As a strong class of newcomers and rookies emerged as an essential theme in the 2022-23 PHF season, Summer Rae Dobson shone for the Buffalo Beauts. Finishing fourth in team scoring, appearing in all 24 games, she took on an added role as a face-off specialist.
Having played at the NCAA level with the Mercyhurst Lakers and Connecticut Huskies, Dobson, raised in Huntsville, Ontario, never missed a game, earning standing as an iron woman. Accumulating over 100 points, the talented forward is also regarded as a solid playmaker, highly dependable on special teams.
By season’s end, Dobson’s consistency and assiduous approach to the game gained her a celebrated place among the team’s award winners. Earning recognition with the Beauts Rookie of the Year Award, the feeling of jubilation enhanced the feeling of arrival as a professional.
“It was an honor to have won Rookie of the Year for the Beauts this season. As selected by my teammates, it gives me a great feeling of happiness that they see me as someone who has impacted the team being a first year professional.”
With the number 67 adorning the back of her jersey, Dobson made her Beauts debut on October 14, 2022, an exhibition game at American Dream versus the Metropolitan Riveters. Of note, the Beauts first win of the season, defeating the expansion Montreal Force on November 6 at Northtown Center, Dobson assisted on a second period goal by Allison Attea.
Although Dobson waited until December for her first professional goal, the wait proved well worth it. Assembling a brilliant performance, the exciting result of her first multi point effort proved highly rewarding.
Hosting the defending Isobel Cup champion Boston Beauts on December 11, a high scoring affair saw both teams combine for 12 goals. Taking advantage of a power play opportunity, Dobson found the back of the net in the third period. Scoring versus the eventual PHF Goaltender of the Year Corinne Schroeder, Mikyla Grant-Mentis and Antonia Matzka logged the assists on Dobson’s milestone goal. Earlier in the game, she assisted on a second period goal by Jenna Suokko, demonstrating playmaking ability. Despite the final score in Boston’s favor, Dobson and her fellow Beauts demonstrated they were capable of competing versus the league’s elite clubs.
Over the course of the last nine games of the season, Dobson logged points in five games, growing into a more prominent role on offense. Throughout the season, she recorded points in back-to-back games three times, Perhaps the most impressive metric involved recording at least one point in four of the five Beauts wins this season. Emerging as an impact player, Dobson simultaneously grew into a leadership role, her presence a key facet in the Beauts enjoying a highly respectable second half of the season.
“It is always important to lead on and off the ice when being part of a team. From day one, I made sure that every single day, I would work my hardest to set a good example. As the season progressed and I got more familiar with my teammates it was a smooth transition to speak up more and do everything it takes to make our team better.”
Although the Beauts did not earn a postseason berth, injuries derailing a highly promising season, there were no shortages of valiant efforts. A February sweep on the road versus the Minnesota Whitecaps provided a season highlight, including Samantha Ridgewell earning the Beauts only shutout of the season in a hard fought 1-0 triumph.
Finding a tremendous respect in her teammates, a great organizational culture made Dobson’s inaugural season highly enjoyable. With the milestone of the Beauts Rookie of the Year Award, the addition of hockey hardware provides momentum, simultaneously building confidence, the anticipation for next season bringing a tremendous sense of optimism.
“Even though it was not the way we wanted it to end, this season brought the team together through the ups and downs and made us a very close group. Buffalo is a great place to be and it is even better when you have the greatest support system of an organization. I met some great people on this team that I can truly call my friends for life.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated“