The UConn women’s hockey team hosted Boston University and Maine this weekend, winning one of two.
The Huskies (6-5-1, 3-4-1 WHEA) faced off with BU (2-3-3, 2-3-3 WHEA) first on Friday evening, but were unsuccessful, falling 4-1. Head coach Chris Mackenzie said he was proud of his team’s efforts, but the execution simply wasn’t there.
“I was just disappointed. The effort level was there, and the competitiveness was there, just our execution wasn’t there,” Mackenzie said. “We worked hard to tie up the game, but a tough turnover put them back in the lead. We had plenty of opportunities on power play, which has been good for us this year, to gain momentum, but we didn’t. We gave up a short-ended goal, and anytime you’re doing that you’re digging yourself a hole and too many of our mistakes ended up in the back of the net. I thought our goaltending was solid, but we just have to find a way to be better, and hopefully we will.”
UConn’s only goal was scored by junior Tristyn Svetek, her first on the season. The assist was recorded by Catherine Crawley, her eighth on the year. Despite the goal differential, Mackenzie thought the Huskies were able to get good shots off.
“[It’s] just execution, finding a puck, winning battles. We could have been better in the face-off game tonight. We need to be ready for tomorrow – we got Maine and hopefully we’ll respond,” Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie was looking for a rebound game from his team less than 24 hours later, as UConn took on Maine (7-5, 3-5 WHEA).
Surely enough, the Huskies looked a lot sharper and were able to earn a 4-1 victory. Mackenzie was much happier with his team afterward.
“We’re happy to get the win,” Mackenzie said. “We put a few pucks in the net, won the special team’s game, and I’m happy with the team’s effort, as I have been all season long. It’s just that execution. We ended up changing the lines a little bit and it produced a little more offense which is what we were looking for. I’m happy for the team to get the win and now we’re turning our focus to next weekend.”
UConn fell behind early, surrendering a goal just under four minutes into the first period. However, a goal from junior Leona Sim tied the game up at the 14:20 mark in the first period.
Then, in the second period, the Huskies pushed two more pucks into the back of the net, giving them a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. Both goals were assisted by Crawley, marking her second and third of the weekend.
Mackenzie was happy with how his team responded after being down 1-0 early against the Bears.
“We were just getting used to their style of play,” Mackenzie said. “They’re very good, very good at puck possession. They run a few things in our defensive zone that put some pressure on us, but we just had to make those reads and settle down a little bit. We were able to get that tying goal that helped us, and the second was a whole new period. We’ve done pretty well in the second period and hopefully we continue that trend.”
Crawley again made a contribution in the third period, recording a goal just a minute and a half in, pushing the lead 4-1 and making it difficult for Maine to attempt a comeback.
UConn play a home-and-home against Boston College next weekend. The Huskies will hope to build off strong second and third periods against Maine and earn two victories against one of the best teams in the nation.
Sam Newton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.