We had a special guest in the building for our home game against Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
The Isobel Cup is the championship trophy for the National Women's Hockey League, and if you love a good sports story, you have to read this account of how the Buffalo Beauts won her this year. Goaltender Brianne McLaughlin made an incredible 60-plus saves* in their miraculous defeat over the Boston Pride, a team stacked with U.S. Women's National Team players who were the reigning champs and had only lost one game all year.
*Why "60-plus" saves for McLaughlin? Well, it turns out she was facing so many shots - and making so many saves - that the official stat keepers stopped counting them. She actually finished with 75.
The Cup is cleverly named after Lady Isobel, the daughter of Lord Stanley. According to the NWHL's website, she was influential in her father's decision to buy a silver cup to award to the best amateur hockey team in Canada.
It was so great to hear the crowd reaction when we honored the Beauts during the game on Tuesday. Throughout this season especially, I have noticed more and more young girls participating in our youth skates during intermissions, and to me, the moment symbolized the growth of young women's hockey in Western New York.
Thank you again to the Beauts for sharing their passion for the game and giving us a championship to celebrate!
Another non-traditional hockey team I'm inspired by right now are the 11 Day Power Play guys. They have been training to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest hockey game ever, and raise $1 million for cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute while they are at it.
Some of the players took part in our Corporate Challenge tournament yesterday on Team Roswell.
They'll hit the ice on June 22 at HarborCenter, and they won't leave until July 3. You can meet the 40 guys who are playing (including Sabres Alum Michael Peca!), and find out about how you can help them meet their fundraising goal at 11daypowerplay.com.
I know I am behind them 1,000,000 percent and can't wait to see them on the ice in June!
One thing that both the Buffalo Beauts and the 11 Day Power Play guys have in common is that they both train at Impact Sports Performance at HarborCenter (along with yours truly!).
If you want to try a fun (and intense) fitness challenge this spring, and really take your workouts to the next level, join us for the Spring Leaning Challenge starting April 3. The trainers designed the eight-week challenge aimed at burning calories and improving body composition. There are even some great prizes for the top three participants!
Finally, one of my favorite Sabres traditions takes place next week!
The Alumni Wine Festival is a very fun night of food and wine samples, live music, auctions, and raffles, to benefit breast cancer care and causes here in Western New York. I'm excited to host for the first time this year, and have enjoyed getting to see all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make this night so special!
If you've been before, you know that one of the best parts of the event is the raffle table, where the current players and alumni contribute baskets full of their favorite things. They typically include electronics (think headphones, video games, DVDs, etc), and other high end gift items, along with goodies and snacks.
To give you an idea of some of the smaller items that Marcus Foligno bought for his basket this year, watch what happened when he and his wife Natascia went to Wegmans to do a little shopping:
Video: Alumni Wine Festival Basket Shopping
We hope you can join us on Wednesday, March 29 for the Wine Festival at KeyBank Center - Get your tickets here! Maybe you'll even walk away with Marcus' basket!