Women's Hockey: Huskies dominate in weekend sweep over Union

The UConn offense was explosive this weekend in hosting Union (Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

UConn women’s hockey outscored Union 11-1 this weekend in a two-game series that began Friday night at Freitas Ice Forum. Game one was a 6-1 victory for the Huskies, featuring a two-goal performance from both Briana Colangelo and Catherine Crawley.

It was an incredibly physical game from the start as the back-and-forth play saw collisions and players falling on the ice. The Huskies scored first with a 16th minute goal from Freshman Morgan Wabick. Returners Jamie Fox and Emily Reid each notched an assist on the goal.

Less than four minutes later, Crawley earned her first of the season, thanks in part to the efforts of Natalie Snodgrass and Rebecca Lindblad who each claimed a point on the goal.

Union removed their goalie to begin the second period. Amelia Murray, who had made 14 saves in the first period, was replaced by Coco Francis. The fast play resulted in two Husky goals within two minutes. First, at 11:12, Colangelo got her first of the game with the help of Taylor Wabick and Kayla Mee. Crawley followed it up at 12:46 with her second of the game, coming alongside Lindblad’s second assist.

Union stuck with Francis in the third after saving 17 shots in the second period. At 10:01, Union’s Cheyenne Harris was penalized for hooking. On the power play, Colangelo connected with M. Wabick and Fox to give the Huskies a 5-0 lead. For good measure, UConn’s 2016-2017 leading scorer, Leah Lum, threw her hat in the rink with a goal in the 17th minute. Colangelo would receive yet another point for the assist.

Union refused to go down without a fight, finally getting one through goalie Annie Belanger in the 18th. The unassisted goal was credited to Katie Laughlin, her first of the season.

UConn won the game 6-1, outshooting Union 52-16 in a dominant performance. Belanger would get her second win of the season, making 15 saves during the game.

“We’ve been able to outshoot some opponents in the past few games and tonight is no exception,” head coach Chris MacKenzie said on the win. “The execution is what we’re really focusing on. Execution and consistency.”

“We’re going to watch the video and decide [if Belanger will be in goal for game two],” MacKenzie went on. “We have to start fresh the next day and really focus on getting better.”

Game two continued the dominance of this Husky team. The 5-0 victory saw strong performances from the freshmen, another multi-point game for Colangelo and a shutout performance from Morgan Fisher in goal.

UConn didn’t hold back, landing a goal in the sixth minute. Colangelo would get the credit, her third goal of the weekend and fourth of the season. M. Wabick notched her second assist of the series. The first period scoring continued with M. Wabick getting one through at 12:55. Lum and Colangelo both received points on the play. Finally, to round out the period, Theresa Knutson got her first of the season, an unassisted goal in the 18th minute.

UConn entered the second period with a 3-0 lead and left with the final 5-0 score. Both of these goals came unassisted off the stick of Snodgrass, giving her three goals on the season.

“Natalie Snodgrass has made two great individual plays to really solidify the win,” MacKenzie said. “[The Freshmen] are getting more and more confident. You can see there’s a comfort level, they’re learning how much time they have with the puck, what they can and can’t get away with, and they’re cashing in on opportunities.”

“Morgan Wabick got on the board a few times this weekend, Natalie Snodgrass did, it’s good,” MacKenzie continued when asked about the freshmen. “Our freshmen defense got some points too so we’re happy.”

Overall, UConn outshot Union 26-24 in what was a far more evenly matched game. (Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

Both teams were shut out in the third, with Francis saving six shots to Fisher’s eight. Overall, UConn outshot Union 26-24 in what was a far more evenly matched game. Fisher got saved eight goals each period to earn her first blank slate of the season.

“Happy for her to get the shutout tonight,” MacKenzie said on Fisher’s performance. “I thought we played a sound game, had a great first period and got off to a good start.”

Colangelo had a five point weekend, consisting of three goals and two assists.

“She’s really consistent. Shows up, does her thing, and we’re happy to have her. Considering the amount she’s played it’s funny that she’s just a sophomore.”

The Huskies have two Hockey East matchups next weekend. The first will take place Friday night at Freitas Ice Forum against Boston College. The second will be Sunday afternoon at Boston University.  

“Looking forward to this team growing. I think it could be a special group this year. Just need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

Looking forward to this team growing. I think it could be a special group this year. Just need to hold ourselves to a higher standard
— Head coach Chris MacKenzie

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