The UConn women’s hockey team takes a short road trip north to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts Friday to take on the No. 6 ranked Boston College Eagles (9-2-1). UConn (7-4-1) has gained momentum since its upset of Boston College just two Saturdays ago. Both teams make a quick turnaround to Storrs, to play their final scheduled matchup of the year Saturday.
The Huskies entered the month of November on a little bit of a skid, dropping both their games in the Icebreaker tournament. The turn of the month helped UConn as they demolished both Brown and Boston College by combined scores of 12-2. The 5-2 win over Boston College at the Freitas Ice Forum on Nov. 9 came as a surprise. The Eagles were undefeated to that point, looking to make their mark as one of the top couple of teams in the country. Viki Harkness had two of her four goals on the season in that game, helping her team earn a staple win to build its season upon.
After getting off to a hot, undefeated start to the year, Boston College has sputtered slightly of late. After their first defeat of the year at Freitas, they beat rival Boston University on the road 2-4. That was followed by a home shutout loss to No. 4 ranked Northeastern. Boston College is led by impressive freshman Hannah Bilka, who’s really made her mark on Division I hockey with 11 goals and 9 assists thus far. BC’s top five point-getters are all underclassmen. It is surprising to see this young of a team perform at the level they have this season. Sophomore forwards Kelly Browe and Olivia Finnochiaro have combined for 20 assists in just 13 games played. The key to beating Boston College is containing, if not stopping, the lethal forward trio of Bilka, Browne and Finocchiaro, a challenge UConn has shown it is fully capable of meeting.
UConn’s scoring attack is not quite as potent as BC’s, however, it has a very balanced offense. Nine different players have multiple goals, showing that the Huskies can look to their second or even third line for goal when called upon. The forward line is of course led by junior Natalie Snodgrass who has 15 points on the year. Of recent, their strength has been their defense, anchored by goaltenders Morgan Fisher and Samantha Carptentier-Yelle. The former had 27 saves last time out against Boston College and looks to return in between the pipes Friday.
After this busy weekend, both teams have a short break until Nov. 29, when they will both be competing in invitationals. UConn has a short trip to Hamden, where they face off against Yale Friday, then either No. 10 ranked Minnesota Duluth or Quinnipiac Saturday. Boston College has a longer journey all the way to Tennessee, where they’ll battle the top two teams in the country: No. 1 Minnesota and No. 2 Wisconsin.
Tamir March is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.