Allowing four goals in the third period is less than ideal, but that’s what buried the UConn women’s hockey team Friday.
“We had some uncharacteristic breakdowns which led to goals,” head coach Chris Mackenzie said on Friday’s issues.
UConn (14-15-4, 9-13-4) played Merrimack (16-10-6, 12-9-4) in a weekend series away in North Andover, MA. They were able to salvage one point Saturday after being blown out in Friday’s contest 7-1.
UConn was down 2-1 in the second period Friday before giving up five unanswered goals in just 22 minutes. The lone goal from UConn came from sophomore forward Natalie Snodgrass, putting her at a team-high 13 for the season.
UConn bounced back from its drubbing to score two goals quickly in the first period Saturday. The Huskies suffered two in the second to tie up the game, which ended up being the final score.
“We switched our lines a bit and it sparked us,” Mackenzie said after the match.
The first goal came from freshman forward Danielle Fox, who picked up a loose puck and slotted it home. This was Fox’s first goal of the season and her first as a Husky. The second goal was put in just minutes later by sophomore forward Morgan Wabick, who now has 11 goals to go along with 11 assists this season.
UConn’s lack of goals is due in part to Merrimack goalie Samantha Ridgewell’s combined 73 saves over the two games. Her 34 saves Friday and 39 saves Saturday are well above her average of 26.1 coming into the weekend.
The point secured from Saturday’s tie is essential as it locks in UConn’s status in the playoffs. The Huskies are in a tie with New Hampshire for the sixth seed in the conference, with 22 points apiece.
As Mackenzie said post-game, all points are important, especially this late into the season.
Despite the disappointment of Friday’s game, this weekend was not a bad result as UConn has struggled against higher ranked teams this season. They are 3-13-2 in games against the teams above them in Women’s Hockey East.
The last game of the season is against No. 8 Boston University, who UConn has lost and tied against this season. BU is currently on a 12-game unbeaten streak and have not lost since the beginning of January.
Mike Mavredakis is a campus correspondent for the Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.