The Huskies are looking to win their first game since Jan. 10 when they take on the University of Maine this weekend.
UConn (12-11-1) has had a very up and down season. The Huskies have some great wins over very good teams this season, like Boston College, who the Huskies beat twice this year. On the flip side, the Huskies have also suffered some bad losses, including being shutout in the last three games they have played. UConn is still searching for consistency .
Maine (10-10-5) finds itself in a similar position to that of UConn. The Black Bears have also been up and down this season and are currently in seventh place in Women’s Hockey East.
UConn is 23-7-6 against Maine all time and the Huskies won the last meeting between the two teams 3-2. UConn will look to take advantage of the fact that both games against Maine this weekend are at home, where the Huskies have gone 11-3-2 against the Black Bears. With that being said, UConn has only gone 3-5-1 at home this season. UConn has been better on the road with a 9-2-0 away record.
One area that the Huskies will be looking to improve is offense. UConn has scored 56 goals through 24 games this season. Only New Hampshire, Merrimack, and Holy Cross have scored fewer goals this season in the conference. The Huskies are creating plenty of opportunities to score, taking on average 32 shots per game, but they have struggled to cash in on those opportunities, averaging 2.33 goals per game.￼
The Black Bears currently have the No. 4 offense in Women’s Hockey East, as they have scored a total of 67 goals this season. The Black Bears average 2.7 goals per game as well as 29.7 shot attempts per game. One of the most dangerous aspects of Maine’s offense is that the Black Bears are in the top five in power-play goals scored in the conference, with 19 on the year.
One area that UConn has performed well on all year is defense. The Huskies have only surrendered 47 goals this year, the third-fewest in the conference. Opponents are averaging two goals a game and 24.7 shots per game. UConn has only given up seven power-play goals on the season.
Maine is strong on the defensive end as well. The Black Bears have given up 53 goals this season, and opponents score around two goals a game against them. Teams are taking 27.4 shots per game against the Black Bears. Maine has also given up 17 power-play goals this year.
For UConn the game plan should be quite simple. The Huskies are going to need to be the first team to score. After being shutout in their last three matchups, scoring first would help UConn get into a rhythm early as well as give the team an early confidence boost.
The Huskies need to keep the pressure on the Black Bears, which they are more than capable of, considering how good they has been on defense this year. If the Huskies can prevent Maine from having multiple power-play opportunities, they can shut down one of the more dangerous aspects of the Black Bears offense.
Some players to keep an eye on for UConn are Natalie Snodgrass and Catherine Crawley, who are the two leading goal scorers for the Huskies. Snodgrass has scored nine goals this season while Crawley is right behind her with eight goals scored. Both are facilitators on the offensive end, and they are tied with one another on the team in assists with 12 each. Look for these two to come up with some big plays for the Huskies.
Tereza Vanisova and Liga Miljone are players to pay attention to for the Black Bears. Vanisova has done it all for Maine this season, as she leads the team in goals scored with 11, assists with 15, and shots taken with 99 so far this season. Preventing her from having a huge game is going to be a difficult task. Miljone has scored seven goals this season to go along with 12 assists. She is tied for second with a total of 19 points this year.
UConn will face the University of Maine on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. Both games will take place at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.