Greco, Scamurra and the Beauts Primed for First Playoff Game Before "The Best Fans in the League"
There are few sports cities across the world that are as crazy about its sports as Buffalo. The Buffalo Beauts, crowned monarchs of the Queen City, have spent their three-year existence making their hometown proud.
What makes this unique are the people involved. Buffalo has always been a hockey hotbed, and has produced some of college hockey's best athletes. Hayley Scamurra and Jacquie Greco, who both played high school hockey at Buffalo's Nichols School, starred at Northeastern and Syracuse, respectively.
Now the pair of Western New York natives get to take the ice for the Beauts' first home playoff game in team history. Neither could be more excited for Saturday's first round matchup against the Boston Pride.
Scamurra, who joined the Beauts as a late-season add last year, is elated to be playing a playoff game for the home crowd.
"Our whole team is excited to bring a playoff game to Buffalo," said Scamurra. "We know the fans are looking forward to being a part of that electric playoff atmosphere."
Greco has been preparing for this all season.
"These are the games you train and practice for, so having it here in our home town with our fans watching is going to be an unforgettable experience," said Greco. "We have the best fans in the league and they absolutely deserve to see a playoff game at home for the first time in three years of the league existence."
It's been a special season for the Beauts in many ways. The growing crowds on game-day have been preceded by increases in visibility all over the city, and Greco, who grew up a crazed Buffalo sports fan, is enjoying life on the other side. "Win or lose, Buffalo fans are unlike any other," she said. "We have seen a significant number of new fans in the stands in the past couple of months. We love our diehard fans and family members, but it's great to see new faces in the crowd. The energy in the HARBORCENTER is amazing and we hope to pack the building this Saturday."
Scamurra is proud to be on the forefront of the growing interest. "Being bought by the Pegulas was a surreal moment and momentous for our league and women's hockey. We are part of the same organization through OneBuffalo and it has really put our team on the map. More Buffalonians are aware that we have a professional women's hockey team, and it has shown with the increase of fans at Harbor Center for our games."
While both Greco and Scamurra are overjoyed to play in front of fans, friends, and family, the winner-take-all atmosphere of a one-and-done playoff series has certainly taken the forefront. "We have to make sure that we are prepared mentally for the game," Scamurra said. "Physically, we have preparing for this moment all season. It is important to stay focused on the game at hand and give it everything we have."
Greco is focused on winning the small battles, leading to big victories. "We approach games like these one period at a time. Go out there and win the first 20 minutes, regroup and win the next and so on. We know we have to play our game from start to finish in order to come out on top."
Despite being the favorite, Buffalo cannot afford to overlook the Boston Pride, which is the only other team to have its name etched on Lady Isobel. Scamurra summed it up perfectly. "Come playoff time, we all have a clean slate. It doesn't matter what we have done in the regular season against Boston. They will come ready to play and striving for the same goal we have. At the end of the day, it comes down to who wants it more and who has the best mental mindset as a group coming into the game. Our team has to focus on getting the little things right during the game and keeping the game simple. We have to be ready for a tough battle against Boston."
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National Women's Hockey League Stories from March 15, 2018
- Riveters Take on the Whale in the Second Isobel Cup Semifinal Matchup - NWHL
- Greco, Scamurra and the Beauts Primed for First Playoff Game Before "The Best Fans in the League" - Buffalo Beauts
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