Women's Hockey: Freitas says goodbye to its seniors

Junior Jaime Fox moves the puck against Merrimack in Hockey East action (Jon Sammis/The Daily Campus)

It was an exciting weekend for the UConn women’s hockey team as the they clinched a spot in the Hockey East Tournament and celebrated Senior Night.

With a sweep over Merrimack, senior Theresa Knutson scored her 49th goal, putting her third on the all-time scoring list for the Huskies.

Senior Leah Lum scored her 10th goal of the season, giving her 100 career points. She also got her 59th career assist, putting her third in the Huskies’ all-time assists list.

“I think they would trade any of those [milestones] for team success,” UConn head coach Chris MacKenzie said after the game. “Personal things are great but when anyone looks back at their hockey career, the moments with your team are the ones that make it really special.”

The eight seniors were the first ones recruited by MacKenzie. They walked into campus to join a team that had a 6-14-1 record in the Hockey East the previous season.

“They are leaving this place [as] different [people] and with better expectations. We now have higher expectations because of them,” MacKenzie said.

Senior goaltender Annie Belanger had a weekend with 60 saves, including a thrilling save during a late stretch of the game where she dove and brought the fans to their feet. The save led to a breakaway goal from Lum to seal the victory.

“Before the third period we talked and as seniors, we said this is our last game, we wanted this. You could just tell we wanted and it sums up four years,” Knutson said.

This has been an exceptional group of seniors who have worked hard on and off the ice, MacKenzie said about his seniors.

Earlier this season, the team raised over $6,500 for the UConn Health Center in the Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer event.

Last summer, senior Reese Maccario was one of the UConn representatives in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis.

The athletes were chosen by athletic administrators because of their interest in a career in sports, as well as their status as leaders on campus.

Maccario was also recognized by The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

“Reese is a highly competitive athlete who never backs down from a challenge,” said Joel DeMarco, assistant sport performance coach. “Her commitment to training off the ice has propelled her to set two program performance records in the last year. She is a mark of consistency for her teammates and embodies all of the great qualities that a strength coach is looking for. She sets a very high performance standard for our program.”

Last spring, Belanger and senior forward Lindsay Roethke were recognized by the university at the annual Scholar’s Day Ceremony.

Belanger was named a Babbidge Scholar for earning a 4.0 grade point average for the past two semesters, while Roethke was a New England Scholar for earning a 3.7 GPA.

After her junior year, Lum was the 2017 national winner for women’s ice hockey for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars.

Lum got the award because of her involvement with Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer.  

Personal things are great but when anyone looks back at their hockey career, the moments with your team are the ones that make it really special
— Head Coach Chris MacKenzie

Looking back at everything she has done in the past four years, Knutson said it was all about her teammates.

“It’s gonna be all the memories in the locker room, picking each other up. Sometimes it is a roller coaster here at UConn. To get the most out of any experience, you have to go through ups and downs,” Knutson said.

“The teammates I’ve had; I’ve had great leaders, great teammates. I’m just going to remember all the memories on the ice, off the ice. The wins, the dedication, and it’s going to help me grow.”


Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at daniela.marulanda@uconn.edu.