First, it was Jillian Dempsey, then Kelly Babstock, then Miye D’Oench. This year, the NWHL leading scorer joins the elite company of the NWHL All-Star Game #SnubClub.
Heading into the 2019 All-Star Weekend, Elia leads the league in goals (11) and points (18). Literally no 2019 All-Star has more points than Elia, and her Beauts teammates have noticed the obvious snub as well; a thread:
Every other top-five player in points below Elia is going to Nashville. Every.Single.One.
Now, I’m not taking away from Dempsey – only making her second, SECOND, All-Star appearance – Scamurra, Richards, or Curtis. Each deserves to represent their team and the league. But, what does a woman have to do to get some love?
I asked Elia about her snub after the Beauts 3-2 win over the Riveters in New Jersey on Saturday. Here is what the somehow underrated superstar had to say about the All-Star Game:
“I mean I try not to let that stuff get to me ever since the All-Star Game got announced our team has been playing really well and it’s kind of had a win streak. So that’s kind of been pretty awesome. I’ve been focusing on that and focusing on the Isobel Cup [Playoffs].”Maddie Elia on not being selected to the 2019 NWHL All-Star Game
Touché, Maddie. Touché.
Elia and her team ride a 5-game win streak into the All-Star break. Buffalo is the only team to compete in every Isobel Cup Final since the league’s inception. With players like Elia, a fift trip is well within reach.
Now, I must keep it real! Elia might be equal parts skills and scrappy. I love a scrappy player, but she does have a reputation for crossing the line at times.
She attributes the addition of physicality to her repertoire to playing boys hockey as a child, “I grew up playing boys [hockey], checking with boys. So I think that kind of game, it gives me an edge. So I try to bring that to the girls game as much as I can to fire up my team, play hard always, and also putting the puck into the net too. So I think both styles have been pretty successful so I’m just gonna keep playing like that.”
Laying heavy hits, and the occasional statement slash can earn a player a certain reputation with opponents and fans alike. However, Elia is unfazed by the haters, “I mean it’s a game. I’m pretty sure if you talk to people about me off the ice they would say differently. So, on the ice that’s just how I am, and it’s just how I play, and that’s not going to change.”
Elia is an elite forward by all counts – except, well, being an All-Star. She leads the league in goals and points, has a championship, and silky moves for days. Add a dash of attitude and I’d say you have a damn-good hockey player!