Browne and Sass Head to Buffalo

BUFFALO, NY –  The Buffalo Beauts of the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) have signed forward Hailey Browne (Maine) and goaltender Kimberly Sass (Colgate) for the upcoming season, general manager Linda Mroz announced Wednesday.

Credit: ECAC Hockey

Credit: ECAC Hockey

"With any team, having solid players between the pipes is extremely important," Mroz said.

"Sass came to the Buffalo training camp and in one day dazzled me," she continued, "I believe she will be a key player on our roster and a dependable one."

A Buffalo native, Sass graduated from Williamsville North High School, and played for their boys’ varsity program as well as the Buffalo Bison club team. Sass led the Bison to five New York State championship titles, and the USA Hockey National quarterfinals in 2008, 2006, and 2005, earning bronze medals in 2007 and 2003.

"I think I am most valuable as a player for my consistency and confidence," said Sass, "Throughout my career, I have always focused on being reliable in any situation. I am excited to bring my dynamic personality and undeniably competitive attitude to the team."

Credit: NWHL

Credit: NWHL

Sass played college hockey at Colgate from 2008 to 2012. Sass is ranked first in program history for most minutes played in a season, is third in most saves in a season, is tied for fourth in most shutouts and most wins in a season. During her senior season, Sass posted a career-high 58 saves against third-ranked Cornell.

During her 4-year career for the Raiders, Sass reached a total of 2,502 saves for a .906 save percentage, a 2.87 goals against average, playing 5464:01 minutes, recording nine shut outs, and posting a 34-48-10 overall record.

"​This opportunity is a dream come true.  I went from coming to terms with my career being over after college, to pursuing a Master’s degree in architecture, and now, having the chance to play at the professional level and in my hometown is indescribable," said Sass.
 
"I am happy to be playing the sport I love at home in front of my friends and family at the HarborCenter," she continued, "I am excited to see women’s hockey and the inaugural season of the NWHL thrive in the midst of the ongoing redevelopment of the downtown Buffalo area, and I am proud to be a member of the Buffalo Beauts!"

Credit: Hockey East Online

Credit: Hockey East Online

"Hailey came to the Buffalo training camp and the Toronto camp and never stopped moving. Her effort during the drills and scrimmages were impressive," said Mroz, "I think Hailey will be a great fit here in Buffalo, her hard work is something this city is familiar with."

Browne graduated from the University of Maine in 2015, playing three seasons for the Black Bears after transferring from Mercyhurst. The Oakville, Ontario native scored 38 points (15g, 23a) during her 4-year career, playing in every game for both schools.

Credit: NWHL

Credit: NWHL

"I'm very excited to play in the NWHL, it is a huge step in the right direction for our sport," Browne said, "I cannot wait to play with and against the best players in the world, and to be able to keep playing so close to home is unbelievable."
 
Prior to her college career, Browne played for the Mississauga Jr. Chiefs in the Provincial Women's Hockey League of Ontario in the 2010-11 season and was the leading scorer for the PWHL’s Hamilton Jr. Hawks, scoring 48 points (22g, 26a) during the 2009-10 season.

Browne played for Team Canada's Under-18 team at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden in January of 2011 and for Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games in February 2011, taking home silver medals in both events.

"This season, I will bring passion and grit to the game and do anything I can to bring the Isobel Cup home to Buffalo," said Browne.

Sass is the second goaltender to sign with the Beauts so far this summer, joining two-time Olympic silver medalist Brianne McLaughlin in Buffalo's crease. Browne joins Erin Zach and Devon Skeats as Buffalo's current forward contingent. All NWHL teams have until August 17th to sign players.

For more information on free agency and the NWHL, please visit NWHL.co.