MANCHESTER -- Powered by a good offensive effort and solid defense, the Burr and Burton Academy girls hockey team defeated Stowe 2-0 Saturday on Senior Night at Riley Rink.
After getting off to somewhat of a slow start in the first five minutes of the game, BBA (11-2-2) applied pressure relentlessly on the Raiders (6-10), seldom allowing them to get out of the neutral zone.
After a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs got their first goal 6:11 into the second when senior captain Mary Leech punched the puck into the side netting during a scramble in front of the goal off an assist from Aggie Bisselle -- bringing a chorus of cheers from the hometown faithful.
"It was a team effort for sure," said Leech. "I mean if Aggie and Jordan (Harmon) hadn’t been there to hit it in I wouldn’t have been able to push it in in the end. It’s just a team effort."
Twenty seconds later the Bulldogs lit the lamp again when Morgan Bayzk put one in the back of the net off a nice pass from captain Daisy Sullivan to give BBA a little breathing room.
"I thought the second (goal) our passing started out really well," said BBA coach Ed Lewicki. "We got the good passing goal with the second line, you know Daisy and Kristi and Morgan. I mean they moved the puck really well in the second period."
Stowe senior goalie Danielle Mayo kept the Raiders in the game tallying 39 saves throughout the night.
"Every single game this season Š she steps up," said Stowe coach Karl Lipsky. "A game like tonight is pretty much like any other game this season. [When] the shot count is up she ends up saving them."
Mayo recorded 15 of her 39 saves in the second period despite the two goals she allowed.
"I thought in the second our chances were more quality chances Š and for her to come up with those saves was pretty huge," said Lewicki. "Danielle Mayo is one of the best goalies and she has been for four years. She didn’t make it easy on us tonight."
For the three seniors -- Leech, Bayzk and defensemen Clara Berard -- coming away with the victory on Senior Night was a special experience.
"It feels really good," said Berard. "It’s kind of bittersweet though."
But it was more than just the winning the game on Senior Night -- the team’s second to last regular season home game -- before friends and family that made an impact on them. It was the close bond that the team shares.
"We’re all here playing for each other," said Bazyk. "Every single one of us when we look up and down the bench we’re here for each other and that game just put emphasis on that feeling."
Leech expressed similar sentiments.
"Our whole history is in this rink," she said. "All of us, we’ve been freshmen, we’ve been sophomores, we’ve all made signs for our seniors and it’s just a great feeling when you’re a senior and they do it for you and you win together as a family."
BBA goalie Kaylie Benson had seven saves in net in the game.
The Bulldogs will play their last home game of the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 5, against Woodstock beginning at 3:30 p.m.