The UConn women’s hockey team fell to the No. 4 nationally ranked Northeastern Huskies 2-0 on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at Matthews Arena. This loss sees UConn fall to 5-7-1 overall, while Northeastern improves to 9-1-1.
Entering the contest, the UConn Huskies knew they would have to bring their best form and be aggressive from the first whistle if they were to have any chance against a one-loss Northeastern team, who has been pummeling opponents left, right and center.
Both teams had multiple opportunities in the early stages of the first period, with UConn registering five shots on net, while Northeastern registered eight in the first five minutes of the contest. However, the UConn Huskies would be their own worst enemy, as a penalty by forward Kathryn Stockdale for cross checking sparked a power play for Northeastern that led to the first goal of the game, scored by forward Alina Mueller, giving the Bostonian team a 1-0 advantage.
Nonetheless, UConn would get a golden opportunity one minute after conceding, as a penalty by Northeastern defender Abbey Marohn due to a tripping violation gave UConn their first power play of the night. Although the team was given the chance to avenge themselves, they simply could not contain a fiery Northeastern offense. Even while down a man, the Northeastern Huskies were able to get off a massive 10 shots in comparison to UConn’s four.
Gifting opportunities to a team with momentum would be the last thing head coach Chris MacKenzie would want, but in the opening 40 seconds of the second period, forward Morgan Wabick was penalized for a tripping violation, which meant Northeastern was up a player from the get-go. Although the Northeastern Huskies did get three shots off on UConn, none of them were able to find the back of the net, and MacKenzie’s side got out of the power play unscathed. Despite this, less than a minute after Wabick returned onto the ice, forward Miceala Sindoris smashed the puck past UConn goaltender Samantha Carpentier-Yelle to make it 2-0 in favor of Northeastern.
The subsequent face off saw UConn forward Kate Klassen commit a body check, which meant another power play opportunity for an opposing team that did not need extra motivation. Once again, they were able to get out unfazed; UConn’s best run of the night came from minutes nine through 11 of the second period, pressuring the Northeastern defense and getting off five consecutive shots. However, Northeastern would not budge, and UConn was unwilling to commit more players forward, knowing the damage the Northeastern Huskies could cause on the counterattack. The final violation by UConn came in the 14th minute, when defender Ainsley Svetek held her opponent; these continuous violations showed just how out-of-the-rhythm UConn was.
Whereas the first two periods saw indiscipline, the third and final one saw a composed UConn team that did not commit any violations. In spite of this, they were not able to find the two precious goals they needed to send the contest into overtime.
Northeastern unsurprisingly outshot the UConn Huskies 31-14 and won 19 of their 17 face-offs. UConn’s Carpenter-Yielle did do a solid job at minimizing the damage; she made a total of 29 saves, and her highest save total throughout all three periods came in the first period, as she kept out 13 of the opposition’s attempts on net, in comparison to seven saves in the second period, and nine saves in the third period.
Due to COVID-19 cancellations throughout Hockey East, UConn’s next matchup is yet to be determined.