UConn women’s hockey (1-2-0) made their home opener Saturday against Hockey East competitor Vermont (1-1-0). The Huskies scored early, but ultimately fell to Vermont 2-1.
The Huskies were off to a quick start, scoring just two minutes into the first period. Alternate Captain and 2016 leading scorer Leah Lum got credit for the goal, while Kayla Mee and Briana Colangelo recorded assists.
Three power plays in the second period resulted in two goals for the Catamounts. First, Rebecca Lindblad went to the box for roughing, and the Vermont’s Mackenzie MacNeil scored. Seven minutes later, two Huskies were in the box, giving Vermont the 5-3 player advantage. Carley Olivier was sent for hooking and Mee was sent for roughing. The Huskies held off Vermont until Olivier was back on the ice, but Saana Valkama scored shortly after to give Vermont the lead.
Lindblad has a breakaway within the last five minutes of the game. She took a shot to the left corner of the net but Catamount goalie Sydney Scobee kicked the puck away.
The Huskies outshot Vermont 28-20 in the 2-1 defeat, but UConn went 0-for-5 on power play opportunities while the Catamounts capitalized, going 2-for-5 in their opportunities. Goalie Annie Belanger saved 18 shots, while Scobee saved 27 for Vermont. Husky defenders also accounted for 12 blocked shots in the loss.
“It was a hard fought victory [for Vermont],” head coach Chris MacKenzie said. “I thought 5-on-5 we carried the play, just weren’t able to capitalize. We had a go-ahead goal, then took a few too many penalties in the second. I thought [Vermont] played a good solid game. We had our chances, it wasn’t meant to be, so we’re going to learn from this and turn our focus to Union next week. I’m encouraged, I still love my team. I think it’s just early in the year.”
UConn returns to play Friday night with the first of a two-game series against Union at Freitas Ice Forum.
Rachel Schaefer is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.