After being dominated by No. 3 Northeastern the last two games, the UConn women’s hockey team takes on Maine in an away series. UConn will look to its captain Jaime Fox and top offensive weapon Natalie Snodgrass to bring the Huskies back to winning ways.
“We were disappointed with the losses to Northeastern, but we need to have short-term memory and not dwell on losses,” Head Coach Chris Mackenzie said when asked to comment on the locker room mindset going into this weekend. “This time of year, we have to have an even keeled mentality and stick with our process of preparation.”
UConn (13-11-1, 8-9-1) took on Maine (13-10-2, 6-10-2) earlier this season, beating them 4-1 back in November. The Huskies’ junior forward Catherine Crawley contributed one goal and two assists to the winning effort. UConn goaltender Morgan Fisher let in a goal in the fourth minute of play but was rock-solid from then on as she blocked 32 shots overall.
The UConn team has done extremely well against competition below it in the WHEA standings, winning seven of their eight games against those teams. However, the team has struggled mightily against the teams above it, winning just one of its 10 matchups.
The Huskies lost both of their last two games against Northeastern, and they only led for a total of 18 minutes the entire series. Prior to the weekend, Snodgrass had scored nine times in the previous five games. However, she did not register a point versus Northeastern’s defense. Snodgrass, Crawley and Morgan Wabick have been the focal points of the attack this season and it is key they put away goals this series.
Maine has struggled in Women’s Hockey East play this season, scoring nearly half as many goals in the conference than overall. The Black Bears are undefeated in non-conference matchups but have just a .389 winning percentage in WHEA. The team has lost its last two tilts, with one win in its last five games.
“We have to be aware of their best offensive players and what they are trying to do on special teams,” Mackenzie said when asked how the team planned to defend Maine.
The Black Bears have the third lowest goal total in the conference, with 34 scored in 18 games. Maine’s leading goal-scorer is Tereza Vanisova, who has 14 goals in 23 games played. However, just five of those 14 goals have come in WHEA play.
Maine has also let in 91.7 percent of its goals allowed in conference play and is in the middle of the pack in terms of goals allowed this season.
Despite its struggles in the conference, Maine has done well in home games this season. The team has gone 7-3-1 in its games at the Alfond Arena in Orono, ME.
This series will set the tone for the rest of the regular season, as UConn will play 10 of its next 12 against competition above them in the conference. It is important for the team to get back its confidence considering the strength of schedule it is faced with going forward.
Mike Mavredakis is a campus correspondent for the Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .