After witnessing the past three home games, it is undeniable that there is something special about the 2017-2018 UConn women’s hockey team. There is chemistry that is evident on the ice. Passing has been cleaner than I’ve ever seen it, and the defense has held strong while the offense has become more aggressive.
On Friday night, the Huskies took on No. 3 in the nation, Boston College. The Eagles have a storied hockey program and are consistently dominant in the Hockey East conference. Last year, they finished atop the conference and fought their way to a Hockey East championship. In three matchups against the Huskies, BC won two and tied the final game 4-4 after an OT period. UConn goalie Annie Belanger made 35 saves in that game as BC outshot UConn 39-26.
We saw a similar story Friday night as the Huskies held BC to a 2-2 tie after an OT period. UConn never trailed in this game. BC outshot UConn a whopping 47-30, but Belanger made 45 saves, the second-most of her career.
“Annie is great. She’s been a consistent contributor for us. I think she’s one of the best goalies in the country,” head coach Chris MacKenzie said of Belanger’s performance. “I think it’s evident when she performs like that, it’s pretty obvious she can compete. We’ll need that going forward.”
Belanger’s career high is 48 saves. This came during her freshman year against Northeastern, a 2-2 tie after OT. NU made 50 shots in the game.
“I felt good. After the second period I was mad at myself for that second goal so I was trying to get that back,” Belanger said. “In the third period I felt good, I thought I saw the puck well. I felt confident.”
“Our defense and goaltending is always phenomenal so I think we’re going to hold up really well on that end,” senior Theresa Knutson said of the season going forward. Knutson scored her second goal of the season Friday night.
When asked what they need to do going forward, Belanger’s answer was simple:
“More of the same.”
Rachel Schaefer is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.