National Women’s Hockey League’s defending champions join Pegula Sports and Entertainment family
BUFFALO, N.Y. (December 21, 2017) --- Terry and Kim Pegula today announced that they have acquired the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League, furthering their commitment to advancing the game of hockey on all levels. Since purchasing the Sabres in 2011 and opening HarborCenter in 2014, the Pegulas have spearheaded the expansion of the Buffalo Junior Sabres youth hockey program, created the premier HarborCenter Cup youth hockey tournament series, and provided opportunities to multiple high school and collegiate programs, which has included hosting College Hockey America’s women’s tournament.
“We want to contribute to the growth of women’s hockey,” Kim Pegula said. “HarborCenter has allowed us to make a positive impact on the game at the amateur, high school and collegiate levels, and we believe this is the perfect time to expand our reach to include women’s professional hockey through the NWHL. This sport provides outstanding opportunities, and we are committed to helping extend those opportunities to females of all ages.”
The Beauts were founded as an original NWHL team when the league was created in 2015. After a strong push that ended in the finals of the NWHL’s inaugural season, the Beauts put together an exciting underdog playoff run last spring and upset the Boston Pride to win the 2017 Isobel Cup. Over the league’s first three seasons, the Beauts roster has included several Olympians, such as Getzville native Emily Pfalzer, Team USA captain Meghan Duggan, standout defender Megan Bozek, and goaltender Brianne McLaughlin. HarborCenter was also the site of the NWHL’s inaugural all-star weekend in 2016.
“This extraordinary commitment from Kim and Terry Pegula – a complete acquisition of one of our Founding Four teams by NHL owners – is a landmark moment for the NWHL, our players and fans, and women’s hockey,” said NWHL Founder and Commissioner Dani Rylan. “We thank Kim and Terry for believing in the Beauts and in the mission of our league to fuel the continued growth of our sport around the world. Supporters of women’s hockey should take enormous pride in this significant step for our game.”
The Beauts are the second NWHL team to become affiliated with an NHL franchise, following the Metropolitan Riveters, who formed a strategic alliance with the New Jersey Devils this summer. The Beauts currently sit at 3-4, second in the four-team NWHL. The team hosts four more home games following the league’s holiday break: Jan. 6 vs. Boston Pride, Jan. 20 vs. Connecticut Whale, Jan. 27 vs. the Pride, and Feb. 3 vs. the Riveters. Fans can buy tickets at nwhl.zone/tickets.
About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL)
Established in 2015, the NWHL became the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players and share in revenue from select apparel sales. The mission of the league is to promote and develop women’s hockey, increase participation and interest in the sport at all levels, and shine a light on the role models that fill the rosters of all of its clubs. The league is made up of the Founding Four: Boston Pride (2016 Isobel Cup champions), Buffalo Beauts (2017 champions), Connecticut Whale and Metropolitan Riveters, and will add more teams in the coming years. Prior to its third season in 2017-18, the NWHL signed a landmark contract with the New Jersey Devils, who became the first NHL team to form a long-term partnership with one of its clubs (Riveters). The league also has a global broadcast agreement with Twitter. For more information, please visit NWHL.zone and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @NWHL