Erin Zach signed last week with the Buffalo Beauts, one of four teams that make up the league. The season will start in October after a summer of tryout camps and training.
The Beauts are joined by the Boston Pride, the Connecticut Whale, and the New York Riveters. The plan is to expand with more teams across North America. Each team will host nine home games and play nine away games, with the season running until March.
“My goal for the inaugural season with Buffalo is to put on a good show for the fans, and get people to come back, game after game. It’s time for us to show what we can do and get people excited about coming to our games,” Zach said.
She started the sport at the age of 4, encouraged by her dad who also plays, but as a goalie. She grew up playing it in Kitchener before a three-year stint of junior hockey in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League for the Cambridge Fury, now rebranded as the Rivulettes.
“After my three years in Cambridge, I went on to play two years of Division III hockey and two years of Division I hockey at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. While playing for RIT, we won the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship and the 2014 Division I College Hockey America Conference Championship,” Zach said.
She finished her senior year at RIT with a career high of 17 assists and 25 points in 36 games. The forward also scored RIT’s first goal with 57 seconds left in the second period, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead in their 2-1 double-overtime win over Mercyhurst in the College Hockey America championship last year.
At RIT, she took a multidisciplinary studies major with a concentration in print media, and minors in advertising and public relations, and management and criminal justice. She’s now enrolled in a pre-apprentice carpentry program which runs until October, when her hockey season begins.
It’s going to be an exciting year for the 23-year-old, who was also named the Central Western Ontario Secondary School Association MVP back in 2010 for her contributions to the EDSS girls’ hockey team.
“My friends and family are super excited and can’t wait for the season to start,” Zach said.
Zach attended two training camps for the Beauts, one in Buffalo, and the second in Toronto. Buffalo general manager Linda Mroz signed Zach after the Toronto camp, along with former Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Eagles player Devon Skeats. They were the first two signed to Buffalo from those camps.
Practices start in September and Buffalo’s first game will be October 11 at the Harbor Center in Buffalo.
“It’s finally time that female hockey players get more recognition for their talent and entertainment,” Zach said. “It’s a dream come true for each and every player who signs, and for all the girls we will be role models to. The success of this league comes back to the fans showing their support for the sport they love.”