The UConn women’s ice hockey team will face Northeastern in a best-of three series at Matthews Arena, hoping to break a three-game losing streak.
“We have had some great success [in the playoffs] in recent years and would like to continue that trend,” head coach Chris MacKenzie said.
Northeastern (14-8-2) has won all three match-ups between the teams this year, outscoring UConn 12-7 in those games. UConn didn’t play poorly against Northeastern in those games, but they were victims of unforced errors and penalties.
In the first match-up on Jan. 2, UConn and Northeastern were tied going into the third period. Northeastern went on to score two goals in two minutes to win the game comfortably 4-2.
It has been a constant throughout the season for the team. They have matches where they skate well and have control, but fail to score. The missed opportunities turn into goals allowed for the team.
In the second match of the season, UConn came from behind and tied the game in the second period with 10 minutes remaining. Five minutes later, Northeastern once again scored to come out on top.
UConn tied up the game 3-3 with eight minutes to go in their third matchup of the season, but Northeastern was able to score with three minutes to go to win the match.
“They were close games, and all were one goal games,” MacKenzie said.
UConn might have won those games if something had gone in their favor, but now in the quarterfinals the team will have to stay focused for 60 minutes. They cannot depend on luck.
UConn is coming off a forgettable doubleheader at Freitas Ice Forum last weekend, where they lost to New Hampshire by a score of 8-2.
After that game MacKenzie said they were moving on and the match would teach them valuable lessons to face Northeastern.
“UNH and Northeastern have some similar systems. That should help us prepare for the weekend,” MacKenzie said.
Northeastern finished its season with an ugly 7-2 loss against Boston University.
UConn needs to be focused and limit turnovers that could give Northeastern a chance, MacKenzie said.
“We need to perform well on special teams to keep their top players off the scoresheet,” MacKenzie added.
Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.