After a sweep of the Long Island University Sharks two weekends ago, the University of Connecticut women’s hockey team was back in action and on the road as they looked for their second consecutive sweep, this time against the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers.
Two weekends ago, the spotlight belonged to the talents of Megan Warrener and Captain Natalie Snodgrass. This weekend belonged to Viki Harkness.
In Friday’s affair, the Huskies wanted to get right to work and picked up where they left off in their hunt against LIU. Three minutes into the contest, Abby Davies of RIT was assessed a roughing penalty that put UConn on the power play early. The Huskies put up five shots during that power play, and although the Huskies did not capitalize on the power play, they did take control of the first period as they outshot the Tigers 20-11 in a scoreless battle.
In the second period, Kylie Aquaro went to the penalty box after committing a tripping penalty that gave the Huskies their second power play of the game. Despite four shots from the Huskies, it remained a scoreless contest.
Five minutes and two seconds into the period, Emma Roland beat UConn goaltender Samantha Carpentier-Yelle on the breakaway to give the Tigers, who were 1-0 all-time in the series, an early 1-0 advantage.
After a hooking penalty was given to RIT’s Jordyn Bear, the Huskies did not waste any time as Claire Peterson scored on the power play to tie up the contest at one. Her unassisted goal was her first of the season. Four and a half minutes later, Davies’ shot found the left corner of the net to give the Tigers the 2-1 lead.
UConn would answer back in a big way. With 1:34 left in the second period, Harkness picked up her first goal of the season as she picked up a pass from Snodgrass that got past RIT goaltender Sarah Coe.
It only took Harkness one minute and eighteen seconds of the third period and 2:52 of total game time to bury her second goal of the game after finding the loose puck out front to give the Huskies their first lead of the day 3-2.
The Huskies would add an insurance goal of their own as Coryn Tormala picked up her second goal of the year to extend the lead to 4-2. RIT would slim the lead down in the eighth minute as Jordan Marchese picked up a goal on yet another breakaway, but despite having three powerplays in the period, their efforts would not be enough, and the Huskies held on to take the first game 4-3.
Despite allowing three goals, Carpentier-Yelle picked up eight saves against 11 shots by RIT to earn her second victory of the season.
The next day, the story of the first period remained the same. Both teams had a power play in the period, but neither one was converted despite incredible chances on both sides. The Huskies dominated the shot battle this time, leading it 14-0, but it remained a scoreless affair.
The scoring began to take form in the second period. The Huskies got their second power play of the game after Lindsay Maloney committed a slashing penalty and was able to find the back of the net in 22 seconds as Danielle Fox picked up her first goal of the season with assists credited from the Wabick sisters. The Wabicks set up the shot and Fox just finished the play by tipping in the rebound.
Davies would come through again for RIT seven minutes in to tie the contest at one. It was Davies’ second goal of the weekend and third of the season.
Less than half a minute following the equalizing goal, Snodgrass buried her second goal of the season and gave the Huskies a 2-1 advantage. The score would hold for the rest of the period despite 1:15 of four-on-four play and several great opportunities on both sides of the ice.
The third period is when this game really broke open. The Huskies went on their fourth power play of the game as Taylor Sims was assessed a body checking penalty. Fox, who had already scored on the power play, picked up her second goal of the game with 14 seconds left on the power play, giving her team the 3-1 advantage.
After having garnered three assists throughout the season, Morgan Wabick picked up her first goal of the season as she made a diving play to get the shot into the net less than 80 seconds later to make it a 4-1 game.
With three minutes left in the game, Maloney buried her third goal of the year to bring down the deficit to 4-2 after a cross-checking penalty by Ainsley Svetek. But in those three minutes, Harkness wanted to end this weekend in grand style.
RIT decided to pull Coe to get an extra attacker on the ice, but it backfired immediately as Harkness picked up her third goal of the season on an empty netter. But even that was not enough to satisfy Harkness. With 40 seconds left in the game, Harkness buried home one more to finish off the weekend with four goals and one assist.
Warrener got the start this time, limiting the Tigers (0-7-0) to just two goals while making 17 incredible saves for her second collegiate win in as many starts.
On the flip side, RIT’s Coe was an incredible piece of the puzzle that kept the Tigers in the fight for most of the contest. Despite allowing 10 goals, she collected 79 saves while facing intensive pressure from the Husky offense.
The Huskies (4-0-0) will take on the Maine Black Bears on Friday, Oct. 15, making their first trip to the state since the 2019-20 season, looking to get off to a winning start in Hockey East play.