BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Buffalo’s first professional women’s hockey team, the Beauts, took the ice on Sunday for opening day of the National Women’s Hockey League.
“Expect fast-paced hockey,” said forward Meghan Duggan. “There’s a lot of people out there that don’t know a lot about women’s hockey and they think we can’t skate and can’t play, and because we can’t hit, it’s not as physical as the men’s game but it is.”
Duggan was a captain for Team USA at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.
The four teams in the new league are based in Buffalo, Boston, Connecticut and New York City. They are all packed with stars.
“We’re hoping that people aren’t only excited about women’s hockey during an Olympic year, they’re excited about it year round and they know these Olympic athletes, professional athletes, are playing in their backyards,” said Duggan. “
The Buffalo Beauts are also creating a local base.
“It really is a dream come true to play professional hockey in my hometown,” said Emily Pfalzer, a defensive player from Getzville.
The NWHL is the first league to offer women paid contracts, the average salary is about $15,000.
“There was never professional hockey in sight so I never thought there would be a league,” said Pfalzer. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to play professional hockey.”
Now they hope their efforts on the ice will inspire other girls to pick up a stick.
“I think that young girls can really look up to the players on all four teams and hopefully it’s just promising for the future of the sport,” said Duggan.