BBA splits weekend slate

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MANCHESTER >> For the second game in a row, the Burr and Burton Academy girls hockey team had its game go into overtime, this time at least gaining a point.

After losing to Hartford in overtime on Wednesday, a late goal from leading scorer Aggie Bisselle helped the Bulldogs on Saturday to a 2-2 tie with Stowe.

Early on, the Bulldogs looked immediately to rebound from their loss, scoring a few minutes into the contest.

After Bisselle's shot was knocked away by the Stowe goaltender, Audriauna Bryant hustled down the ice to pick the rebound and slap it in the net to give BBA an 1-0 lead.

"It felt really good to get that goal," Bryant said. "I haven't scored a goal all season, so to score a goal with the hustle play that I did felt very rewarding."

The Bulldogs didn't hold the lead for long, though, because a couple minutes after Bryant's goal, Ricki Haab whisked down the ice and scored a goal for Stowe to tie things up at 1-1.

Haab was back at it again in the final seconds on the first period, scoring her second goal of the game to give Stowe a 2-1 lead over BBA going into the second period.

Knowing that they needed to stop Haab, who just last week recorded her 100th point of her career, the Bulldogs decided to change up their defense a bit in the second period by man-marking Haab.

Junior Natalia Sowulewska was set to the task.

"After Ricki scored those two goals, we decided to have Natalia play her man up on defense when they were both on the ice," said BBA coach Ed Lewicki. "We thought that it could slow her down a bit and slow down their offense as well."

Lewicki's plan worked, as Sowulewska did a great job defending Haab, not allowing her score a goal for the rest of the game.

"It was a little different having to man mark a girl instead of [playing the puck], but I just did my best to stay with her and it worked out for us," Sowulewska said. "I knew it was important for me to keep her in check to help my team get back in the game and I am very proud of myself for being able to do that."

After a scoreless second period, BBA went into the third period still down one. Needing a goal to tie things up, the Bulldogs got the answer they needed from Bisselle.

With a little over three minutes left in regulation, drove down the ice and struck one past the glove of the Stowe goaltender to tie the game for the Bulldogs.

As each team could not find the net the last three minutes of the period, the game went into overtime tied at 2-2.

Both team had a chance to win the game early on in overtime, a Bisselle shot just missed wide, while BBA goalie Molly Dingley knocked away a Stowe player's shot.

With 2:07 to go in overtime, BBA got a huge break when Haab got a penalty for her vicious hit on Charleigh Carthy, giving the Bulldogs a power play opportunity. Carthy was able to get up after the hit and felt fine when the game was over.

Having a power play chance now for the rest of the overtime, BBA looked like they were in prime position to come out with a win, but the Bulldogs were unable to capitalize on their power play, as the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

"I thought the team responded very well from the loss of Wednesday and played a good game today against a good Stowe team," Lewicki said. "We're playing our best hockey right now and like I told the girls in the locker room, we're proving we can play with anybody in our division and that's something you want to hang your hat on come playoff time."

With her game-tying goal in the third period, Bisselle now has 33 goals on the season.

Dingley had 19 saves in the contest for BBA.

"We battled back after giving up the lead, which was good to see," Dingley said. "I made sure that I kept my head up after giving up those two goals in the first and focus on helping keep my team in the game. I was able to do that and we were able tie things up, which at least got us a point out of this game."

Earning a point in the tie, BBA improves to 4-10-3 on the season.

The Bulldogs now have only three games remaining in the regular season, with the next one being on the road against Mount Mansfield on Thursday at 7:45 p.m.


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