BNEWS Sports

Girls Varsity Hockey Prepares for the Upcoming Season

The Burlington Girls Varsity Hockey Team is preparing for the 2018 Winter Sports Season.


Last year, the Lady Devils finished the season with 5 wins, 12 losses and 3 ties. The girls let their opponents score by 7 points or less. It was an upsetting season for the Lady Devils, as they did not qualify for the MIAA Girls Varsity Hockey Tournament.


“Last season was a challenging one; we were a young team with several middle school kids playing important roles,” Head Coach Marty Conley said. “Then we suffered injuries to several key players – we never seemed to get on track or were able to sustain any kind of consistent play.”


With injuries happening left and right, the Lady Devils still gave it their all, even though multiple players were absent during the season.


“We were competitive in most of our games, but often fell short by a goal or two,” Conley said. “Our top-unit production dropped by more than half from the prior season and that was the difference between winning and losing.”


During the off season, players and coaches took time to focus on areas where they would need to improve their skills.


“We encourage our players to use the off-season as a time to focus on skill-specific areas such as skating and stick handling, but also to enjoy some time away from the rink when possible,” he said.


Now that the 2017 season is long gone, the Lady Devils are ready to start fresh on the ice with their teammates.


“The Middlesex League is arguably the most competitive league in the state for girls hockey and with sixteen of our twenty games against the league opponents it’s a challenge to put together a winning season,” Coach Conley said.


The Lady Devils will face a majority of the same opponents from last year and some new ones along the way.


“Three of our four nonleague games are against teams we’ve never played before,” he said. “So we’re unsure of what to expect with them, but we’ll be ready to play our best hockey and hope for the best.”


Now that several seniors have departed from last season, the team is looking for their underclassmen to step up to the plate and take part in those positions.


“We strive for consistency, wheather it be positions or lines,” Conley said. “But it’s not uncommon for us to ask kids to play different positions if we feel it’s what’s best to help the team with hockey games.”


The team will be allowing the seventh and eighth grade players an opportunity to play defense and offensive during the regular season.


“We’ll be breaking in two new defensemen and giving some of the younger players an opportunity to play bigger roles for us this year,” he said. Our defense group looks to be senior/captain Courtney Forti, a pair of eight graders, Abby Sousa and Lizzy Boulas, and two seventh graders, Mia Lauder and Katie Hayes. Offensively, sisters, Meghan and Shannon McDonald return, as well as Morgan Arrigo, Alexia Hamilton and eight graders Jackie Grand and Grace Shanahan.”


In addition, there are a few new members on the team who will be making their debut this season.


“New to the team are seventh grader Haley McMakin, and several seventh graders, Shea McDonald, Bella Hacker, and Allie Boyle, plus freshman, Violet Corcoran,” Coach Conley said.


Finally, as the season approaches many of the staff members are excited to see how the girls will bring their “A Game” on the ice.


“It’s a great group of kids that are excited to come to the rink everyday and work hard, and as coaches we can’t ask for more than that,” he said. I like how the team we have-we’ll be even younger than last season, however, there’s a lot of potential and we’re looking forward to seeing the team and each player get better as the season progresses.”


The girls will have their first game at home against the Belmont Marauders on Wednesday, December 12th starting at 5pm at the Burlington Ice Palace.