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For Buffalo’s Maddie Elia, 2 + 2 = VEDA Player of the Week

By Nathaniel A. Oliver and Jane Norton, 01/02/19, 11:00AM EST

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For being involved in the scoring of all of her team’s goals in the Buffalo Beauts’ 4-0 win over Minnesota on Sunday, Maddie Elia has been named the VEDA NWHL Player of the Week.

This is the second time Elia captured the award for her play in 2018. She was also NWHL Player of the Week last season on Feb. 22.

Elia had two goals and two primary assists in her team’s victory, which gave the Beauts a split of their weekend series with the Whitecaps. She now leads the league in goals this season, with 8, and is second in overall scoring, behind linemate Hayley Scamurra.

This is Elia’s second full season in the NWHL, after her hometown Beauts selected her 18th overall in the 2016 NWHL Draft. A 5-10 forward, she graduated Boston University in 2017 with a degree in Communications and currently works in the Sabres’ communications department. In her senior season, she had 12 goals and 24 assists for 36 points in 32 games and was selected to the Hockey East All-Academic Team. Over her four-year career at BU, Elia was 47-65-112 in 145 games.

Nate Oliver caught up with Elia to discuss the honor, her performance and the Beauts.

What does being named the VEDA NWHL Player of the Week mean to you? 

"Obviously, it's a great accomplishment, but I'm really happy that we came out with the win. I know that we've been kind of struggling lately with Minnesota. They've gotten the better of us the past little while, so to come out and get the win was huge for us."

You just played a game less than 24 hours ago. Here you come into this second game and you score two goals and two assists. How much was your conditioning a factor?

"This week we were prepared. The practices were high-tempo coming back from the break. The coaches did a good job of preparing us for the game – making sure that we were well-rested and ready to go for back-to-back games."


PHOTO BY MICHAEL HETZEL

What are your thoughts on your teammates and the unity of the club?

"It's one of a kind. I've never been on a team that's this close. Everyone hangs out. Everyone wants to hang out even when we have downtime. Everyone is texting each other to meet up, go to dinner. That's really special. To have that with each member of your team is pretty cool, and that's how we've found so much success on the ice."

What is your game plan for the rest of the season in order to finish strong and be at the top of the standings?

"Sticking to our systems. Listening to our coaches. Staying together as a team. I think we'll have more success like you saw Sunday. We've been trying to stick together a little more. Bearing down on pucks, working hard in corners. We need to put our 'D' zone first, and that's where we'll find success."