UConn will head into the Hockey East Quarterfinals on a three-game losing streak to wrap up the regular season.
UConn (16-16-2) came into the weekend having already locked up a spot in the upcoming Hockey East Quarterfinals. The Huskies had a great chance to get prepared for what competition will look like in the tournament with their matchups against Boston University this weekend. These games also gave the Huskies one last chance to build some momentum and play at a consistent level heading into the tournament.
BU (24-6-4) is one of the best teams in Women’s Hockey East. The Terriers went an impressive 18-6-3 in conference play, allowing them to finish in second place in the conference this season. They won all their matchups against the Huskies this year, going 3-0 and pulling off the season sweep.
Game one of the weekend between the teams got off to slow start. Both teams were trading shots early in the first period, but neither team was able to score a goal early. For UConn, scoring early in games has tended to allow the team to settle into the game much quicker and play more freely. The Huskies chances of winning are much better when the team scores at least one goal in the first period. In 11 of the teams 16 wins, they scored at least once in the first period. So, to say that the Huskies need to score early would be an understatement.
The Terriers got the scoring started in game one, scoring their first goal just over eight minutes into the period. The goal was scored by Julia Nearis, and it gave them a 1-0 lead. One minute later, the Terriers struck again to increase their lead to 2-0. Jesse Compher scored the goal. They were not done yet either. BU scored a third time, with around six minutes left in the first. Courtney Correia scored the goal, and the Terriers had a 3-0 lead.
They say bad things come in threes, and that was certainly the case for the Huskies in the early going. There was a bright spot in the first for them however, as Taylor Wabick scored a goal, her fifth of the season, to cut BU’s lead to 3-1. Natalie Snodgrass and Briana Colangelo assisted on the goal. On defense they were able to bend but not break for the rest of the period.
UConn was going to have to play at their best on both sides of the puck if they wanted to have any chance at a comeback. They were testing the Terriers defense with a flurry of quick shots to start the period, and their chances of scoring got even better when they got a power play chance. Unfortunately for the Huskies, they were unable to come away with a goal.
Two seconds after UConn’s power play opportunity ended, BU scored their fourth goal of the game. Compher scored the goal, her second of the game and the Terriers had a 4-1 lead. For UConn it was do or die. Another goal from BU would effectively end their chances of a comeback.
The Terriers would not let a Huskies comeback come to be, as they scored their fifth goal of the game and their second of the period, three minutes later to take a 5-1 lead. Sammy Davis came away with the goal.
UConn would score a power play goal in the third period to cut the lead to 5-2. Viki Harkness scored her sixth goal of the season. Nara Elia would score one more goal for Boston University, giving them a 6-2 lead, which would be the final score of the game.
Game 2 took place on Saturday afternoon, with the Huskies looking for better results this time around. Game 2 got off to a quick start, with the Terriers once again striking first. They scored less than a minute into the game. Elia scored the goal, her second of the weekend, to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead.
A little less than a minute later they struck again, to take a quick 2-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Abby Cook scored the goal. UConn was unable to get anything going on the offensive end. They ended up taking only four shots in the first period, which shows just how hard the Terriers were playing on defense not just in this game, but the entire weekend. BU would score one more goal in the first to move their lead to 3-0. Natasza Tarnowski scored for the Terriers.
UConn scored their first and only goal of the game late in the second period to cut the lead to 3-1. Jessie Aney scored the goal, her third of the season, with Morgan Wabick assisting on the play. Neither team would go on to score for the rest of the game, allowing BU to come away with a 3-1 win.
UConn will take on Boston College in the Hockey East Quarterfinals next week.