Ice Hockey, Sports

Rebecca Russo’s heroics, Sammy Davis’ explosive debut key opening-weekend sweep for No. 8 women’s hockey

PHOTO BY FALON MORAN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior forward Rebecca Russo’s goal with 0.03 seconds remaining lifted BU to its 2-1 season-opening win over UConn on Friday. PHOTO BY FALON MORAN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The No. 8 Boston University women’s ice hockey team played its first official games this past weekend against the University of Connecticut on Friday night and the University of Maine on Sunday afternoon, turning both matchups into the team’s first weekend sweep of the season.

On Friday night, the Terriers (2-0, 2-0 Hockey East) played a whirlwind first game, topping the Huskies (0-1-1, 0-1 Hockey East), 2-1 in a dramatic fashion.

In the first period, both teams played an aggressive style, but it was BU who held the puck for most of the first frame. The Terriers had 41 total attempted shots after the first period, but only 15 made it all the way to Husky goaltender Elaine Chuli. UConn tallied five shots by the end of the period and the scored remained 0-0.

The second period was a different story however, with the Huskies breaking the 0-0 tie on a goal from forward Brittany Berisoff, who shot the puck in right on the doorstep of junior goaltender Victoria Hanson. BU still battered Chuli with 35 shots in the second frame, and finally broke through in the third period.

Just under nine minutes into the final frame, freshman forward Sammy Davis skated up the left side of the rink and shot from the lower slot between the legs of Chuli. It was Davis’ first collegiate goal, tying the game 1-1.

“It was unbelievable,” Davis said on tallying her first career goal. “I was really hyped up at the beginning of the game. The third period started and everyone was kind of riled up and mad that we were losing and that’s when it started off I guess.”

As the game wound down, the result seemed destined for overtime, however senior forward Rebecca Russo would not let that happen. Sophomore forward Victoria Bach skated up the right side of the ice and passed the puck to sophomore forward Rebecca Leslie. Leslie saucered the puck over to Russo, who was wide open in front of Chuli and banked it in with just 0.03 seconds left in the third period.

“From the first period to the third period, I had about two other chances,” Russo said. “It was a team effort and a line effort. [Leslie and Bach] gave me the puck back door and shot the puck far-pad. I was there, but couldn’t really finish. [I] saved the best for last I guess, right?”

Sunday’s game was a different story for the Terriers, as they traveled to Orono, Maine, to take on the Black Bears (1-1, 1-1 Hockey East) for their second straight Hockey East contest.

Late in the first period, Maine struck first when forward Audra Richards beat sophomore goaltender Erin O’Neil, who started her first game of the season. The Black Bears would make it 2-0 just 26 seconds into the second period.

Shortly after the Terriers made a switch between the pipes, benching O’Neil and subbing in Hanson, junior forward Samantha Sutherland passed the puck to junior defenseman Sarah Steele on the point. Sammy Davis redirected Steele’s ensuing shot right past Maine netminder Meghann Treacy for her second goal of the season and second of the weekend to put the Terriers on the scoreboard.

“It was just one of those situations where I’m sure that Erin [O’Neil] would like probably both of the goals back,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “Sometimes you get one off of a funny angle and the game is played different based on the goalie and how they play the game. I didn’t want to do it and it was on the road, and I thought that we were going to have to do something to change the complexion of the scoreboard.”

A little over halfway into the second period, BU tied the game with Russo’s second goal of the season and the weekend. Sophomore defenseman Savannah Newton passed the puck to freshman defensemen Connor Galway who was on the point, and Russo deflected the puck into the top corner.

The Terriers would not stop there with the scoring however, as once again Davis found the back of the net, this time on a power-play opportunity in the third period. Leslie added in an empty-netter at the end of the third frame for her first goal of the season, solidifying the Terrier victory, 4-2.

“It’s great to have two games on the win column in Hockey East,” Durocher said. “These two are behind us and now we have to see how we do going forward.”

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