Women’s hockey faces off against Northeastern in semifinals

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On Wednesday, the UConn women’s hockey team will face off against the Northeastern’s women’s team in the semi-finals of the Hockey East playoffs. 

The game comes after the Huskies’ shocking victory over Boston College on Sunday. The seventh-ranked Huskies beat the second place Boston College Eagles 5-1 after losing the first five games they played against the Eagles this season. The offensive effort was led by Morgan Wabick who scored twice in the game, as well as Samantha Carpentier-Yelle who had 25 saves and Savannah Bouzide, who had three assists.  

Now, the UConn Huskies are set to face off against the Northeastern Huskies on Wednesday, March 3 in a best-of-one which will determine which team moves on to the grand finals over the weekend. Northeastern is the heavy favorite; the team has dropped just one game to Boston College back in December and tied once in mid-January with New Hampshire University. 

Since then, the team has won 14 games in a row, eight of which were shutouts and 13 of which had the other team score a maximum of one goal. Since they tied with New Hampshire, the Northeastern Huskies have given up a grand total of seven goals while scoring seventy-three, an average of more than five goals per game.  

Northeastern is without question the favorite in this matchup. Their stats are unreasonably terrifying, they’re on a hot streak after winning their first playoff game 7-0 over The University of New Hampshire and they haven’t lost a game since last year. If UConn wants to beat them, it’s going to have to pull out some magic because while its victory over the Eagles last weekend was impressive, its statistics are not quite as dominant as that of Northeastern.  

UConn has won four games in a row, but two of those were against the deeply struggling Holy Cross and before those four games, the Huskies had only won five of their last 15. They’re currently sitting at a 9-9-1 record after last weekend’s victory, but barely scraping by with a neutral win/loss record is not going to save them against Northeastern. 

UConn faced off against Northeastern earlier this season, playing one game back in late January that they lost 0-2. It was Carpentier-Yelle in goal that night and she managed to block 29 shots, but she still allowed two and the offense was unable to function against the defense of Northeastern.  

One big place that UConn can show up is in the goaltending department. Goaltenders Samantha Carpentier-Yelle and Tia Chan have both had some fantastic games this season and if they can put on another miraculous performance like we saw Carpentier-Yelle do over the weekend, the team could attempt to make something happen. 

In addition, since it is a best-of-one, anything can happen. Best-of-ones are the easiest format to create upsets because all you have to do is win a single game and you are through.  There are no second chances, there are no backup plans; it is 60 minutes on the ice and whoever has more goals at the end is the team who continues onwards.  

UConn will be looking to harness some magic for this one game, this one opportunity to show its talent and try its absolute best to defeat a team who so many are convinced they can not possibly face. On the other side of the rink, Northeastern will be looking to avoid the humiliating disappointment of having their second loss of the season be to a team six ranks below them in the Hockey East standings.  

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