On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18 and 19, the UConn Huskies beat the Merrimack College Warriors in two games of women’s hockey.
Both schools were coming off their first victory of the season, UConn’s over the Boston College and Merrimack’s over Holy Cross, but in this two-game series, the Huskies (3-3-1) were absolutely dominant, ending the weekend with a 9-0 scoreline over the two games and a three-game win streak.
Jada Habisch, a freshman, scored her first goal just under eight minutes into the game, and then her second with seven seconds in the second period, in the game on Friday, helping lead the Huskies to a 4-0 victory over the Warriors (1-3).
“It was just good to win battles in the o-zone and we got it up to Ainsley and she got a quick shot on net, and then I picked it up and curled the top of the circle and it went in,” said Habisch in an interview posted by the official UConn Women’s Hockey twitter. “I think I got it through like four people it was pretty cool.”
She’d add a third and complete the hat trick in the third, scoring with just three seconds left on the clock and becoming the first UConn freshman since 2005 to earn a hat trick. Viki Harkness also came up big on Friday, with assists on all three of Habisch’s goals bringing her to five assists on the season. Natalie Snodgrass scored the other goal for the Huskies in the second, after an exchange with Morgan Wabick and Dani Fox.
Samantha Carpentier-Yelle was in goal on Friday, recording her first shutout of the season as she blocked 14 shots, seven of which came in the second period. The strong defensive performance bolstered the Huskies, backed by a much stronger offensive push than they’d managed earlier in the season.
Head coach Chris MacKenzie commented on Carpentier-Yelle’s performance after the game, saying, “Sami always gives us her best, she works hard, she’s been dialed in and really good the last few weeks in practice so we’re really happy with her response.”
On Saturday, the Huskies repeated their dominant performance and bettered it, claiming a 5-0 victory and extending their win streak to three games, the highest it’s been all season.
Kathryn Stockdale scored just about five minutes into the first period, and the team didn’t let up after that; Kate Klassen scored less than two minutes later. They’d add a third in the second period when Harkness scored her first goal of the season. Fox and Alexandra-Anne Boyer would both score in the third, giving the Huskies five goals, a high of the season for the team.
Freshman Tia Chan was in the goal on Friday, recording 25 saves in her first career shutout, back-to-back shutouts for the team. The freshmen of the team were the driving force on Saturday; Stockdale and Boyer’s goals were the first of their careers, and Chan dominated in the net. It was a promising sign for the future of the team.
UConn will be back on Friday, Jan. 1 for the first of a two-game series against the Northeastern Huskies.