In every game she has ever played for the Buffalo Beauts, Maddie Elia has managed to record at least one shot on goal. Preseason. Regular season. Playoffs. Doesn’t matter. Elia is always bringing her A-game. In only five of those 19 games she failed to register a point, and after her two-goal performance in their season-opening 4-0 victory in Connecticut, the 23-year-old now has 16 points (7g-9a) in 15 career NWHL regular season games.
Elia and the Beauts open their home schedule on Saturday, hosting the Whale at HarborCenter at 1:30 p.m. Single-game and season tickets are available at NWHL.zone/tickets.
The Beauts added a lot of firepower this off-season with the signings of Kelly Babstock, Blake Bolden, Dani Cameranesi, Emily Janiga, and Emily Pfalzer, and in the first game of the season, it was clear why Buffalo is expected to make a fourth consecutive trip to the Isobel Cup Final. “We came out hard and I think we clicked well. All of our lines did well and kept the puck deep,” Elia said regarding her team’s suffocating win in Stamford. “I think we have a good team and we showed it tonight.”
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HETZEL
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HETZEL
Elia got the party started in the first period when she combined with her linemate from last year (Hayley Scamurra) and one of the team’s newest weapons, Cameranesi. Before the midway point of the period, she had already put two pucks into the back of the Whale net. “I’m playing with Hayley (19 points in 15 career regular season games) and Dani, two of the best players in the league. (Today) I was just in the right spot at the right time and was able to put them in the open net,” she would say moments after the game in which she picked up her first NWHL game-winning goal.
When asked if it is easy to add a player of Cameranesi’s caliber to a line with two of best rookies from last season, Elia said there was no doubt about it. “Oh yeah! I think if you put Dani with anyone she would blend in perfectly,” the Beauts’ top center explained. “She’s an awesome player; the three of us work well together and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”
As a team, the Beauts had 38 shots on goal and another 14 that were blocked by Connecticut players. All Elia needed on the afternoon was two shots and she buried both of them. The trio combined for eight points in the win, as Scamurra matched her linemate with a goal in each of the final two periods. Elia and Scamurra were towers of power last season and now with Cameranesi added to the mix - the sky is the limit for what may be the most lethal line in the NWHL this season.
“I think we’re just going to take it one game at a time,” Elia said. “We know we are skilled players and we know we can make plays; just stick to our game plan and work hard, and I think the goals will come (for us).”
She also knows that the Whale will be looking for payback on Saturday as the Beauts host them in their home opener at HarborCenter. “I expect them to come out hard. We just came into their home opener and beat them 4-0. I think they’re going to want to do the same thing to us,” said Elia. “As long as we stick to our game plan and continue to work hard, things will be good (for us).”