On a bitter chilly Saturday night time underneath the intense lights at Shrewsbury Excessive, Day Ruffo and Kerryn O’Connell grew to become heroes.
The Algonquin discipline hockey senior captains helped the Tomahawks pressure a scoreless double time beyond regulation within the Pod 8 championship match towards the Colonials. As time was winding down earlier than a shootout, O’Connell introduced the ball over the 20-yard line and smacked it in entrance of the web, connecting on to Ruffo’s stick as she hit the ball into the again of the cage to provide Algonquin a 1-0 victory.
After the rating, the teammates and the remainder of the six on the sector bumped into one another’s arms. On the opposite facet, the Algonquin bench smashed into their senior goalkeeper Erin Desmond leaping up and down. Even at an away recreation, the Algonquin trustworthy hopped behind the observe on the stadium and sprinted round in celebration.
“I actually don’t keep in mind the purpose,” Ruffo stated after the sport.
“Me both,” O’Connell added with fun.
Earlier than connecting on a championship successful purpose, the most effective pal duo of Ruffo and O’Connell had been busy this previous week. First Ruffo made historical past within the Pod 8 semifinals on Wednesday towards Wachusett, when she scored on a backhanded shot that not solely tied the sport, 1-1, however made her the all-time chief in Algonquin discipline hockey historical past with 89 factors.
“It was such a blur; I used to be so excited. All I keep in mind is hitting it reverse and it going proper publish and I used to be like, ‘wait, did that truly simply occur?’ ” Ruffo stated. “I keep in mind everyone simply screaming and hugging me and it was superb.”
The following day, O’Connell — a captain for discipline hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse — signed her National Letter of Intent to play Division I ice hockey at Sacred Coronary heart College within the Algonquin fitness center.
It was a busy week for the heroes of Saturday night time.
“It’s been a loopy week for certain,” O’Connell stated.
In the beginning of the sport, Ruffo received the gang speaking on a number of offensive drives as she went 5 gap by the legs of a defender on the 50-yard line, ran by two Shrewsbury gamers, danced round one other defender, and even pulled out a transfer the place she dragged the ball round in a circle to slide previous a participant.
O’Connell was doing a lot of the identical as she dribbled the ball within the air off her stick for greater than 10 yards on two cases within the offensive zone. She additionally practically slammed a shot into the highest of the cage within the first time beyond regulation as she took one from the identical spot she made the game-winning help.
Her shot was adopted with, “Ok-Dawg sniper,” chants from the gang. Moreover Desmond posting a shutout in web, senior defender Libby Alford shut the door on a great deal of Shrewsbury scoring possibilities.
Alford reduce off three-straight offensive breakaway alternatives within the closing minutes of double time beyond regulation to maintain it tied up whereas chants of weight room poured down. Her efforts earned her a nickname shouted loud sufficient for everybody to listen to.
“Brick wall Libby.”
The stops become the offensive likelihood for Algonquin that grew to become the game-winning purpose by the pair of Ruffo and O’Connell. After the staff celebrated at midfield, they huddled up for a speech from coach Dan Welty.
“It was phenomenal. After we began the season they usually stated it’d be 7v7, the ladies stated they wished that as a result of we’re good at 7v7. The identical seven women performed each OTs,” Welty stated after the speech. “They’d the vitality all night time and it was superb.”
Then the ladies gathered at their web for staff pictures adopted by ones with the senior class and the unique 4 from 2017. That included Ruffo and O’Connell, who put their names in Algonquin historical past as heroes Saturday night time.
“I’m gonna miss it a lot,” Ruffo stated.