On May 4, the Buffalo Beauts re-signed assistant captain and top-line center, Shelby Bram. For most of the season, she played between towers of power Kelley Steadman and Meghan Duggan, and aside from missing some time while serving Team Canada in the 2016 Nations Cup, was one of Buffalo’s most consistent players.
The 5’3” forward from Manitoba is one of several Beauts players that plays above her size, and was a key component in Buffalo’s contention for the inaugural Isobel Cup.
Recently, Shelby took a few moments to speak with Today’s Slapshot about the offseason, her return to Buffalo, and her ‘whatever it takes’ approach to the game.
TSS: Welcome back! How has your offseason been?
SB: My offseason has been good. Been busy spending time with family and friends. Was able to take some time off and go on vacation. But as of lately, I have been focusing on doing on-ice and off-ice work to better develop as a player.
TSS: Has there been anything specific you’ve worked on?
SB: Specifically have just been focusing on a total body of work to continue to develop my game and strength.
TSS: What was it about Buffalo that brought you back?
SB: Buffalo is a great city with great people. I had an awesome season meeting new people and making some lifelong friends along the way. The want to win the championship is what primarily brings me back. Coming in second place was a tough loss to swallow and want to come back for more.
TSS: As an assistant captain of the team last year, how do you think the season went?
SB: We as a team showed valuable strengths as the season progressed. We showed resiliency and persistence to the purpose and goal of the Beauts. We continued to fight back every time our backs were against the wall.
TSS: Can you talk about having Steadman on the full-time roster? As her linemate, how does it feel to know that she’ll be by your side more consistently?
SB: Having Steadman on our full time roster will be awesome. I really enjoyed playing with her as she is a great player. She makes others around her better. Being able to spend more ice time with practice and games at her side will help to continue our chemistry and build off last seasons.
TSS: The two of you developed quite a chemistry almost immediately. What is it about the way that the two of you play that compliments each other so well?
SB: I was fortunate enough to play a year of college with her at Mercyhurst which I believe has helped our chemistry. I think we each have good strengths that we bring to the table. And by each of us having them, we were able to immediately develop chemistry. It helps that we get along off the ice very well also.
TSS: Ric has spoken frequently about ‘unfinished business.’ Is this something you feel, as well?
SB: Of course, whenever I or the team or anyone for that matter comes in second the feeling of ‘unfinished business’ sticks with you. It helps drive your offseason work so that when it is time to deliver during the season you know you have what it takes.
TSS: What are you most looking forward to in the second season?
SB: I am looking forward to just getting back on to the ice in the Beauts uniform. Building new friendships with new teammates and work towards the ultimate goal of winning the Isobel Cup [as well].
TSS: Your last few goals this season earned you a fearless reputation, as they came off tips from Megan Bozek’s blasts. Are you the only person in the league who will get between Bozek and the net?
SB: I don’t know if I am the only one willing. But most of all I am willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. If that means block shots, screen the goalie, or score goals I will always put my best foot forward to help the cause!
Buffalo will host the NWHL’s second free agent camp of the offseason on June 24-26. General manager Ric Seiling will be keeping a close eye on the ice as he looks for players to join Bram and the Beauts in their second season.