JO 514: Sin Bin: Maddie Elia on her career

Boston University senior Maddie Elia (Max Wolpoff)

BOSTON – Out of the 39 penalties committed in the first five Hockey East games of the Boston University season, senior Maddie Elia served six of them. The conference was still adjusting to new rules about hooking and holding enforcement.

“We got an e-mail, and there was a video highlighting the new rules, and then a ref actually came and talked to us,” Elia said in an interview Tuesday. “But I don’t think any of us were expecting what actually happened.”

In her four years in a Boston University uniform, Maddie Elia took 101 penalties, accounting for 227 minutes in total. She led the team in penalty minutes each of her four seasons. Out of the senior class, defender Sarah Steele is second in penalty minutes at 66.

Ask her, and – with a laugh – the Lewiston, New York native will say that maybe ten of those penalties were justified.

“I feel like if they did not increase the rules, my penalties would have been way down. I was not that aggressive this year,” Elia said.

Maddie Elia in warmups at Maine (Max Wolpoff)

On top of the penalties, Elia has anchored BU’s second line and first power play unit for most of her four seasons. She ended her career with 112 points, finishing eighth overall in team history.

“I feel like every year, my style kind of adapts into something else,” she said. She went on describe her style at the Nichols School as “trying to be fancy all the time.”

It worked well in her senior year, captaining Nichols to the North American Prep Hockey Association and Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association championships. She began her collegiate career the same way, but the results were not coming.

A conversation with head coach Brian Durocher pushed for a change. “I was more effective when I was working hard and making the simple plays, rather than trying to do too much.” She finished her freshman season fourth on the team with 28 points.

Elia enrolled at BU in 2013, the third of four consecutive years the Terriers won Hockey East. Elia scored in both Championship games against Boston College, with her goal in 2014 serving as the game-winner.

She counts hoisting the Bertagna Trophy twice as her favorite moments from her career.

“I think freshman and sophomore year were a bit more focused, and kind of knew our angle. We had great leaders like Pou [Marie-Philip Poulin], and Tino [Kayla Tutino], and Stoney [Sharon Stoneburgh], and so I think that really helped us out,” she said.

One constant in her last three seasons was junior Rebecca Leslie. Out of her 12 goals this season, Leslie assisted on eight of them. Conversely, on Leslie’s 16 goals, Elia factored in on six.

BU junior Rebecca Leslie (left) and Elia (right) in warmups at Walter Brwon Arena (Max Wolpoff)

“I think every year we become better friends,” Elia said of Leslie. “I do not think I have ever gotten tired of her.”

Following a then career high of 29 points as a junior, the Buffalo Beauts selected Elia with their final pick of the 2016 NWHL draft. The four-team league drafts players who, per their rules, “have completed their junior seasons at a four-year accredited college.”

However, Elia is unsure what she wants to do now that her collegiate career is over.

“I think I was so focused on hockey for so long I did not really think about anything else. Now, I am kind of realizing that I need to think about other things,” she said.


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JO 304: How I spent My Vacation

In the last week, I spent time in Florida on Spring Break. Unlike many fellow “spring breakers” as we were affectionately called by the locals, I went to baseball games.

The video below is an Instagram story from my day at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida to see the Baltimore Orioles take on the Dominican Republic. The Dominicans were playing a tune-up game before going to Miami for the World Baseball Classic.

JO304 Newstrack: Combating “Fake News”

The buzzphrase in journalism is “fake news”: what is it and how should organizations cope with it?

For its part, Mashable covers what technology giants like Google and Facebook are doing to keep their sites clean of it.

For the upcoming presidential election in France, Google and Facebook and testing a collaborative fact-checking service called CrossCheck. In an election marred by an unpopular sitting president and an upstart, far-right opposition candidate, Facebook users can flag content they believe is fake.

A recent Facebook update altered the algorithym in the News Feed to rank “misleading, sensational or spammy” stories lower than genuine ones.

Part of the reason “fake news” is such a big term in the news rests in an unverified report published on Buzzfeed about Donald Trump. Trump addressed Buzzfeed in his January press conference, and the report has slowly dissapated from the news cycle.

Then came his solo conference last week, giving the Internet more fodder for merchandising, and one Fox News anchor his chance to let Trump have it.

Indonesia is taking drastic measures against false news spreading online by creating a new government agency, the National Cyber Agency, to find and shut down “fake news” sites. 11 websites and 30 social media accounts were shut down by their Communications Ministery earlier the same week.

Google is doing its part, shutting down 1.7 billion bad advertisements, punishing 340 sites suspected of misrepresenting news organizations, and banning almost 200 sites altogether. Mashable’s story on that links to the full report.

The coverage of fake news on Mashable has a heavy slant toward technology companies and how they are handling the spreading of falsehoods and spam on the Internet.

JO 304 Newstrack: Mashable Pictures

Blogs and online-exclusive sites need to grab attention with two things: headlines and pictures. While on this morning’s “front page” of stories, Mashable uses some fine photos. Only one was taken by, or belongs to, the site itself.

Take this story about a photoshoot on top of a skyscraper for example. The photos used are both from the model’s Instagram account, while some text is provided by online commenters.

Or this piece about a suspect in the murder of Kim Jong-nam, brother to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. The images of the suspect — which generated great interest in her T-shirt with the phrase “LOL” on it — come from Shutterstock and the Toabao site where the listing came from.

