Beauts re­lieve Seil­ing, Muni of coach­ing du­ties

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS - By Michael R. Pe­sarchick NEWS SPORTS RE­PORTER

The Buf­falo Beauts an­nounced Fri­day night that they have re­leased head coach Ric Seil­ing and as­sis­tant coach Craig Muni.

For­mer Sabre Cody McCormick was named in­terim head coach.

McCormick, 35, has done skills train­ing with the Beauts this sea­son as part of his role at Har­borCen­ter’s Acad­emy of Hockey. He will be third head coach in the Beauts’ four sea­sons.

Gen­eral man­ager Nik Fat­tey will serve as in­terim as­sis­tant coach. Goal­tend­ing coach Ryan Vinz will re­main on the staff.

Seil­ing had been the Beauts’ coach since their in­au­gu­ral sea­son, lead­ing the team to the Iso­bel Cup fi­nal in all three sea­sons and win­ning the cham­pi­onship in 2016-17, when he also served as gen­eral man­ager. Muni joined the or­ga­ni­za­tion be­fore the cham­pi­onship sea­son.

The tim­ing comes as a bit of a sur­prise; the Beauts are sched­uled to play the Con­necti­cut Whale at 6 p.m. at Har­borCen­ter and have not played a Na­tional Women’s Hockey League game since Nov. 18, when they de­feated the Bos­ton Pride, 5-2. Af­ter Satur-


day’s game, they don’t play again un­til Dec. 28.

Seil­ing said he and Muni were called into a meet­ing with Fat­tey on Fri­day night and told the or­ga­ni­za­tion wanted to go in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion. He said the meet­ing lasted less than 10 min­utes.

Seil­ing said he was “kind of stunned ... The de­ci­sion had been made be­fore we walked in the door.”

Fat­tey did not re­turn mes­sages seek­ing com­ment.

The Beauts are 3-3, rank­ing third in the league, but faced huge ex­pec­ta­tions this sea­son af­ter an ag­gres­sive off­sea­son that in­cluded sign­ing goal­tenders Shan­non Sz­aba­dos and Ni­cole Hens­ley and for­wards Dani Cam­er­anesi and Kelly Bab­stock and the re­turn of Emily Pfalzer.

The changes come af­ter the Beauts only won one game out of four in an ex­hi­bi­tion se­ries against the Rus­sian Women’s Na­tional Team in South­ern On­tario. Their one vic­tory on Dec. 1 was a 7-1 blowout. Seil­ing noted a num­ber of the Beauts’ top play­ers, in­clud­ing league scor­ing leader Hay­ley Sca­murra, did not play.

“I was kind of sur­prised that we only have had six games of the sea­son to get no­ticed,” Seil­ing said. “Go back and check our records. Our record in the first three years at this point in the sea­son was prob­a­bly worse. We got bet­ter un­til the end of the year.”

Seil­ing also noted that the Beauts had a num­ber of play­ers who lived out of town and that lim­ited prac­tice time for the full roster. But he said he and Muni made sure the play­ers stayed in town for the two weeks be­fore the play­offs.

“Our thing is the game we have to win is the last one,” he said.

McCormick has a good chance to win his de­but. The Whale are 2-6, and goal­keeper Meeri Räisä­nen is giv­ing up 2.72 goals per game, on av­er­age, in six games.

De­spite be­ing re­leased, Seil­ing said he departs with “my head up.”

“We ac­com­plished a lot,” he said. “We pushed women’s hockey in Buf­falo for­ward.”

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