19U team will play split-season, independent schedule beginning with 2017-18 season
The Buffalo Jr. Sabres Youth Hockey Organization announced the creation of a 19U women's elite team that will begin play in the 2017-18 season. Scott Welch has been named head coach of the squad, which will play a split-season independent schedule that focuses heavily on college showcase tournaments against top teams across North America.
"From day one, we've made it our intention to grow the game of hockey on all levels," said Jr. Sabres President Kevyn Adams. "By adding a women's team to our offerings, we now have a pinnacle place to further the growth of the women's game in Western New York and make a positive impact on the development of young female hockey players."
Head coach Welch will lead the creation of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 19U Women's Team by establishing the team and preparing its players for the 2017-18 inaugural season. He was formerly the head coach at the Nichols School from 2011-16, and during his tenure his teams were consistently ranked in the top 5 in the U.S. Welch brings head coaching experience between Nichols and local travel hockey and has compiled an overall record of 935 wins, 347 losses, and 125 ties.
Welch's travel teams have won 14 New York State Championships and have appeared in the USA National Championships 15 times during his coaching tenure. In addition, 43 of his players have been selected to attend USA National Camp. Under his guidance, Nichols won the North American Prep Hockey League regular season and overall league championships four times, with 33 Nichols alumni advancing to skate in NCAA programs. Since he began coaching women's hockey in 1999, Welch has placed 73 young women in collegiate hockey programs.
"I am honored that the Jr. Sabres have entrusted me to develop and lead a successful program for young women," Welch said. "I am looking forward to combining my experience with the elite facilities at HarborCenter, in order to establish a women's program that will help these young women reach the NCAA level and have a profound impact for years to come."
Tryouts for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 19U Women's Team will begin on April 12. Additional team information, including tryout instructions, will be available online at www.BuffaloJuniorSabres.com in the coming weeks.