A travel story about visitors to India getting a free SIM card upon arrival uses an AP/Getty Images photo in its feature.

Then there is every toddler’s dream: a photoshoot as their Disney hero. John Rossi, a professional photographer in his own right, allowed his daughter Nelle the full Beauty and the Beast experience. All images used in the post come direct from Rossi’s Instagram account.

Mashable also utilizes photos used on Twitter, like this one about a pot-slinging catapult along the U.S.-Mexico border. The top image is a Getty Images shot, while the tweet from Customs and Border Protection – Arizona is used for context (and a bad pun).

Billboard’s use of iPhone portrait mode for a cover shoot garnered some buzz around the Internet. Mashable took the picture directly from Billboard. However, this is the first story of the day that utilizes a picture taken by a member of the site.

Blogs have to get creative with where their photos come from. Photography equipment is expensive, as is having a staff photographer at every major event the site might cover. It is easier to rip pictures from social media and stock websites.

JO 304 Newstrack: Mashable and the Super Bowl

Mashable’s focus on technology gave it a heavy slant toward advertising during Super Bowl 51, but that did not stop certain parts of the game from getting highlighted by the site’s writers.

Apps For Enhanced Viewing

This story from a few days before the big game spotlights apps that would enhance the viewing experience. Fox Sports Go allowed cable subscribers to stream the game for free on a mobile phone, Flipp allows shoppers to find coupons for all the things they need to buy for the party, Football Squares Plus takes the “Squares” game and puts it online (no need to handle paper this year), and PairWise reccomends what beer might go best with your food.

Cannot Escape the Politics

With Vice President Mike Pence in attendance and former President and First Lady George and Barbara Bush (longtime Houston residents) doing the coin toss, the big game had its share of political celebrities.

Then came the advertisments. Coca-Cola ran an old ad  right before kickoff that used a multi-lingual version of “America the Beautiful,” generating extreme reactions. Budweiser, famous for well-done ads this time of year, used the story of co-founder Aldophus Busch’s immigration to the U.S. The commercial was designed in October, 2016, well before the latest drama in the immigration debate.

AirBNB’s “We Accept” ad DID have an intentionally pro-immigration stance, but it was a re-edited version of an ad used in the wake of discrimination allegations.

Not My Game

Some companies like Frito-Lay and Heinz otped to skip advertising during the game entirely. With prices for 30 seconds being estimated at over $5 billion, companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to get their message out.

This left spots for rookies in sports advertising to jump in. Newcomers included Tiffany & Co., Yellow Tail wines, and 84 Lumber.

The ads they Could Not Show

Speaking of 84 Lumber, their initial ad was deemed too controversial for television, so they simply directed viewers to go online and watch the original ending, including a depiction of a border wall.

The large amount of traffic crashed their website momentarily.

For the last few years, porn websites have been using their web traffic — or lackthereof — to promote their content, without showing anything. PornHub’s traffic report showed a massive drop in site traffic from Massachusetts and Georgia during the game, with a slight uptick during halftime.

Traffic in Massachusetts reached its lowest level in the fourth quarter, as the Patriots scored 19 points to tie the game at 28. Following the game’s conclusion, Massachusetts traffic spiked to 30 percent above normal Sunday level while Georgia leveled off at 18 percent above normal.

Also of note, searches for football-related terms — Super Bowl (2,451%), halftime (2,434%), football (394%), and cheerleader (52%) — all saw huge jumps.

The Game Itself

What seemed like a runaway victory for the Atlanta Falcons turned out to be the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, featuring the first ever overtime in the game’s 51 years.

A Julio Jones catch resembling Micahel Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” was only topped by Julian Edelman’s catch mere centimeters from the ground. The 19-point comeback was history in the making for millions of viewers, not including President Trump.

As fans rained boos on Commissioner Roger Goodell during the trophy ceremony (a pretty common sight in American professional sports), a local ad for Shields MRI featured Tom Brady — who totally knew the Patriots would win.

From the drama around Brady’s “stolen” jersey to Martellus Bennett’s daughter telling the world about her dog Wendy, the Patriots celebrated their fifth Super Bowl title. One Falcons fan took it upon himself to capture the moment, by burying the jersey he wore during the game.

The Parade

Rain could not stop Patriots fans from packing the streets from Copley Square all the way to City Hall in downtown Boston. This Rolling Rally with the Duck Boats became the 15th parade in the city since 2001. If you needed confirmation, just see this 15-year-old’s sign from the parade.


Mashable did not cover “the Super Bowl,” but rather featured events and moments surrounding the game. Of the stories in this Newstrack, just two were about plays that happened on the field. Even those posts were more about the buzz they created on social media and not their significance to the game.

JO 304: Yet Another “Simpsons” Prediction

High above, NRG Stadium, Lady Gaga thought she had the crowd in the palm of her hand. Only she knew that her jump was part of a coordinated act en route to an, at least in the immediate, entertaining halftime show at Super Bowl 51.

Then again, she was not the only one who knew. The Simpsons had a 2012 episode (“Lisa Goes Gaga”) that used many of the same elements from her 2017 show, including flying on wires, a light show that made a design (the episode had a cowboy hat, the show made the American flag), and a costume change.

Mashable utilized tweets from viewers, containing side-by-side pictures of the show and the episode, to further draw the comparison. The post can be found here: