Losing has not been something the University of Connecticut women’s hockey team has had to go through this season. The Huskies dropped their first game of the season last weekend in the first of a two-game set against Merrimack College, but rebounded the next night in an overtime thriller thanks to heroics from graduate student Summer-Rae Dobson. UConn looked to carry over this momentum into a home-and-home showdown with Boston University this weekend.
The Terriers came into Frietas on Friday night after taking down Providence on the road last weekend, looking to string together a winning streak in a similar fashion to the start of their season, winning their first four games in a row. Boston put the pressure on UConn goalkeeper Samantha Carpentier-Yelle, as Courtney Correia and Grace Parker had attempts in the opening minutes of the first period to put the visiting Terriers ahead. Instead, it was the Huskies that would strike first, as Jada Habisch lit the lamp with a goal nine minutes into the first period, after being turned away by Boston goalie Katie Stuart in her first couple of attempts prior to breaking through. Neither side could convert on their respective power plays that were created in succession in the waning minutes of the first period, as the Huskies went into the second period leading 1-0.
The defensive approaches on behalf of UConn and BU were successful in the second period of play, as Carpentier-Yelle and Stuart kept both offensives off the board, with saves on a handful of shots on-net. The Huskies had their best opportunity with about three minutes to go, as senior Danika Pasqua took away the puck, but was foiled by a Stuart save. Boston’s Julia Shaunessey and Lacey Martin tried to tie it up, but Carpentier-Yelle kept UConn ahead as both teams went into the third period.
After failing to convert on the power play in the beginning stages of the game, UConn added some insurance, as Morgan Warbick took the feed from her sister, Taylor, to cash in the power play for the Huskies, taking the lead 2-0. Seconds after taking out their goalkeeper for the extra player advantage, the visiting Terriers would finally cash in, as Correia took in a dish from Tamara Giaquinto to cut the UConn lead in half. However, that is all Boston would get, as UConn protected home ice with a win, 2-1.
With their eyes on completing the weekend sweep, these two squads matched up again in Boston on Saturday night. Similar to the previous night, UConn got the scoring going to take an early advantage. This time, it was grad student Natalie Snodgrass finding the back of the net in the first period for her fourth goal of the season to put the Huskies ahead on the road. A penalty on UConn seemed to open the door for the Terriers to tie this one up, but a strong defensive performance anchored by Carpentier-Yelle successfully killed the power play to keep the Huskies ahead.
UConn failed to convert a golden opportunity in which they had a 3-on-1 chance on the Terriers goalkeeper, but were turned away early on in the second period of play. The Huskies had a good amount of help from their goalkeeper as well, with Carpentier-Yelle keeping Boston off the scoreboard, standing strong in the second period that saw the hosting Terriers having countless opportunities to tie it up. UConn’s goalkeeper had 10 saves through the first two periods, supplemented by five blocked shots to keep the Terriers off the board.
The Huskies had a couple of chances to add on with a couple of power plays themselves and had enough strength on the defensive end to keep Boston from scoring throughout the duration of the third period, completing the weekend sweep, winning 1-0.
UConn improves their record to 10-1 on the season, the best start in program history. They look to keep up the winning momentum as they welcome Brown in an out-of-conference game on Tuesday night at Freitas Ice Forum, at 6:30 p.m.