Women's Ice Hockey: Desperation leads to execution at both ends

The Women's Hockey Team faces off against Maine on a double header in Freitas Ice Forum.  The Huskies came out on top in a tight game on Friday, Jan. 26, with a 2-1 win, and dominated on Saturday, Jan. 27, with a 4-0 shutout (Jon Sammis/The Daily Campus)

The UConn women’s hockey team (9-11-8, 3-10-5) picked up four points against conference rival, No. 9 Maine (16-9-3, 10-6-2). Earlier in the week, head coach Chris Mackenzie said the team needed to play desperate as they are fighting for a playoff spot and the team responded.

“It feels great. Really, when you are focused on how you are playing, and I think we are playing at our best right now, that’s a good sign,” Mackenzie said. “It’s great to get four points. Maine is a good team and they are well coached and disciplined. We were fortunate to get the lead and keep it.”

With the weekend sweep, UConn leapfrogged Merrimack by one point to take the eighth spot in the conference. The Huskies have six games remaining, with four games at home, in the regular season. However, if the season ended today, UConn would have secured a playoff spot.

Freshman defenseman Taylor Wabick, who had three assists Saturday against Maine, said the excitement in the locker room is through the roof.

“It’s unreal,” Wabick said of the emotions after a key sweep of Maine. “Everyone is just so excited to finally get a sweep… No one expected us to get those four points. Maine is ranked and we are just trying our best to get those points and move up the standings.”

UConn’s defense has been fierce throughout the season, but the offensive explosion during their 4-0 win Saturday was a welcome surprise. Senior forward Leah Lum scored two, while freshman Natalie Snodgrass and Morgan Wabick added one goal each.

“It starts with Annie (Belanger). We know she’s got our back and the defense was pressuring good,” Lum said. “Our forwards are doing really well in the offensive zone and we are getting a lot of scoring chances. So I think altogether, we are doing a pretty good job.”

Mackenzie said he was happy with his team’s execution and ability to stay upbeat and this weekend.

It’s great to get four points. Maine is a good team and they are well coached and disciplined. We were fortunate to get the lead and keep it
— Head Coach Chris Mackenzie

“We have six games left (in the regular season),” Mackenzie said. “We can control how we play and control the controllables like work ethic and performance. So, moving on we are focused on Northeastern and Providence next weekend. And hopefully we play well.”


Michael Logan is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at michael.logan@uconn.edu.