MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- After spending more than two weeks at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women's World Championship earlier this week in Hungary, Katie Burt was glad to back in her own bed on Monday night and on home ice on Thursday afternoon.
The 17-year-old goalie from Lynn, Mass. helped the U.S. National Women's Under-18 Team earn a silver medal just days before her 16-and-Under East Coast Wizards squad began play at the 2014 Toyota-USA Hockey Tier I Girls National Championships at the New England Sports Center on Thursday.
“I got home Monday night at like 7 o’clock,” she said after a 3-2 overtime victory against Honey Baked on Thursday. “It was like 24 hours of traveling. It was brutal.”
Teammate Chiara Pfosi minded the net for the Wizards in their 7-3 victory against Charles River on the tournament’s opening day on Wednesday.
“I took Tuesday, it was a mental day for me,” said Burt, who has verbally committed to Boston College. “It was much needed. I actually had to go to school. I came back yesterday for our game and let Chiara take care of that.”
There were no signs of jet lag on Thursday. Burt saved 25 shots before Jacqueline Diffley scored the game-winner over Honey Baked with 1:16 left in overtime.
Honey Baked of Michigan seemed to be in the driver seat after going up 2-1 after the opening period.
“[Burt] made an amazing glove save late in the second period that I think really took some steam out of them,” Wizards coach Kevin Harrington said. “We were able to come out in the third period and pick our game up. So I think the players get all the credit.”
Burt said transitioning back to stateside hockey wasn’t a problem after she put on the Team USA sweater for the first time in Budapest. She tended the net in victories against Hungary and the Czech Republic before Team USA lost in the gold-medal game to Canada.
“It was an absolute honor,” the Buckingham Browne & Nichols junior said of wearing the Team USA sweater. “You can’t really describe the feeling you get the first time you put it on.”
Burt is one of 18 players from the 2014 U.S. U18 team who is playing in nationals this week, but almost all of those players are playing in the 19U tournament.
“Everyone was trash talking, and I’m just sitting there,” she said of the locker room banter in Hungary. "The rest of them are U19. The rest of them are trash talking, ‘Oh we want to win, we’re playing you guys,’ and I’m just sitting there like, ‘I have nothing to say.’"
The Wizards are actually the host team of the Tier I girls national championships. The home-ice advantage could help Burt win her first national championship since she won it with the 12U team in Wisconsin.
“We’re going to have to fight hard,” she said. “We never actually played Shattuck [St. Mary’s of Minnesota], so we don’t know what they are going to bring to the table. We know they are good. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and we know we are going to have to grind it out.
“It’s a long tournament games-wise. It’s a lot of games in a short period of time, which is tough.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.