UConn got back into the win column with a blowout victory over Brown for the Huskies’ first home win of the season. The Huskies came out firing on all cylinders even though they did not play last week.
After losing both of their games in the IceBreaker Tournament, the Huskies (5-4) were looking to rebound against Brown (0-5), a team that has struggled on the road this season. This game also provided the Huskies with a chance to win their first home game of the season. The Huskies were giving it their all as soon as the puck hit the ice.
One of the areas of improvement the Huskies worked on over their short break was that they wanted more consistent play in the first period of games. “We are really focused on just getting off to a good start. We switched the lines up to create and we were able to create offense with that,” said head coach Chris Mackenzie.
The changed worked phenomenally as UConn scored three goals in the first period alone. The Huskies dominated the time of possession in all three periods, leaving Brown with few scoring opportunities to get back in the game. The Bears looked completely helpless against the Huskies offense. The Brown defense was set up to take away scoring chances coming from the middle of their zone. While this proved effective, UConn found itself with plenty of scoring opportunities coming from different areas nonetheless. The Huskies were having a great night when it came to passing the puck, and as a result the Huskies found themselves with scoring opportunities that they were able to capitalize on.
Brown on the other hand was struggling throughout the first period to get anything going on offense. With UConn dominating time of possession, the Bears were forced to play defense for the majority of the third period. Brown only had three shots on goal by the end of the first period. Brown almost tied the game early at one, but a great save by Samantha Carpentier-Yelle prevented them from scoring. This save provided a huge momentum swing in the favor of the Huskies for the rest of the game.
Carpentier-Yelle, who is one of three goalies for UConn, turned in a great performance. The Bears did set themselves up with some good scoring opportunities, but every time they took a shot, Carpentier-Yelle made a great save. This was her second shutout of the year. Coach Mackenzie also loved the performance Carpentier-Yelle turned in.
“She has done this all year for us and we are really happy with her level of play for us,” Mackenzie said.
The Huskies were able to prevent the Brown’s Shay Maloney from having a big performance. The key to shutting her down was simple for Coach Mackenzie.
“Just play our game. I know who Shay is and she is a good player. We just have to play within our structure. Play good, solid defensive hockey,” Mackenzie said.
At the start of the second period UConn held a 3-0 lead over the Brown Bears, but the lead felt much larger than that based on the way the teams were playing. The Huskies once again played dominant defense, allowing Brown to take only one shot in the entire second period. UConn took 20 shots on goal in the second period alone, and they came away with two goals to bring the lead to 5-0.
Brown started to show signs of life offensively in the third period but thanks to the great play of the Huskies defense and Carpentier-Yelle, they were unable to find any success. UConn scored two more goals which made it a 7-0 game, and this was the final score for the game.
“I thought we played really well tonight. We played as a team rather than as individuals. Everyone passed and really played together, and that was really good,” said Carpentier-Yelle regarding the team’s performance.
Another player who stood out for UConn was Natalie Snodgrass. She got an assist on four of UConn’s seven goals. She also scored a goal as well. Whenever there is big play happening on the ice or a defensive stop needs to be made, Snodgrass always seemed to be there making those big plays, as evidenced by her performance tonight. When it came to how UConn performed tonight, Snodgrass believed that the Huskies played well tonight.
“We played our game. It was a really solid effort from all four of our lines and our six players on defense,” said Snodgrass.
Up next for UConn is a matchup with Boston College (9-0-0) at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum on Saturday.
Joshua Gorman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @joshuagorman15.