Playing time was not always a given for Lacey Martin. It is a bit of a shock that the Minnetonka, Minn., native, who scored 50 points in her senior season of high school, ever struggled to get ice time.
“My first two years, I didn’t get too much, which isn’t too surprising because I was an underclassman,” said Martin, a senior forward on Boston University’s women’s hockey team. “But as I tell the younger players now, you can really turn that around for yourself.”
Martin has gone from fighting for time on the Terriers’ third and fourth lines to being named Hockey East’s Co-Player of the Week after netting the first hat trick of her career in a 4-3 overtime win against Merrimack Saturday.
“It was awesome,” said Martin. “I’m also glad my team ended up getting the win.”
Captain of a squad with a brand-new coaching staff, Martin is excited for this season’s possibilities. BU is 4-6-1 (3-2 league) and sits sixth in Hockey East. But it also is on a four-game winning streak while some traditional powerhouses are having more turbulent seasons.
“Hockey East is wide open,” said Martin. “It is really exciting. Every single game we play is going to be a really good game.”
The systems and strategies of new coach Tara Watchorn are things Martin continues to be impressed by. After a 2022-23 season that saw the Terriers struggle to find the back of the net, the offense is faster and taking more chances. Last year, they averaged 26.3 shots per game, and this season, they are averaging 33.9. They also are fighting for the puck better, with a faceoff percentage of 55.8 as opposed to last year’s 45.9.
“The culture [Watchorn] is creating and the future she is building for this team is really exciting,” said Martin. “The way she coaches and the strategies she is using are exciting.”
Martin was familiar with Watchorn from her rookie season, when Watchorn was an assistant to former coach Brian Durocher. That previous relationship, plus her recent experience playing international and professional hockey, has made the transition to a new coaching staff easier.
“Especially with the addition of [assistant] Reagan Rust, who played here not long ago, they all played hockey recently,” said Martin. “They are young and we can relate to their experiences.”
Martin’s scoring has greatly improved under the new leadership. Last year, she had 18 points over 34 games. Just eight games into this season, she already has half that total, on seven goals and two assists.
“I want to keep producing and helping our team win games,” said Martin. “I may not be the most vocal leader, but I put my head down and lead by example. I try to be better every day.”
Being better every day is an approach the entire team seems to have adopted, and the mentality will help as they face a busy week ahead with a home-and-home series against New Hampshire and a Tuesday night tilt against Harvard.
Martin points out that her fellow seniors not only went through the turbulent 2020-21 COVID season, but have seen more fluctuations in their coaching staff than many other teams in the league.
“The way we have responded has been great,” said Martin.
Bay State talent
USA Hockey announced the team for January’s Women’s World U18 Championships, and it boasts seven Massachusetts players who will be participating in the tournament for the first time. Only Minnesota has as many players on the squad, which will look to better the bronze-medal finish last winter.
Two of the Bay State representatives are committed to play at Yale: Scituate’s Molly Boyle, a defender, and Cambridge’s Hannah Weyerhaeuser, a forward. Westford’s Kassidy Carmichael, who recently committed to play both hockey and lacrosse at Ohio State, also will help the offense, along with Boston College commit and Marshfield native Alanna Devlin. Another forward, Braintree’s Morgan McGathey, has committed to Harvard.
Sisters Caroline and Margaret Averill of Wayland are currently uncommitted, but have some family familiarity with US coach Liz Keady Norton: Older sister Anne is a first-year on Norton’s Dartmouth squad.
In addition to Norton, who is originally from Braintree, new Harvard associate head coach Meredith Roth adds local representation on the coaching staff.
Malden native and Austin Prep product McKenzie Cerrato picked an excellent time for her first collegiate goal. Her tying score sent Vermont’s game with Holy Cross into overtime. Vermont eventually lost, 3-2 … BC’s Sammy Taber earned her second consecutive Hockey East Rookie of the Week honor after leading all Eagles with 4 points (goal, 3 assists) in their weekend split with Maine … Stonehill sophomore Maddison Achtyl earned NEWHA Player of the Week honors after contributing 3 goals and 2 assists in a two-game sweep of St. Michael’s.
Kat Cornetta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.