(Courtesy Schuyler Meyer photography)
Brooke Stacey is flying high in her first full professional season of hockey. She leads her team, the National Women’s Hockey League’s Buffalo Beauts, in scoring with six goals and five assists.
“It’s pretty cool,” Stacey said. “I’m happy that I’m performing pretty well.”
The 11 points also places her fourth among the scoring leaders in the NWHL.
“I don’t think too much into it,” she said.
When reminded of how impressive it is, the understated Stacey breaks from character. Her typical style is that she is usually one of the last to toot her own horn.
“I am pretty shocked,” she said. “’Oh wow, there are how many players in this league? and I’m fourth?’ I didn’t think I would perform this well in my first full season back from (The University of) Maine so I’m pretty excited I’m performing this well.”
But Stacey is far from satisfied.
“I think there’s a couple of things I can work on my game to improve a little more,” she said.
It seems she has developed a nifty scoring touch to add to an excellent all-around game.
“I usually get the rebound goals,” Stacey said. “I don’t score the pretty goals. That’s why I don’t see myself as a goal scorer. I get the dirty goals around the crease.”
Stacey was ready to play the moment she got the call from the Beauts. And that is thanks to her time with Linköping in the Swedish professional women’s league in the winter.
Stacey says she’s not letting the extra points get her away from what makes her a very solid two-way player.
“I’m a hard worker,” she said. “I’m very good at ‘D’ (defensive) zone coverage and stuff like that.”
She knows that with that work ethic the points will continue to pile up.
“I make smart plays, I think. I’m more of an assists person,” Stacey said.
Stacey was able to continue her hot streak as she picked up a pair of assists in the Beats 3-1 win over the Connecticut Whale on Sunday. This was after her team had a three-and-a-half week layoff between games.
“It was weird,” she said. “I never had that much time off during the season. I would prefer we didn’t have so much time off. I like to think we came back strong despite the time off.”
Although the Beauts continued to practice twice a week to stay sharp between their games.
For Stacey, the scheduling in one of the big things she continues to get used to at the professional level.
“There are a lot of ups and downs,” she said. “I try to stay as positive as I can. I can get pretty negative towards myself a lot of times both on and off the ice. I just try to be more positive and to continue working on that.”
Buffalo hosts Minnesota for a pair of games this weekend. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and again Sunday at 1 p.m. Stacey doesn’t really care if continues on her torrid scoring pace, as long as her team wins.