Canadian ball hockey standouts Lindsey West and Lisa Buratynski reflect on rich history as teammates

Having both played university hockey, Lisa Buratynski and Lindsey West have

experienced an exciting renaissance in their competitive careers. Taking to the slab, their

odyssey as elite ball hockey players has allowed them to enjoy numerous opportunities to call

each other teammates.


Over the last number of years, the two have collaborated with Brittany Sero, becoming

invaluable contributors to any team they have been aligned with. Gracing the slab in

league, co-ed and tournament play, their most recent endeavour provided another

compelling milestone.


Having recently combined forces to help the Ontario Panthers capture the World Outdoor

Ball Hockey Championships in Barrie, Ont., this tournament marked a sterling run which saw the club sport an undefeated mark. With 2021 resulting in a very occupied calendar on the ball hockey

circuit, the opportunity to call West and Sero teammates remains a strong point of pride

for a jubilant Buratynski.

The Ontario Panthers (Contributed).
The Ontario Panthers (Contributed).

“I always have a great time in general just playing with these ladies," Buratynski said. "We have played in so many tournaments over the years that we have improved each other’s individual game. We can always go to each other about how to what we could have done better on a play.

Even if we just need a pick me up after a bad shift we can always count on each other for

a boost!”


Having last won the 2019 World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championships (WOBHC), the Panthers have crafted a brilliant legacy in tournament lore, definitely worthy of consideration as dynasty status.


The notable names that belonged to that championship roster included the tremendous trio of Buratynski, Sero, West, along with Melissa Miller and Isabel Menard, both coaches with Canada’s

under-20 national team. As a side note, Miller and Sero also played for the 2017 edition of

the Panthers.


Among the unique storylines that defined the Panthers' rise to glory, one of the most

compelling belonged to West. Considering that the ball hockey circuit consists of so

many former NCAA and U SPORTS talents, along with professional players, there are no shortage of familiar faces on the slab.


Such was this case for the wondrous West. Having first called each other teammates at the NCAA level, with the Quinnipiac Bobcats of the ECAC Conference, West and Nicole (Nicky) Connery held spots on the Panthers' highly talented roster. Their rapport from university play was evident in this tournament, West praising Connery’s competitive instincts.


“Playing with Cons is always a great time," West said. "She is such a hard worker and strong player. We have that ‘sixth sense’ a lot of the time on the floor from playing with, and even sometimes against each other, for so many years. She is the type of player you would much rather have on your team instead of being across the floor against you.”


Having excelled at the U SPORTS level with the Brock University Badgers, Buratynski has

also worn the maple leaf for Canada’s contingent at the World Ball Hockey Federation Championships (WBHF).


Poised to be a pillar in elite play for the decade to come, the key cornerstone remains

enjoyment. Certainly, no tournament holds the same degree of novelty. Considering that all games are contested outdoors, the weather provides an occasional facet of unpredictability.

Discussing how preparation can entail a different approach, especially with the elements,

it provides Buratynski with an exciting challenge, making the tournament even more

unique,


“I enjoy playing with the girls from all over Ontario," she said. "This is a great tournament for us to

come together, have fun, and win! I also like the outdoor aspect and how we have to

adjust our game based on various weather changes. It makes our play become more

creative to dodge weather obstacles.”


On a Panthers roster that also featured National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), now the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF), stars Mikayla Grant-Mentis, who scored twice in the championship game, and Saroya Tinker, among others, the gathering of talent allows for a highly enjoyable aspect for West.


Lindsay West and Lisa Buratynski (Contributed)
Lindsey West and Lisa Buratynski (Contributed)

“My favourite moment from the tournament has to be just being able to play with my

friends," West said.


"A lot of old faces and even some new ones. It is one of the only tournaments we

all come together to play. On and off the floor we always have a great time. Winning as a

group is not so bad either!”

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