Women's Hockey: Huskies prepare for first game against Union

The UConn women's ice hockey team defeated the University of New Hampshire 4-3 in triple overtime on Saturday afternoon at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum on 2/27/16. (Jackson Haigis/The Daily Campus)

The UConn Huskies women’s hockey team will hit the road this Friday for the first game of the season against Union College. The game starts at 6 p.m. Friday and is the first of a double-header that continues Saturday at 3 p.m.

Last season, the Huskies were a solid 17-15-5, going 9-5-4 while at home, and advancing to the 2016 Hockey East Championship and losing 4-2 to Boston College. As a team, the Huskies scored 82 goals out of 813 shot attempts for a shot percentage of .101. An area in which they lagged slightly behind their opponents in was shots per game. While the Huskies took 22.0 shots per game, their opponents took 36.9.

Unfortunately for the Huskies they have lost their star goalie from last season, Elaine Chuli. Chuli stopped 972 shots to finish her career with 3,467 saves, which is the most in program history. Likely to take her place is senior Annie Belanger, a senior who stopped 300 shots last season and posted a season high 38 saves against Princeton in January. Senior Theresa Knutson who led the team in goals and points last season, is also back for UConn.

Last season the opposing team, Union College, was a brutal 0-28-6. The team did not put up nearly as many shot attempts as their opponents did. This year’s team for Union features mostly freshman so they are not likely to make a serious impact in their conference, the Liberty League.

When UConn and Union met last season on Oct. 3, the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

This year the Huskies are predicted to finish fourth in the 2016-17 Hockey East preseason coaches’ poll, moving up one spot from last year. They have also added a new addition to their coaching staff while assistant coach Jaclyn Hawkins is on maternity leave, adding Carson Duggan as an assistant coach for the season. Prior to joining the Huskies, Duggan had a three-year tenure with the Ohio State women’s hockey program.

Mariana Dominguez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.