The UConn women’s ice hockey team will open their season taking on St. Cloud State in Minnesota on Friday and Saturday.
Last season, the UConn Huskies had a 14-18-4 record on the season which was good for seventh place in Hockey East and earned them a trip to the Hockey East Tournament.
This season, the Huskies are led by an 8-player senior class that includes leading scorers from last year, Leah Lum and Theresa Knutson.
Team captain Justine Fredette explained the closeness of the senior class in a video posted on the team’s website.
“I think that our senior class is such a tight-knit group and we’ve been together through so much already and we have so much experience already in this league that it’ll help a lot, passing that down to the freshmen who don’t really know what it’s like,” Fredette said.
Another senior for the team is goaltender Annie Belanger. As a junior, Belanger posted an 11-16-4 record, a career-high 940 saves and a .929 save percentage which was good for second best in Hockey East.
In a conference call with Hockey East, UConn head coach Chris MacKenzie described what makes Belanger such a great asset on and off the ice.
“Annie has had a great career, including off the ice with a 4.0 GPA,” MacKenzie said. “She brings a great attitude and work ethic. Hopefully we’ll allow fewer shots, but we’ll need good goaltending.”
Last Saturday, the Huskies took on the Whittby Jr. Wolves in a decisive exhibition game that saw the Huskies winning 6-0.
Five separate players scored for the Huskies, with senior forward Leah Lum scoring twice.
Looking to Saint Cloud this weekend, UConn will face an opponent who bested the Korean National Team in an exhibition game. In addition, 75 percent of the team’s total offensive production is back for the 2017-18 season.
The St. Cloud State Huskies didn’t have the best season last season, when they posted a 9-23-4 record.
The player to watch for St. Cloud State is junior Julia Tylke who led the team with 20 points on 12 goals and 8 assists last season.
The puck drop for Friday’s game against St. Cloud State is at 7 p.m.
Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.