Former Grizzly Hockey player signs with pro team in Berlin
Following an impressive collegiate career at Providence College in the Hockey East conference, former Glenwood Grizzlies hockey player Ariana Buxman will take her talents overseas to Germany. The recent graduate signed a one-year deal with OSC Berlin of the Fraueneishockey-Bundesliga, which is the top women’s hockey league in Germany.
Buxman, the daughter of John and Regina Buxman, will serve as one of just two import players allowed on OSC Berlin, per league rules. Import players are anyone outside of Germany, per Fraueneishockey-Bundesliga guidelines.
“It’s kind of hard to get on a team like OSC because of the import rules,” Buxman said. “But when teams look for imports, they tend to look for Division I athletes, so by playing for Providence and my connections there really helped me establish some contacts in Europe to find a place to play next season.”
Coming off of four solid seasons as a member of the Friars — where she studied Biology/Pre-Med with a minor in writing, Buxman finished with 4 career points (all assists) as a shutdown defenseman under head coach Bob Deraney. Prior to her time in Rhode Island, Buxman grew up playing with the boys in the upstart Glenwood Grizzlies youth hockey program. But as the defenseman 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 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 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 Deraney, who then helped her grow into the player she is today, leading to the opportunity with OSC Berlin.
Playing in a power conference like the Hockey East and playing against top talent on a nightly basis upped Buxman’s game to the highest of levels.
“Competition-wise, I couldn’t have picked a better place to get prepared for the pros than Providence,” Buxman said. “I had a really great coach, who was recently nominated to be an assistant coach on the women’s national team. He’s also one of the winningest coaches in Division I hockey for girls, so I had a great experience learning and developing under him. This experience has prepared me for the next level more than any other school could have, I think, and I’m really lucky to have graduated from there.”
Although being away from home for hockey should be nothing new for Buxman, moving to Berlin for at least a year of professional hockey is a massive transition for the Glenwood native.
However, her mother is German, and Buxman grew up speaking the language around the house before dropping the language early in grade school. Since signing with OSC Berlin, Buxman has picked up the language with her mother again in hopes of a smoother transition. Her father also spent the majority of his life in Europe competing as a professional World Cup skier, so Buxman has some important helping hands by her side when it comes to the adjustment to the European way of life.
That being said though, Buxman was quick to point out she doesn’t really know what’s in store for her in Germany, even if she does have some family in Southern Germany from her mom’s side.
“I’ve never really been on my own because my family always came and visited,” Buxman said. “That’s not really going to be able to happen much now, because a flight from home to Berlin isn’t the same as the trips to Rhode Island were. It’s not something you can just swing when you feel like it. Plus, Germany is a different environment and a different culture; there’s only one other import on the team, and she’s from Canada, so we’re the only two that don’t speak fluent German on the team, so that’s going to be an adjustment for both of us.”
Buxman has plenty of skills on the ice, which are obviously good enough for the professional ranks in Europe, but for now the Providence grad is taking it one year at a time.
As of now, Buxman has plans to apply for physical therapy schools this fall in hopes of getting her doctorate in physical therapy.
Wanting to return to Colorado, Buxman plans on applying to UC-Denver this fall, but will also apply to the University of Washington as well, since those are her top two choices.
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