Buffalo Beauts captain Taylor Accursi will not be accompanying her team to Lake Placid to play the 2020-21 season, the NWHL announced Thursday afternoon.
Accursi, who works as a police officer during the day, will be unable to take two weeks’ leave nor work remotely while she plays hockey in the protected environment in upstate New York.
Accompanying the news was Accursi’s statement, shared in full below:
I’m very disappointed to share the news that I will not be able to join my Buffalo Beauts teammates in Lake Placid. I am an Ontario Provincial Police Officer and my current duties on the front line prevent me from participating in this season’s bubble. As the captain of the Beauts, I feel that my absence has let the team down, but at the same time I know that the talent and character of my teammates will more than make up for my absence. I wish them all great success, and I will be watching them as they play the greatest game in the world.
Accursi will remain the Beauts’ team captain this season and the team is bringing her jersey to Lake Placid and hanging it in her locker stall, in tribute to their teammate on the front lines.
Last season, Accursi was a force to be reckoned with and one of the key producers on the Beauts’ offense. She put up 25 points — including a four goal outing at the Buffalo Believes Classic — in 24 regular season games, and registered a team-leading 69 shots on goal.
“Taylor is still our captain and remains just as much a part of our team and this experience,” said Buffalo GM Nate Oliver in the league’s announcement. “She would be the first one to encourage our team and remind us that we still have a job to do. The Beauts are very proud of Taylor and she will continue to be an inspiration for us.”
With Accursi out, Marie-Jo Pelletier and Lisa Chesson, the team’s designated alternate captains, will be tasked with leading the squad in the fight for the Isobel Cup.