The Buffalo Sabres today announced Janice Cavaretta was named as the 2013 recipient of the J. Michael Duffett Memorial Award, presented each year to the coach or administrator whose contributions to amateur hockey in Western New York "best exemplify the knowledge, teaching, love of the game and gentle humanity of Mike." The award will be presented to Cavaretta at the Dec. 19 Sabres game against the Boston Bruins.
Cavaretta will be the first woman to receive the award in its 30 years of existence. She has been heavily involved with various youth hockey programs in the area, including serving as USA Hockey associate registrar and the western section administrator, qualifying games coordinator and credential review chair for more than 10 years. Additionally, she was the executive director of the Western New York Amateur Hockey League for 14 years. She is currently an assistant coach in the Buffalo Regals organization.
A graduate of USA Hockey's Coaching Education Program at Colorado College, Cavaretta achieved master's level 5 accreditation in the prestigious program. As a player growing up, she captained numerous teams in addition to winning state and national titles at all age levels.
Cavaretta said she is grateful for the magnitude of support that her father, Tony Rozek Sr., provided over her hockey career both on and off the ice. "He was with me for many of my early years, and was very influential in my career playing, coaching and also on the administrative side," Cavaretta said. "I would have never continued if it was not for him."
J. Michael Duffett was a student of the game and a coach with the Buffalo Bisons and the Amherst Hockey Association. A standout player at Nichols School and Clarkson University, Duffett was working in the Sabres hockey department under Scotty Bowman and Roger Neilson at the time of his death after a battle with cancer. In 1984, the Buffalo Sabres established the J. Michael Duffett Award in his memory.