The Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League announced the signing of their first player, goaltender Brianne McLaughlin, on July 1st, 2015. The Ohio native is one of the more notable names to sign with the NWHL thus far.
— Brianne McLaughlin (@BrianneMcL) July 1, 2015
McLaughlin was already a household name among hockey players in Ohio before she stepped foot onto Robert Morris’ campus. While attending Elyria Catholic High School, Mclaughlin played four sports, and was named MVP of the track team four years in a row. However, she played hockey for the Ohio Flames, a Tier-1 Elite youth hockey program out of Lakewood. While with the Flames, McLaughlin started in 15 games, tied for 2nd in the conference with a record of 8-4-1 and her save percentage of .944 was the 3rd highest.
Robert Morris University
College was a wild ride for McLaughlin. During her freshman year, she recorded 2 shutouts, had over 40 saves in 9 games and made 1,088 saves for the season. McLaughlin’s accolades for the year included USHO.com National Defensive Player of the Week (February 2006), CHA Defensive Player of the Week (November 2005, February 2006), CHA Rookie of the Week (March 2006), All-CHA Second Team, and the All-CHA Rookie Team.
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Her sophomore year was just as successful. During the 2006-07 season, Robert Morris recorded 11 wins. McLaughlin was the starting goaltender in 8 of those wins. She went from having 2 shutouts freshman year to 3 shutouts sophomore year. McLaughlin also was named CHA Defensive Player of the Week 5 times during the season and USCHO.com National Defensive Player of the Week (November 2006). At the end of the season, McLaughlin’s teammates voted her Robert Morris’ Most Valuable Player and Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
The success kept rolling in for McLaughlin during her junior year (2007-08). Nine of Robert Morris’ twelve wins were credited to McLaughlin, and her save percentage of .913 was the best in the CHA. She also ranked 3rd in the CHA with a Goals Against Average of 2.82. Knowing all of this it shouldn’t be too much of a shock that McLaughlin earned First Team-All CHA Honors and was CHA Defensive Player of the Week 3 times during her junior year.
McLauglin’s senior year was just as epic as the rest. She made 50 saves in a single game four different times during the 2008-09 season. McLaughlin was also named to the All-CHA First Team. By the end of the season, she had set the NCAA record for career saves with 3,809.
In 2012, McLaughlin returned to Robert Morris as an assistant coach.
After college, success came in the form of multiple gold and silver medals for McLaughlin.
She had her first taste of Olympic success in 2010 when Team USA won silver in Vancouver. When the 2014 Olympics rolled around, Team USA didn’t waste anytime adding McLaughlin to the roster. They would win Silver that year.
McLaughlin also faired well in the 4 Nations Cup and IIHF World Women’s Championship.
In 2011, she earned 2 gold medal playing for Team USA. One at the IIHF World Women’s Championship in Switzerland. The other was during the 4 Nations Cup held in Sweden. McLaughlin procured a silver in 2012 and a gold in 2013 during Worlds.
Inking McLaughlin was the best decision the Buffalo Beauts could make regarding their inaugural roster. She is an all around athlete who trains her whole body making the risk of injury far lower than the average hockey player.
As a goalie, McLaughlin can take care of herself. She won’t stand for the opposition or her teammates blocking her line of vision. McLaughlin is quick and can see a play take form even before most defensemen. She is a timeless player who will be remembered for years to come.
Elaine is in her first year writing for The Hockey Writers. She will mostly be covering the Columbus Blue Jackets, Lake Erie Monsters, NWHL, and the charitable works all hockey players partake in.
She just ended a two season internship with the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets.