Anytime you add a two-time champion to your organization it’s a big deal, and that certainly was the case this off-season when the Buffalo Beauts signed forward Cassidy Vinkle. After completing four years (2015-19) at Clarkson University - where she won two NCAA titles (2017, 2018) and was a senior captain, Vinkle played two seasons in the PWHPA before opting to sign with the Beauts.
In her first three games with the Beauts, she has posted three points (1g-2a) and won 31/65 face-offs, so money well spent this offseason by management for sure in locking up no. 97.
Here is the full breakdown of scoring events from BUF vs TOR. Big game for Cassidy Vinkle in her Beauts debut, two primary assists.— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) November 7, 2021
I'm also not 100% sure but I believe Jenna Suokko had an A2 on Accursi's GTG. My feed kept freezing but I believe she touches the puck. pic.twitter.com/ol7RZnhvsP
During the past two seasons, Vinkle was also an assistant coach at New England College and some of that ‘coach speak’ came out when we spoke with her after her first career PHF goal - an overtime game-winner that capped off a furious rally by Buffalo, who was down 0-3 to the Metropolitan Riveters.
“When Jel (Anjelica Diffendal) scored that first goal we felt we had it going in the right direction,” said Vinkle. “The Rivs are a strong team with a lot of experience, but we have a great culture, great team chemistry and we know that we can push through things like that and play for each other.”
“All we can do is control the controllables. Just focus on what we can control,” she added, “get pucks deep and get on top of them with our work ethic, feed off the energy on our bench.”
After both games against the Riveters in New Jersey where she was very noticeable on the ice, we caught up with Vinkle for five questions in five minutes, and here’s how it went.
The Ice Garden: So how did the process unfold that led to you becoming a Buffalo Beaut?
Cassidy Vinkle: In the spring I started looking at where I wanted to play for this season. I reached out to CJ (Carly Jackson) - we had met each other, like years and years ago in high school, and at Hockey Canada camps. So I asked her about the Beauts and she gave me (GM) Nate (Oliver) and (Head Coach) Rhea’s (Coad) phone numbers. After talking with them - and hearing what they are trying to build here in Buffalo - it felt like a perfect fit for me. I’m definitely really happy here and looking forward to continuing building this for the rest of the season.
TIG: Did you know anyone else in the organization besides CJ prior to signing?
CV: Not really, I knew (Taylor) Accursi from PWHL and I think I played against her at Mercyhurst. I knew of a couple of players; and obviously, Emma (Keenan), who I lived with and played together with at Clarkson; we are really good friends.
TIG: What does it mean that your teammates voted you as an alternate captain in your first season here?
CV: There’s definitely a lot of honor and pride in wearing that alternate captain ‘A’ on your jersey, especially as a first-year player here. I knew I wanted to come in to make an impact on this team, buy into the culture, and help to grow it on and off the ice. It’s something I’m really proud of and, it’s humbling looking at the girls here now with A’s - and the ones that have come before us. It’s definitely something that I don’t take lightly.
holy guacamole!— Michelle Jay (@michelle_jay3) November 20, 2021
how the heck did cassidy vinkle score this game winning goal?!?! pic.twitter.com/zVF7Agx9uH
TIG: Not a bad goal to score for your first as a Beaut today, can you walk us through the play and what you saw?
CV: Emma (Keenan) did a great job passing the puck up to me and after a little give and go, as I skated in towards the goal I just saw, kind of a hole there near their goalie’s stick; so I cut across and just took a backhand shot. I didn’t know it went through at first, but then I saw it cross the line and Emma was there celebrating with me. Overall just a great team win where everyone contributed - it feels really good to get that first win.
TIG: What’s it like to be the center of that celebration when everyone is piling on?
CV: It’s an awesome feeling! You’re obviously really happy, but also very relieved. We got the win and I’m just so happy for our team because we really worked hard for that W. It shows what kind of team we are going to be going forward this season.