Rebecca Russo celebrates a Riveters goal against the Connecticut Whale. Photo by Troy Parla.
“Playing for the New York Riveters has been one heck of an experience, and I am looking forward to another fun and successful season with this great organization,” said Russo. “I am so incredibly blessed and honored to be able to continue to play the game I love most and re-sign for another season of hockey with the NWHL.”
In 18 games with the Riveters last season – her first in the NWHL – Russo had 3 goals and 13 assists for 16 points. In addition, she won the Fastest Skater competition in the All-Star Skills Showdown.
At Boston University, where her team won three Hockey East Titles during her time there, Russo was 15-23-38 in 39 games in her senior season. Previously, the Connecticut native won a national title in 2011 at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota, where she led the team in goals in her senior year at the school.
In addition to playing in the NWHL, Russo works in the Media and Productions division at MLB/NHL Network.
The 2017-18 NWHL regular season is set to begin in October, featuring founding four franchises Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters playing a full slate of home games as well as neutral site games. The NWHL compensates all players and offers a revenue share on player jerseys and shirseys.
Self-Scouting Report: “I have a very energetic and aggressive style of play. Some can compare my style to that of Cam Atkinson on the Columbus Blue Jackets. My decision-making, vision on the ice, and my passing skills are my biggest contributions towards being a good team player.”
Approach to training: “I train with Ben Prentiss in Stamford, Connecticut. He works with many professional athletes and Olympic hockey players, such as Cam Atkinson, Jonathan Quick, Kevin Shattenkirk to name a few. I am extremely lucky to workout alongside these incredible athletes and role models who help push me to further limits.”
Hockey Development: “I played boys youth hockey for Mid-Fairfield in Connecticut until the age of 14. My father, Peter Russo, created the Mid-Fairfield girls’ program, the CT Stars, and since then they have been one of the most successful women’s programs in the country. I continued my hockey career in Minnesota at the legendary Shattuck St. Mary’s School, where I played with my current teammate, Courtney Burke.”
Coaching: “Throughout my college years, I was a counselor for the Boston University hockey camps and traveled to Lake Placid to help train young girls in skating at the Canadian/American Hockey camp. In addition, I have led private lessons and several motivational speeches at schools and ice rinks. This summer I am hoping to join Cam Atkinson in running a summer camp program.”
Career: “I graduated from Boston University in May 2016 with a Communications degree in Media Studies. I’m hoping to one day become a sports broadcaster. I currently work for MLB/NHL Network in their Media and Productions department.”
Admired Hockey Players: “I have always admired native Connecticut stars like Julie Chu, Martin St. Louis and Chris Drury. I am a big New York Rangers fan and have followed them for many years, especially during the Mark Messier era. Currently, I root for players Rick Nash and my friend, Kevin Hayes.”
Admired Athlete: “That’s easy…Derek Jeter. He is a great role model both on and off the field. I admire his leadership, work ethic, and sportsmanship.”
Musical Past: “Most people don’t know this but during my elementary and middle school years I played the violin. I was ‘first chair in the school orchestra!”
On Boston University: “I played on the D1 Women’s team, where we achieved three Hockey East Championships titles. My experience there was most memorable and where I made lifelong connections and friends. Going to a prestigious school like BU helped me become the person I am today. Not only did my professors, coaches and University staff guide me in the right direction, but living in the core of Boston helped me get a taste for the ‘real world.’ We weren’t living on a typical college campus; we were living in a city. With that came many different experiences and real life challenges. I am forever grateful for everything Boston University gave me.”
On the NWHL: “I am extremely fortunate that this league was formed for athletes, like myself, that are not done playing the game we love most. It’s time to give back and I have had the pleasure of making footprints for all the young girls that have the same vision and dream. The NWHL allows young women to continue playing hockey after college at the highest level. The leadership of this league is outstanding and they see the need for its existence. I have played with and against great players, met great people and made great friends along the way. I have trained with the best and been surrounded by a wonderful network of athletes, professionals and friends, and I wouldn’t want to be trade this job for anything. I just would like to take the time to say thank you to all our fans for helping support and grow this league. We couldn’t do it without you”!