The Buffalo Beauts announced on Wednesday that the team has re-signed forward Kourtney Kunichika and defender Lisa Chesson for the 2017-18 season of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). The details of the contracts have not been disclosed.
Kunichika, 25, started with the Beauts in 2015 after she graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology. During her rookie year, she was the Beaut’s second best shooter with nine goals and seven assists in 18 games. Last year, she helped Buffalo win their first Isobel Cup by scoring two goals with 9 assists all season.
Chesson, 30, is a USA Olympian and a Ohio State alum who won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Last season, she had four assists in eight games for the Beauts.
“With the talents and compete level of Chesson and Kunichika returning, they will no doubt bring the attitude that they have something to prove and that the Isobel Cup was no fluke,” Buffalo GM and co-coach Ric Seiling told NWHL.zone. “Their leadership and experience will benefit all of our new players.”
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Buffalo also signed two more rookies onto the squad: Mercyhurst grads Taylor Accursi and Kathy Donohue.
“Accursi and Donohue come to us from Mercyhurst – the same program that produced two great players for us in Kelley Steadman and Emily Janiga,” Seiling said in the press release. “Coach Michael Sisti does an outstanding job developing players, and we believe Taylor and Kathy will be immediate impact players for us.”