Women’s Hockey: Buress scores crucial, sends Huskies to semifinals

The UConn women's hockey team celebrates Leah Buress' triple overtime goal at the Freitas Ice Forum on Saturday Feb. 27, 2016. The Huskies are headed to the Hockey East semifinals. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

UConn women’s hockey senior Leah Buress hasn’t scored many goals during her time in Storrs – but this weekend she scored a few that will certainly be memorable going forward.

While Buress scored just five goals in her first three seasons at UConn, the Ontario native scored three crucial goals late this season for the Huskies — helping the women’s hockey team advance to the Hockey East semifinals.

The first came on Feb. 12 in a home match against Maine on the team's senior night. The Huskies were tied 1-1 with the Black Bears, but early in the overtime period Buress scored – winning the game for UConn.

“It’s always exciting to score in OT, I don’t score much either so it was fun,” Buress said following that game.

This Saturday, Buress stepped up for the Huskies once again, providing two goals when they needed them most.

In the second game of a three-game series in the Hockey East quarterfinals, UConn was looking to finish off a relentless New Hampshire team.

With one minute left in the third period of play, it was looking like the series was headed to a Game 3. But after pulling goalkeeper Elaine Chuli with over a minute left, Buress was able to tie the game and send it to overtime.

During overtime there was a lot of back and forth by both teams, with the referee’s allowing for some physical play. Both teams had chances to score, but in the third overtime period Buress once again found the net, winning the game for UConn.

After a bad giveaway, the Huskies sprung on the break with Buress finishing the three-on-one attack.

“It was exciting,” Buress said. “It’s hard to put a team away, especially one fighting for their life in the playoffs. Somehow we got through it and put the puck in the net.”

The Huskies are undefeated in more than 60 minutes of overtime play this season, winning three and tying three. 

“We’re pretty loose in the dressing room, everyone is showing energy even though they are obviously tired, but at that point it’s mind over matter,” Buress said.


Antonio Salazar is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at antonio.salazr@uconn.edu.