The NWHL is taking their game outdoors! An announcement was made on Aug. 27 by the league that the upcoming Saturday Dec. 28, 2019 matchup between the Buffalo Beauts and Metropolitan Riveters will be played at Buffalo’s RiverWorks on an outdoor rink at 6:30PM. The Beauts will play host to the game, which is being called the “Buffalo Believes Classic”.
“RiverWorks is such an amazing venue,” said Buffalo Beauts General Manager Mandy Cronin. “This is going to be an important and fun day – a genuine celebration of our sport in the great hockey city of Buffalo.”
This particular December matchup will be the Beauts seventh home game of the 2019-20 NWHL regular season, and their 13th game in total. The team’s 11 other home games will be played in the Northtown Center in the suburb of Amherst, NY.
RiverWorks Is the Ideal Venue
RiverWorks is one of Buffalo’s “must see, must do” destinations. Not only does it showcase outdoor hockey events, but it routinely hosts roller derby, concerts, professional wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments, mixed-martial arts competitions, cornhole tournaments, and a wide variety of other events.
Saying all that, there is nothing like a RiverWorks outdoor hockey game. The “Buffalo Believes Classic” is being showcased as a celebration of women’s hockey and the pond hockey roots of the sport. RiverWorks captures that feel in its fullest when it comes to winters in Buffalo. The crisp air, the flurries of snow, hot chocolate, and the bright spotlights above – certainly a scene to behold and relish in.
The venue for the “Buffalo Believes Classic” can accommodate approximately 1,000 fans, and the event is for all ages. Season tickets for the Beauts will include this game at RiverWorks, in addition to the team’s 11 other home games.
“We’re proud and honored to host the ‘Buffalo Believes Classic’ with the Beauts and the NWHL,” said Sean Green, director of athletics and sponsorship at RiverWorks. “It’s going to be a fantastic day shining a light on women’s hockey.”
Green and Cronin have worked closely with one another to make this a celebration for the local hockey community. There will even be a special “Beauts Beer” to mark the occasion.
Reactions From the Beauts Players
It should be no real surprise that the Beauts players themselves are very excited to partake in the outdoor event. We were able to get a few of their thoughts on how they feel about the upcoming “Buffalo Believes Classic”. For many, it will be their first game played outdoors:
“I am super excited to be playing in “Buffalo Believes Classic” outdoor game this year! RiverWorks is an awesome venue, and I think it will be a special event for the fans and for the city of Buffalo” ~ Maddie Norton, Beauts forward and University at Buffalo alum.
“My first thought was, ‘Wow, this is going to be really cool! I’ve never played there before.’ My immediate second thought was, ‘How the heck am I going to keep my toes warm all game?!’ (laughs)” ~ Emma Ruggiero, Beauts forward and Buffalo State College alum.
“I’m really excited to have the chance to play in an outdoor game with the Beauts. RiverWorks is a fun rink to play at! It will definitely be different not having Murph (Riveters’ defender Colleen Murphy) on my team for a RiverWorks game!” ~ Kelsey Neumann, Beauts goalie and 2017 Isobel Cup champion.
“Playing in the outdoor game will definitely bring back amazing childhood memories. I am very excited that we have the opportunity to share this experience with the city of Buffalo” ~ Marie-Jo Pelletier, Beauts defender, University of New Hampshire alum and native of Dalhousie, New Brunswick, Canada.
“I had my first ‘winter classic’ in Budapest for the Slovakian Women’s National Team. It was really fun and a great game! Definitely something different than normal league games. It was a special experience, and I am excited to try this again.” ~ Iveta Klimášová, Beauts defender-forward, member of the Slovakian Women’s National Team.