Women’s Hockey: A look at the first half of the season

UConn women's hockey completed the first half of the season this weekend.  Huskies are 9-6-3 and 4-3-1 against their Hockey East opponents. (Ruohan Li/The Daily Campus) 

The UConn women’s hockey team completed the first half of their season this weekend when they split a series with Boston University. With about one month off before their next game, the Huskies are 9-6-3, and 4-3-1 against their Hockey East opponents.

The story at the beginning of the season was penalties. Head coach Chris MacKenzie mentioned that the referees are calling a new standard of play this season, and that until the players adjust to it we should expect to see a lot of penalties. So far this season, the Huskies have committed 84 penalties, which is equal to 182 minutes of uneven play. Their opponents have combined for 74 penalties, and 148 minutes of uneven play. The biggest aspect of these penalties were the stick infractions. Penalties like hooking, tripping and slashing were getting called far more than the players were used to. However, as the season has gone on, we are seeing a decrease in the number of penalties that have been committed.

A steady force throughout the season, goaltender Annie Belanger has an amazing record. Through the first half she’s started 14 games and made 464 saves compared to 443 combined saves for her opponents.

“She’s played great all year. She’s continuing to blossom into an elite goalie in the NCAA and I’m very proud of her,” MacKenzie said of Belanger earlier in the year. “Annie had a great weekend along with many of our players. She has worked hard to develop her game and be excellent in everything she does.”

Belanger’s record this season is 6-6-3.

Another star for the Huskies has been junior Leah Lum. The leading scorer of the first half, Lum has 11 goals and six assists. Five of her goals have been scored on power plays, and three of them have been game-winners.

The unsung heroes of the team would be the combination of Theresa Knutson, Briana Colangelo and Jamie Fox. They’ve combined for 12 goals and 28 assists throughout the season.

Additionally, the Huskies’ record away from Storrs has been drastically better. They’re 2-3-1 at Freitas but 7-3-1 away from home. This may have something to do with attendance numbers being far better when UConn is away than when they play at home home.

Overall, the team is happy with their first half.

“It’s gone fairly well. I’m happy with a lot of things. We have a winning record right now and we’re doing well,” MacKenzie said of the first half.

UConn won’t play another game until Jan. 2 against Northeastern. The schedule ahead is not easy, but this team has performed very well so far. Now, they are onto the second half.


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