MANCHESTER — There will be a lot of new faces skating on the ice this season for the Burr and Burton Academy girls hockey team.
After losing seven players to graduation, BBA coach Ed Lewicki will have to rely on a whole new crop of players for this season.
"We're a very young and inexperienced team," said Lewicki, entering his sixth season leading the Bulldogs. "We have talent, the question will be how fast the younger girls will grow as players at the varsity level. That will determine how far we go this season."
The Bulldogs, though, are still led by their terrific goal scorer in senior Aggie Bisselle.
Named one of the top five players in Division I last year after a 12-7-1 season, Bisselle is ready to help lead this young BBA team to a good season in D-II this year.
"We have a lot of new players this year, so right now we're trying to really gain chemistry with one another to help play better throughout the season," Bisselle said. "It's a challenge, but we're all having fun playing with each other and I think were going to be just fine this season."
In BBA's season opener against Brattleboro on Wednesday, Bisselle scored four goals to lead the Bulldogs to a season-opening victory.
Her three goals in the first five minutes of the game got BBA off on the right foot, but most importantly, helped the younger players on the Bulldogs gain confidence out there on the ice.
"Every day I get to coach Aggie, she amazes me," Lewicki said. "She is becoming a great leader for the younger girls on the team this year and I'm really excited to see what she can accomplish in her senior year."
From her great play on the ice to being a great captain to her teammates in the locker room, Bisselle has become a role model for the younger players on the team.
"I have looked up to Aggie since I was in fifth grade," Carthy said. "She has been killing it on the ice since she was a freshman and getting a chance to play with her this year is really exciting."
Hockey isn't Bisselle's only sport. In the fall, Bisselle was named Marble Valley League player of the year for her performance in girls soccer as well.
Other returning players include junior Natalia Sowulewska and seniors Cat Greenberg, Madison Oliver and Audriauna Bryant. Goalie Molly Dingley, who made a whopping 32 saves in the team's last game against Middlebury, is also back in net for the Bulldogs this season as well.
BBA's success may hinge on its freshmen. Led by Charleigh Carthy and Chloe MacDonald, Lewicki said the two are expected to be a big part of the Bulldogs' offense this season and have a great future ahead of them.
"They're both really good hockey players," Lewicki said. "I have watched them come up the past couple of year and I'm really excited to see them develop over the next four years."
Jessica Grabher and Ashley Poddick, are two other freshman that will start for BBA.
So far, BBA is 1-1 to start off the season and host Rutland on Wednesday at Riley Rink.