Bulldogs look to get back on track in 2017-18 season
Over his tenure with the Bulldogs, BBA won a Division II state championship in 2012 and made it back to another championship game in 2014, in a losing effort. Before Lewicki's time at the helm, the Bulldogs had won three other state championships since 2004.
Winning has been a running through the program's blood since the turn of the millennium, which makes last season's 0-20 mark sting a little bit more for BBA.
The Bulldogs have plenty of goals coming into the 2017-18 season, but one near the very top of the list is to avenge last year's disappointing output.
"One of the first things at practice was, if they were happy with last year they probably should go," said Lewicki about the early-season mindset for BBA. "As a coaching staff, we knew we were put in a bad situation by the VPA last year, but still not happy with the outcome. Girls hockey at Burr and Burton has a great tradition of four state titles. I think this group is really determined to get back on the winning side."
The Bulldogs are moving from Division I, in which they competed last year, to Division II for the upcoming season.
BBA will have two seniors on its roster in forwards Annalise Bartlett and Hannah Hedberg, both of which Lewicki expects big things from. They also have a large junior class with seven on the roster. Among the highlights of that class are Julia Martin, Jessica Grabher, Chloe MacDonald and Charleigh Carthy. MacDonald and Carthy both play forward, while Grabher and Martin have been solid on the back end, playing defense for the Bulldogs.
All four juniors have received first or second line ice time since they were freshmen at BBA.
"Usually we have leaders that stand out, but I think we have a group of good leaders this year," said Lewicki of the upperclassman on his team. "They understand winning because when they were freshman, we had the Miss Hockey in Aggie Bisselli and we had a successful season that year. I'm kind of looking for them to show some of the younger kids how we play."
The Bulldogs also bring a strong group of freshman to the squad. Defenseman Miranda Eisenman, forward Penelope (Kilo) Francomb, and forward Stella Turner are all freshman Lewicki expects to contribute on the first or second line right away.
Another intriguing freshman addition will be goaltender Lola Herzog, who is new to hockey this year. Herzog has been a goalie in other sports, so she has a base understanding of how to play the position. Granted, playing goalie on ice is a lot different than playing on grass, so she was working with BBA boys goaltender Ethan Simonds Thursday afternoon at practice to better understand the craft.
"Lola's been working really hard. She understands squaring up," Lewicki said. "The element of ice changes it a little bit. It's really nice to see the boys varsity goalie, Ethan, out there working with her. It'll give her a little extra training before our first game Saturday."
Lewicki is trying to bring the winning mindset of the Bulldogs back into the fold and remind the girls of the history the program they suit up for represents. One way he has tried to do that coming into the season is the addition of Charlotte Palmer and Erin Thompson to the coaching staff. Both Palmer and Thompson were on the 2012 BBA state championship team.
"We're hoping that the girls look to them for leadership," Lewicki said. "We thought that bringing in girls that have been there and done that, that it should help this year."
The Bulldogs get their regular season slate started today as they take on NCU/LI at Riley Rink in Manchester. Puck drop is set for 5 p.m.
Roster: Annalise Bartlett, Eva Calabrese, Kerri Ann Campbell, Charleigh Carthy, Hannah Dworkin, Miranda Eisenman, Julia Fillion, Penelope (Kilo) Francomb, Jessica Grabher, Hannah Hedberg, Lola Herzog, Chloe MacDonald, Julia Martin, Angelina Scarlotta, Evelyn Seidner, Stella Turner, Arden Wojtach and Annette Zilkha.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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