By: Patrick Donnelly
Two years removed from double-hip surgery, which caused her to miss her entire junior season, redshirt senior Sammy Davis is embarking on her fifth year as a Terrier. One of three Terriers to wear a ‘C’ on her sweater, Davis has been one of BU’s most dangerous offensive weapons whenever she is on the ice.
The fifth-year Terrier is coming off a career season that saw her post 25 goals (first in Hockey East and sixth in the nation) and 27 assists (fourth in the conference and thirteenth in Division I) for 52 points (second in Hockey East and seventh in the nation).
Davis’ comeback season was highlighted by earning most valuable player at the 2019 Beanpot, where she scored the game-winning goal in overtime of the championship game versus Harvard, bringing the Beanpot back to Commonwealth Avenue for the first time in 38 years. The dynamic forward is looking to have an even stronger year to improve on her last campaign.
“I’m trying to build off of [last year] and grow as a player, getting quicker and faster,” Davis said. She did exactly that on Sunday afternoon, recording two goals in a 2-1 win over Union to open up the 2019-20 campaign with a win.
Before missing her junior year, Davis put up 17 goals and nine assists for 26 points as a freshman before recording seven tallies and 16 helpers for 23 points during her sophomore season. The long road to being able to suit up in scarlet and white again was not an easy one for Davis, but it would have been hard to script a better comeback year for the Tabor Academy product.
“”I’ve learned a lot coming off of last year into this year,” the graduate student noted.
“The first thing that comes to mind, while it might seem like offense to most people, [she] sets the bar with toughness,” head coach Brian Durocher mentioned. “[She] plays hockey like a third or fourth-liner, but with first line talent.”
One of Durocher’s most reliable skaters, Davis gets it done in all areas of the ice and is part of one of the nation’s most lethal on the power plays; however, Durocher knows the individual statistics come in the wake of team success. The 15th-year coach of the Terriers sees a lot of former BU standout and Hockey Canada star Marie-Philip Poulin in Davis.
“I think about [Poulin] with Sammy,” Durocher recalled. “She never cared about winning a scoring title. It was more about winning the game, so I think because of Sammy’s DNA, an awful lot of people follow her.”
Davis’ work-ethic does not go unnoticed by her coach, either. In her third season wearing a letter on her jersey–the Pembroke, Massachusetts, native served as an assistant captain her junior season and was one of three captains last year–the left-shot winger is among the leadership in the dressing room that sets the bar for the young players high each day at the rink.
“When you look around that locker room or look out on the ice and see [Davis] playing that hard, you have to figure it will motivate and send a message to other kids that ‘this is how we have to play,'” the BU bench boss described.
The Terriers are welcoming six freshmen to the squad this season, five of whom are made their collegiate debuts during the season opener–Haylee Blinkhorn notched her first collegiate point, assisting on Davis’ first of the game. While BU only lost three seniors, most notably Reagan Rust, the fresh faces and young returners will need to step up.
“I think the depth of the team is really going to help us,” Davis remarked. “A lot of the girls have grown and worked really hard over the offseason.”
However, with as talented of a team as the Terriers and the winning aspirations, especially with the Frozen Four being held at BU’s Agganis Arena this season, Davis feels the focus is on building the culture in the room and setting the example for the underclassmen.
“I just wish was in their shoes when I was at their age,” Davis continued. “I think talking to them I’ve realized how grateful and lucky they feel; that’s the culture we’re trying to build.”
“They’re all super excited to play for Boston University. How could you not be?”