Women’s Hockey: Huskies suffer tough loss to #3 Quinnipiac

Theresa Knutson (#3) handles the puck as Briana Colangelo (#61) looks on. The Huskies lost to QU 3-0 on Saturday Oct. 8, 2016. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

The UConn women’s hockey team seemed outmatched from start to finish of the game in a 3-0  loss to No. 3 Quinnipiac Friday at Freitas Ice Forum, but UConn held its own for most of the first period. Annie Belanger was impressive, blocking seven shots before Quinnipiac managed to slip through in the 19th minute.

“The first goal in any game is big. When you play a team like Quinnipiac, the first goal is a big deal,”  UConn head coach Chris MacKenzie said.

UConn tried to rebound during the second period, but Quinnipiac came out even stronger, outshooting the Huskies 28-13. Belanger again had a great showing, blocking 15 shots in the second period, as both teams were kept off the board.

The final period was the nail in the coffin for UConn. Quinnipiac’s Raquel Pennoyer scored in the 12th minute.

“When they got the second goal, it really took the wind out of our sails. We kept fighting, but we have to be better in a lot of areas,” MacKenzie said.

In a last ditch effort to score in the 19th minute of the period, UConn took out Belanger in favor of another offensive player. Unfortunately, this strategy backfired and Quinnipiac managed to score again with 40 seconds left in the game. 

The big story of this game was the penalties, as Quinnipiac had 16 minutes of penalties, while UConn had 18.

“There’s a new standard of play that the refs are calling. I think you’re going to see a lot of that for the next few months as teams settle in,” MacKenzie said.  

MacKenzie also said his team’s inability to score on the numerous power play opportunities needs change, and they’ll take that with them moving forward. Their next game is Friday, Oct. 14, away at Rensselaer.

Rachel Schaefer is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.schaefer@uconn.edu.