Bulldogs rally to topple Raiders in semifinal rematch
MANCHESTER -- Sophomore forwards Jordan Harmon and Daisy Sullivan missed Burr and Burton Academy's first game of the season to attend an Olympic soccer development camp in Florida.
BBA girls hockey coach Ed Lewicki knew about the trip well in advance, but there were consequences as the girls couldn't play in the first period. The pair served their penalty, then made Rutland pay, each scoring a goal in the Bulldogs' 3-1 win on Wednesday at Riley Rink.
"It's a team rule that if someone misses practice or a game, they have to sit," Lewicki said. "They really came up big for us."
Burr and Burton (2-0) got off to a slow start without their two star forwards and Rutland took advantage. Off a turnover in the BBA zone, Kristina Bellomo took a feed from Hanna Sihler and fired it past Bulldogs goaltender Meg Chandler less than five minutes in.
"[Bellomo's] a good skater and physical, she'll be a player to watch," Lewicki said.
Down 1-0 after the first period, Lewicki made it clear he wasn't happy with his team's performance.
"We had a talk at intermission and I told them the intensity level wasn't up and that we were lucky it was only 1-0 and not 2 or 3," Lewicki said. "But we weathered that and responded."
The response happened right away. Two minutes into the second period, BBA freshman Aggie Bisselle scored her second goal in as many games, skating in all alone from the blue line and beating Rutland goalie Brittany Pelkey to tie the game.
"Just like her sister [Lucy], she has good hockey sense," Lewicki said. "It's exciting to see her potential."
After Rutland killed off BBA's only power play opportunity, Harmon finally came through, scoring the game-winner with 4:49 left in the second period, off assists from Erin Thompson and Morgan Bazyk.
In the third, with the Raiders pressing, Sullivan was in the right place at the right time, redirecting an Aggie Bisselle shot past Pelkey on the far post for the final 3-1 advantage.
"[Jordan's goal] was one of those "dirty mucker" goals, right near the net," Lewicki said. "And Daisy is the fastest skater on the team and she put that to good use to score hers. Daisy's goal put us up two, and relaxed the team a bit."
BBA senior Meg Chandler was the winning goalie, stopping 20 of Rutland's 21 shots, including seven in the third period. BBA also killed off a penalty with less than four minutes left.
"It's a fun and intense rivalry," Chandler said. "[In the third], especially after the penalty, I was trying as hard as I could to keep the puck out of the net."
BBA starts the year 2-0, beating two Lake Division teams. But newly in the Metro Division, tougher games await.
"Rutland exposed a lot, but it gives us an idea of what we need to work on going forward," Lewicki said.
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