The NCAA all-time leader in goaltending victories has taken her gift for winning games from Boston College to the pros. In her first two professional starts, Boston Pride rookie Katie Burt has picked up a pair of victories: a 5-1 decision over the defending Isobel Cup champion Metropolitan Riveters and a 4-2 win over the Connecticut Whale.
“I feel pretty good,” said Burt, the first overall pick in the 2017 NWHL Draft. “It still takes a couple games to get up to speed and get adjusted, but winning has been huge for my confidence.”
Burt and the Pride will play their third of five consecutive home games to start the season, hosting the Riveters on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Warrior Ice Arena. Single-game tickets and pro-rated season tickets are available at NWHL.zone/tickets.
Joining the NWHL after a highly successful career across town at Boston College, a school known for producing some of the top talent in women’s hockey, Burt is no stranger to competing at a high level or facing shots from Olympians.
“I think I was pretty well prepared with BC and the different national team camps I’ve attended,” said Burt of adjusting to the level of play in the professional game. “But the speed is definitely different. The players are stronger and faster and smarter. There’s only so much you can do to prepare for it aside from just being in it. I’ve made a few adjustments so far and will continue to do so.”
Burt also has the advantage of having some familiar defenders in front of her, including former Boston College teammates in Toni Ann Miano and Lexi Bender. “Thankfully I’ve played with quite a few of them,” Burt said of her defense. “I just have to get comfortable learning how to communicate with them. We’ve been working hard at it in practice, and we’ll get it down.”
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But her former BC teammates aren’t the only familiar faces on the ice with Burt. With 16 Pride players either from Massachusetts or having played collegiately in Boston – Burt falls into both of those categories – she’s played with or against most of them. “It helps for me because coming in I knew a lot of familiar faces,” said Burt. “It’s a lot of fun to be teammates with people you’ve competed against – especially the Northeastern girls, because we were competing for championships with them year in and year out.”
Truly Boston’s team, the Pride has relished the opportunity to open its season with five consecutive games in the friendly confines of Warrior. And as a rookie, Burt recognizes the advantages. “I feel much more comfortable starting my career at home,” she said. “Hopefully we can work out all the kinks before we hit the road and be playing our best hockey by that point.”
The unbeaten Pride will face a hungry Riveters team Saturday. The defending champion Rivs have gone winless in their first five games, sandwiching that 5-1 loss in Boston between four losses to the league-leading Minnesota Whitecaps.
“I don’t think we can be looking at their record,” said Burt. “They’re a great team. They’re fast, they’ve got good forwards and good goaltending. Every game in this league is tough and this weekend is no exception. We just have to forecheck hard and put pucks in the net.”