Beauts Sign Fonfara as a Late Addition

The Buffalo Beauts announced on the morning of their first regular season game that forward Meghan Fonfara has signed with the team. This transaction was in the pipeline for a while. Fonfara not only attended the Beauts Free Agent Camp at the beginning of the summer, but had been participating in practices and other team events as a professional tryout. Now on the road as Buffalo squares off against the Connecticut Whale on Oct. 7, 2018 Fonfara is officially a member of the team.

Buffalo’s General Manager Nik Fattey had stated during the team’s first official practice on Sept. 19 that at least one more addition was guaranteed:

“We’re definitely going to be signing one more player,” Fattey told the media at the time. “Absolutely. The league is 22 to 25 players (for each team), so yes.”

The fact that Fonfara was participating in that particular practice seemed indicative of the fact that she would be the one. Now that notion has come to fruition.

What Fonfara Can Bring to the Beauts

Compared to the more household names on the Beauts like Szabados, Babstock, Scamurra, Hensley and others, Fonfara is a relatively unknown name in women’s hockey circles. So what will she bring to the 2018-19 Beauts? The most noticeable trait when seeing her in person is size. At 6-foot, Fonfara is immediately the tallest player on the roster. Possessing more of a lithe build, she has shown in practices a good reach and ability to maneuver for a more vertical player.

Fonfara’s athleticism was certainly not missed by either the coaches or management, and ultimately may have been the deciding factor in signing her to the team. While the Beauts have an abundance of skill, they also have some stronger, more physical players like Maddie Elia, Kelly Babstock, and Jordan Juron. Fonfara gives the team another similarly styled player.

Buffalo Beauts Practice 2018-19
The Buffalo Beauts have a total of eight homegrown players signed to their 2018-19 NWHL roster (Photo Credit: Pat McCarthy).

“Meghan came to our free agent camp and clearly showed that her athleticism would be a nice fit for our organization,” GM Fattey shared in the press release about Fonfara’s signing. “She is another strong local player that will add to our already competitive roster.”

Fonfara is a native of nearby Elma, New York and is one of eight players on the Beauts who have lived locally prior to beginning their professional careers. The others would be forwards Elia, Emily Pfalzer, Emily Janiga, Juls Iafallo, Hayley Scamurra, defender-forward Jacquie Greco, and goaltender Julia DiTondo.

Further Depth to Buffalo’s Roster

Looking at those homegrown names alone, it is clear to see that Fonfara will also bring additional depth to the roster. Buffalo has arguably the most stacked team in the entire NWHL. This was known well before the regular season had approached. Putting another capable player into the mix gives the Beauts more options and a way to stave off any negative repercussions should the team face future injuries.

Fonfara played Division III NCAA hockey for Elmira College’s Soaring Eagles, and is a recent graduate from the program. From the 2014-15 season through the 2017-18 campaign, she played in 103 career games. Fonfara’s career totals during that time include 34 goals and 31 assists for 65 points. During her senior season of 2017-18 she set career highs in games played (30), goals (12), assists (14), points (26) and game-winning goals (three). Additionally, Fonfara had a season of five power-play goals in 25 games – 10 goals total on the year – during her sophomore season of 2015-16.

Here is how the Buffalo Beauts finalized roster looks for the 2018-19 NWHL season:

Goalie: Nicole Hensley, Julia DiTondo, Shannon Szabados.

Defense: Lisa Chesson, Savannah Harmon, Jacquie Greco, Sarah Edney, Jordyn Burns, Sarah Casorso, Blake Bolden, Emily Pfalzer.

Forward: Hayley Scamurra, Corinne Buie, Maddie Elia, Dani Cameranesi, Annika Zalewski, Julianna Iafallo, Kelly Babstock, Jordan Juron, Emily Janiga, Taylor Accursi, Meghan Fonfara.