“I can’t wait to step foot on the ice Sunday and skate with the team and give the fans a good performance.”
It’s been an interesting start to the season for the Buffalo Beauts. When they took the ice for the first game, there seemed to be something missing – a few things, actually. It wasn’t until the first intermission that anyone was able to learn why three of the Beauts’ key players were missing. As it turned out, forwards Erin Zach, Devon Skeats, defenseman Lindsay Grigg, and back-up goalie Amanda Makela were held at the border due to a delay in the processing of their P-1 work visas. All three skaters had excelled at the college level – Zach and Grigg had played on CHA champion teams for RIT, and Skeats for CIS’s Wilfrid Laurier University. Anyone following the ordeal has been witness to the outpouring of support for the girls, but since the start, they have wanted only one thing: to play the game. This Sunday, at the Harbor Center in downtown Buffalo, they will finally have the opportunity to do that.
After a late-week practice, Erin Zach was able to answer some questions about her time away from the team, and her relief that it’s all over.
-When did you find out you’d miss the first game?
-I believe it was the Wednesday before the first game I found out. It was a huge disappointment, but I’m just happy that everything has worked out and I can join my team this weekend.
-Were you able to train with any of your teammates who were also delayed?
-I wasn’t able to train with my other teammates during the delay. I was in school and now I’m working full time so that kept me pretty busy while things were getting figured out.
-How excited are you for Sunday’s game?
-It’s still kind of surreal, really. I know there have already been 3 games played, but it still feels like a dream. I can’t wait to step foot on the ice Sunday and skate with the team and give the fans a good performance.
-Have you gotten to practice with the team yet? Do you know who you’re skating with on Sunday?
-I’ve been to a few practices. It looks like I will be playing the wing with Tatiana at center and Hannah on the other side. Both are key players, so I’m excited to join their line.
— Jeff Tran (@TheOtherHT5K) October 26, 2015
-The support for you guys on twitter has been great – I saw the tweets from fans that had purchased your jersey and Lindsay [Grigg’s] jersey. How does it feel to have your name on someone’s back – to have that kind of impact on the fans, sight unseen?
-It’s amazing. We saw that kind of support at RIT and I’m excited to see it again in Buffalo. Fans are so important to our game. We would not be here without their support.
Is there anything you want the fans to know?
-I look forward to playing in front of them and I am truly thankful for their support! And they can feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram and comment or ask questions all they like! Twitter: eztiger20 Instagram: ezach20
NOTE: On Sunday, Nov 15, the Buffalo Beauts are holding a canned food/used jacket drive to benefit local charities. Fans bringing five cans or a jacket will receive a discount voucher for future tickets. Please consider helping the team and those in need in this season of giving.
I am a proud lifelong Buffalo fan and an avid Jack Eichel defender. I have had a lot of fun covering the NWHL – it has been an exciting inaugural season and I look forward to sharing that excitement. For more of this season’s NWHL and Sabres coverage, check out http://www.bonushockey.com and http://www.716sportspodcast.com.