This weekend UConn will look to advance its current winning streak to three games and play with more consistency as the Huskies face off against Boston University and Merrimack College.
The Huskies (3-1) are currently third in the Hockey East women’s conference, with a total of two points on the year so far. They will have to be at their best if they want to get a win over the Terriers, as UConn is 5-24-6 against Boston University all time, with most of the losses coming from an 18-game losing streak against the Terriers. The Huskies currently have a two-game losing streak against BU.
Boston University (1-1-1) is in fourth place in the Hockey East women’s conference and is only one point behind in the standings, which means this game is of huge importance for both teams. The Terriers come into this matchup averaging around two goals per game this season, thanks in large part to their 32.7 shots per game average. One area the Terriers have struggled mightily with this season is power plays, where they have gone 2-for-13 so far. If Boston University can find success on power plays, they will have a better chance of going back to Boston with a win.
Merrimack (2-2-1) is currently in fifth place in the Hockey East women’s conference, as it only has one point for the season as of now. The Warriors had a rough start to their season, going 0-2-0, but it appears they have righted the ship over their last three games, as they have gone 2-0-1. UConn is 7-4-2 against Merrimack all time, with the last matchup between these two teams resulting in a 2-2 tie.
The Warriors are an average team all around. They are averaging 1.6 goals per game and around 28 shots per game. Opponents are averaging 1.6 goals and around 29 shots per game. All this means is that the Warriors are finding themselves in close games more often than not. Part of the reason that Merrimack has struggled mightily on offense is they have been abysmal on power plays, only going 2-for-21 this year.
UConn went 1-1 last weekend against New Hampshire and Holy Cross. UConn faced its fair share of struggles against Wildcats, especially when it came to power plays, as the Huskies went 0-for-7. The Huskies were able to change that a little bit against Holy Cross, converting once on four opportunities.
The Huskies have been playing very well on offense this year, averaging around three goals a game, while also averaging 41 shots per game. While 41 shots a game is not sustainable, it shows that the Huskies create a lot of scoring opportunities. The one area on offense where UConn has struggled so far is, once again, power plays. The Huskies have gone 3-for-18 so far. Not scoring on power plays can drastically change the outcome of a game, which can be seen in the loss against the Wildcats.
UConn has played even better on defense this season. The Huskies have only given up three goals on the year and they also limit opponents to under 20 shots per game. Other teams can flat out not score on power plays against UConn, as the Huskies have allowed only one power play goal through four games.
Going into these matchups, keep an eye on forward Natalie Snodgrass. Whenever a big play happens on the ice, she always seems to be in the area. She is also a key player on offense for the Huskies, as she leads the team in shots taken with 21. Another Husky to watch out for is forward Morgan Wabick. She has scored three of UConn’s 12 goals this season, and she is second on the team in shots taken with 18.
UConn plays Boston University at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. On Saturday the Huskies will travel to Massachusetts to face Merrimack at 4 p.m.
Joshua Gorman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com. He tweets @joshuagorman15.