Usually when a team scores one total goal in a two-game series, the results of the games will be unfavorable. However, that wasn’t completely the case when the UConn women’s hockey team traveled up to the University of Maine this weekend for a two-game series against the Black Bears.
On Friday night, Maine handed the Huskies a big loss, but the next game was completely different as UConn battled back to earn a point in a scoreless tie.
In talking about the team’s character in regrouping after a tough loss, head coach Chris MacKenzie said he expected nothing less.
“Our team has a lot of character and we believed they would respond,” MacKenzie said. “It was another gutsy effort from everyone on the team.”
In the first game on Friday night, Maine (14-10-3, 7-10-3 Hockey East) rallied behind three second period goals to beat the Huskies (13-12-2, 8-10-2 Hockey East) by a score of 5-1. Junior Briana Colangelo scored the only UConn goal, her seventh of the season. The Black Bears were led by freshman Celine Tedenby, who had two goals and two assists in the win.
Morgan Fisher was benched in the third period after allowing four goals on 20 shots through the first two periods. Freshman Samantha Carpentier-Yelle recorded four saves in the final frame and didn’t allow a goal. The final Maine goal was scored on an empty netter near the end of the game.
As stated earlier, the next game would be a very different story. On Saturday, the Huskies will battle the Black Bears for 65 minutes to a scoreless tie. Fisher redeemed herself from a rough game the day before with a 33-save performance, including 18 in the third period and overtime.
MacKenzie said the strong defense and goaltending was the key difference in the way that things played out in the two games.
“We had a strong game from Morgan Fisher and our transition defense was solid,” MacKenzie said. “We made a strong commitment to block shots and compete all over the ice.”
Even though the defense and goaltending stepped up on Saturday, the UConn offense was pretty much held in check. They could muster up only 21 shots all game and were unable to convert on their opportunities. Natalie Snodgrass and Morgan Wabick led the team with four shots each.
Still, the Huskies were able to come home from Maine with a point from the tie, something that is very important at this time of the season, according to MacKenzie.
“Points are hard to come by this time of year,” MacKenzie said. “Everyone is fighting for playoff positioning and we’ll have to be at our best the next seven-plus games.”
UConn will definitely have to be at their best this weekend, when they will play two of the best teams in Hockey East, Northeastern and Providence for the final time in the regular season.
Danny Barletta is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.