For one 28-year-old athlete, it was about moving forward and accepting new challenges. The Buffalo Beauts, one of the four inaugural teams in the National Women’s Hockey League, announced Wednesday, July 1 that they had signed their first player, former Robert Morris University Colonials goaltender Brianne McLaughlin.
More from Robert Morris University
- Big Week for Robert Morris University Colonials Athletics
- Three Rivers Classic: Hometown team RMU prevails, wins championship
- Three Rivers Classic: Robert Morris vs Penn State recap
- Three Rivers Classic preview: Robert Morris vs Penn State showdown
- Rodney Pryor, RMU guard, named Northeast Conference Player of the Week
McLaughlin, who graduated from Robert Morris in 2011, was between the pipes for RMU, a member of the College Hockey America conference, from 2005 to 2009. The 5-foot-8 goalie owns the NCAA record for career saves with 3,809, and retains the program’s record of saves per game at 31.74. During her final year, the Sheffield Village, Ohio native put up more than 50 saves in a single contest on four different occasions and was second in the CHA with a .909 save percentage.
Following the Colonials, McLaughlin was a member of the U.S. women’s national team, and helped bring home silver medals at the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver, and again in 2014 at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. She added two gold medals with Team USA as they defeated Canada at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Women’s Championships in 2011 and 2013. McLaughlin, who recently was a contestant on American Ninja Warrior, recorded silver medals at the 2012 IIHF World Women’s Championships and the 2014 Four Nations Cup.
Earlier in her career, the daughter of Brian and Susan McLaughlin was a member of the U.S. Women’s National U-22 Team for the Under-22 Series in 2008, and was a four-time participant of the USA Women’s National Festival from 2008-2011.
The NWHL 2015 Entry Draft was held Monday, June 20th in Boston, and Buffalo selected defenseman Courtney Burke from the University of Wisconsin Badgers, left wing Sarah Lefort of the Boston University Terriers, goaltender Amanda Leveille from the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, center Emily Janiga and right wing Jenna Dingeldein, both having played for the Mercyhurst University Lakers.
Handling the coaching chores in Buffalo are Shelly Looney, 43, who was a forward on Team USA when it won the gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics and the silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics. And, Ric Seiling, 57, who spent nine seasons as a right wing for the Buffalo Sabres and one season with the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL.
The other three teams playing with the Beauts under the care of Commissioner Dani Rylan in the league’s inaugural season are the Boston Pride, the Connecticut Whale, and the New York Riveters. The NWHL is the first women’s hockey league to pay its players. The season will set sail Saturday, October 17, 2015 and will conclude the following March with each squad playing a total of 18 contests.