Glenwood’s Buxman to play in Swiss hockey league
Former Glenwood Grizzlies hockey player Ariana Buxman is on the move again.
After playing for OSC Berlin for the 2017-18 season in the Fraueneishockey-Bundesliga — the top women’s hockey league in Germany — Buxman, the daughter of John and Regina Buxman, will take her talents to Thun, Switzerland, where she’ll play for EV Bomo Thun for the 2018-19 season.
Buxman, 22, signed a one-year deal with OSC Berlin last year and considered re-upping with Berlin, but the Providence College product decided she’s going to hang up her skates after this season, calling it a career, allowing her to focus on getting her doctorate in physical therapy.
“I really thought about returning to Berlin,” Buxman said. “But I want to get my schooling started. I deferred this year, but I know the process of getting my doctorate is going to take awhile, and I wanted to get a chance to a different side of Europe in my final season.”
Last season, Buxman played primarily in Germany. This year, though, with EV Bono Thun, she’ll travel to France, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Sweden and Norway. Buxman will reside in Thun, Switzerland, giving her the small-town feel of Europe she was looking for.
“My mom grew up in a small town in Germany, and her dad traveled throughout Europe as a ski racer, getting a chance to experience small towns throughout Europe,” Buxman said. “I wanted to experience Europe from that side of things in my last year and really embrace the small town feeling.”
Prior to her time in Berlin, Buxman grew up playing defense with the boys in the upstart Glenwood Grizzlies youth hockey program. But as she aged, so, too, did the boys. When they became too big and physical for her to play the game safely, she ended up at Shattuck-St. Mary’s — a prestigious prep hockey school for both male and female players in Minnesota that is known for the development of current Pittsburgh Penguins star center Sidney Crosby.
While at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Buxman played a large role in leading the Sabres women to a third-place finish at the National Championship Tournament in 2013, while also leading them to three Minnesota State Championship titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Her leadership and talents led her to Providence under Head Coach Bob Deraney, who then helped her grow into the player she is today, then leading to her time with OSC Berlin. Now, she’s a member of EV Bono Thun.
Following her time with Berlin, Buxman was put into an international free agent pool, making herself available throughout Europe. In 26 games with OSC Berlin in the 2017-18 season, Buxman potted four goals and five assists, good for a career-high 9 points. The Glenwood Springs native added 18 penalty minutes as a solid two-way defender, making her a favorable target for teams throughout Europe.
She chose EV Bono Thun for her last hoorah in hockey. It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing it’s her final year as a competitive hockey player, but it’s one she’s embracing.
“My life has been defined as a competitive ice hockey player,” Buxman said. “The thought of this time next year me not being able to say I’m an ice hockey player is staggering to me, but I feel like I have a newfound love and respect for the game. For the first time ever, it doesn’t feel eternal. I always felt like it was going to be there forever, but it won’t be now.
“This year, I’m trying to reach the highest level possible athletically in me, skate faster than I ever have, shoot more than I ever have, player harder than I ever have, and really just tie my career off in a bow.”
Buxman was accepted to the University of Montana in Missoula, and Northeastern University in Boston for physical therapy. Buxman deferred on both acceptance notices, meaning she’ll need to make a decision in the spring as to where she’ll head to school to pursue her doctorate.
Buxman leaves for Switzerland on Tuesday to start training camp with EV Bomo Thun.