experience overall. Tons of fans stayed for autographs and it was great meeting them and seeing their enthusiasm for women's professional hockey.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Images obtained from Twitter: @BuffaloBeauts