University of Maine women’s ice hockey goalie Brittany Ott said she didn’t have much trouble falling asleep after Saturday night’s school record-setting 69-save performance in a 5-2 loss to Mercyhurst College (Pa.), the nation’s third-ranked team.
“I passed right out,” grinned Ott after making 45 more saves in Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the Lakers, giving her 114 saves on the weekend.
Ott said she couldn’t recall ever making that many saves before.
“Not anywhere close to that. I’m not sure. Probably 50 was the (previous) max,” said Ott, who made 34 saves in the second period of Saturday’s game.
“It was exciting. I loved it. I loved the action. It was a huge adrenaline rush,” said Ott. “They kept pounding away and we kept shutting them down.”
Ott said she didn’t get too tired during the course of the game.
“Every once in a while, I’d just stop and take a deep breath, settle myself down and get back in the moment,” said Ott.
The 5-foot-3 Ott, a native of St. Clair Shores, Mich., said she was ready to go before Sunday’s game.
“It was just another day. I put my work boots on and went back to work,” said Ott, a sophomore, who was chosen to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team a year ago.
Ott certainly impressed the Lakers.
“If she isn’t the player of the week, I don’t know who is,” said Mercyhurst coach Michael Sisti. “She was phenomenal. Both games could have gotten out of hand. She did a great job.”
Ott was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.
“She definitely battles hard and she has a great glove hand,” said Mercyhurst senior center Meghan Agosta, who was the Most Valuable Player at the Winter Olympics, where she scored three hat tricks in leading Canada to the gold medal. “She’s a great goalie.”
Agosta had four goals and two assists in the series.
Vicki Bendus, who won the Patty Kazmaier Award given to college hockey’s best women’s player, said Ott was “unbelievable.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a goalie make 69 saves in a (two-game weekend series),” said Bendus, who had two goals and an assist over the weekend. “She played great. She made it look easy at times. She covered her rebounds and if she put a rebound out, they cleared it.”
Maine junior men’s goalie Josh Seeley was on hand for Sunday’s game and lauded Ott’s performance.
“She’s not very big but she plays a lot bigger than she is,” observed Seeley. “She’s always at the top of her crease and she’s always ready to make the second save.”
Maine junior left wing Dawn Sullivan said Ott was awesome.
Ott said she tried to control her rebounds and credited her teammates with playing extremely well in front of her.
“We had a good team effort. I was very proud of the team and the way we came together against one of the best teams in the country,” said Ott. “I think we gave them a run for their money. They didn’t walk away from here without any cuts and bruises. We tried to make a statement for ourselves and I think we definitely did.”
“They really pushed us,” said Bendus. “They battled and played physical. They tested our frustration level at times.”
“They definitely worked hard,” said Agosta.
Maine headed in right direction
Sisti, Agosta and Bendus said they feel Black Bear coach Maria Lewis, who spent six seasons as an assistant at Mercyhurst, will get Maine’s program headed in the right direction after six losing seasons over the last seven years.
“She’ll turn them around,” predicted Sisti. “She’s a very prideful person who works extremely hard.”
He said she has already made an impact.
“You saw how hard her team competed this weekend,” said Sisti. “They did a great job. If they had quit at any time, the games could have gotten out of hand.
“Her team will be much better for this weekend and I think they’ll make great progress,” said Sisti.
“She’s a great coach. She’ll bring Maine to the next level,” said Agosta. “She’s definitely happy to be a head coach at this level. It has been a goal of hers.”
Lewis recruited Agosta for Mercyhurst but left before Agosta’s freshman year at Mercyhurst.
“She’s a great leader and a great coach. Look at what she’s done with them already,” said Bendus, who knew Lewis from attending Mercyhurst’s summer hockey camps.