Russo buzzer-beater nets BU first win

BOSTON — With 56.5 seconds left, head coach Brian Durocher called timeout. His players were tired and needed to rest before another defensive zone faceoff. The game was tied, 1-1, and seemed destined for overtime. Boston University not only secured the puck, they came on offense and attacked Elaine Chuli. When the clock read 0.3, Rebecca Russo’s shot pierced net and the crowd celebrated accordingly. On BU’s 48th shot on goal, the Terriers beat the visiting University of Connecticut 2-1.

BU held most of the chances all game despite a sluggish start to the first period. After 10 minutes, the Terriers got consistent rushes and held the Huskies at the red line when they tried to counter. As would be the case all game, the UCONN defense blocked shot after shot, turning scoring chances into counter-attacks. The Huskies ended the first with 15 of 41 attempted shots blocked before they hit the net.

Half-way through the second period, UCONN began to apply pressure on Victoria Hanson. Despite BU breaking up the initial play behind the net, Leah Buress pursued and reclaimed the puck. She played it back to the front where Brittany Berisoff chipped the puck by Hanson for the game’s first goal. For the last five minutes of the second, each side played hard on the puck, eager for the next goal. Justine Fredette and Dakota Woodworth got too eager and took coincidental minors for checking and roughing respectively.

Sammy Davis almost gave UCONN a taste of their own medicine after blocking a shot with her skates and going for the breakaway. However, it was the tail end of her shift and the defense caught up to her. Davis had the last laugh, tying the game at 8:53 on a brilliant net drive with a finish over Chuli’s blocker.

“It’s unreal. I know that last game I had a few chances, crashed the net, but I just kinda beared down and I really wanted to score” Davis said after the game. Davis’s goal tonight is the first of her collegiate career.

On that fateful last minute, Victoria Bach passed to Rebecca Leslie behind the net. Leslie skated to the front and Chuli made the easy save, but the rebound landed right on the waiting stick of Russo. A quick chip shot over the downed goalie and Russo skated straight to the Dog Pound cheering section.

“I looked at the clock at the end of the celebration and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was 0.3 seconds left” Russo explained afterwards. “I didn’t even know what to do to be honest.”

Russo’s goal was the 110th shot attempt by the Terriers all game. Of those shot attempts, 38 were blocked by UCONN players, two hit the post, 22 were off target, and 48 made it to Chuli. She made 46 saves to Hanson’s 20.

“I told them going into the third ‘here’s test number 1 of the year’ and they passed” Durocher said.

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