The UConn women’s hockey team defeated No. 10 Boston University 4-1 at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum on Friday, Dec. 11.
The Terriers (1-2-0, 0-1-0 Hockey East) went into the contest with confidence, having defeated the Huskies (1-3-1, 1-2-0 Hockey East) in their previous five outings, and leading the all-time series between the two schools at 29-12-7. Despite this, they were without one of their better players in forward Jesse Compher, who, along with fellow forward Julia Nearis, were tied for first in goals scored this season with two.
Huskies head coach Chirs MacKenzie insinuated that the absence of such a crucial player played a large part in the team’s success: “They were missing one of their better players, so, you know, maybe the next time out it would be a different type of team; that player (Compher) makes a big impact,” MacKenzie said in an interview on the UConn Women’s Hockey official Twitter page.
UConn would come out with confidence due to this massive loss; Natalie Snodgrass put it into the back of the net off of a Morgan Wabick assist four minutes into the first period. The scoring would not stop there however, as Camryn Wong made it two 17 minutes into the period, getting on the end of a Snodgrass and Wabick combination to give the Huskies a 2-0 advantage going into the second period.
“I saw lots of space through the middle, so I took a net drive (and) got a little tip right off my toe,” Wong told the UConn Women’s Hockey official Twitter page.
Another one of the main avenues UConn had success in was in the power play sphere. Although both teams had a total of three, UConn was able to cash in at the start of the second period, with Danielle Fox scoring just as the period was set to expire, being the recipient of excellent build up play by the likes of Wong and Snodgrass.
“It was kind of on the rush. Cam (Wong) shot it or passed it, and the puck was just there so I whacked it in and hoped for the best,” Fox said to the UConn Women’s Hockey official Twitter page.
As if on cue, the fourth and final goal came less than a minute later, with Taylor Wabick and Ainsley Svetek assisting Kate Klassen for her second goal of the season. The Terriers would get on the board 17 minutes into the third period, with Mackenna Parker getting on the end of build-up play by the likes of Courtney Correia and Julia Nearis, but it would be far too late to stage a comeback.
In general, MacKenzie was most encouraged by the fact that his team was finally able to see the fruits of their labor. In other words, they had been playing well in their first couple of matchups, but they still struggled to find an end product, something that was finally put to an end against a great Terrier team.
“We finally cashed in on some of the chances that had been alluding us for a while,” MacKenzie told the UConn Women’s Hockey official Twitter page.
Equally important to MacKenzie was the fact that his team learned to play as the aggressor rather than the aggressed: “We weren’t used to it, so we had to just, ultimately, learn how to play with the lead.”
In terms of individual performances, Klassen had the most faceoff victories with 13, followed by Savannah Bouzide with 10, Fox with nine and Danika Pasqua with six. Moreover, the weekend ends with Bouzide as the Huskies top goal scorer with five goals, and a tie between seven players for top assister, made up of Snodgrass, Wong, Jada Habisch, Viki Harkness, Claire Peterson, Morgan Wabick and Taylor Wabick, all with two assists.
An equally important piece to the Huskies road to victory on Friday was goaltender Tia Chan. Despite only being a freshman, she has come up big for the Huskies throughout the early part of the season. In turn, she has earned the trust of not only her teammates, but of her coach as well, playing her the full 60 minutes. Chan would prove MacKenzie right, conceding only one out of the 21 total shots that came her way throughout all three periods.
Now, UConn readies themselves for a two-game conference home-and-home series against Merrimack College on Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19.