Eager to build on their best start in program history, the University of Connecticut Women’s Hockey team welcomed out of conference opponent Brown to Frietas on Tuesday night. The Bears came into the matchup looking for their first win, sporting an 0-4-2 record.
UConn went with a different look at goalkeeper, as Canadian freshman Megan Warrener got the nod over usual starter Samantha Carpentier-Yelle, and she was tested early. An early penalty on Riley Grimes put the pressure on Warrener, with several Brown shots coming her way. The freshman delivered, saving two shots in the shorthanded frame, with help from Ainsley Svetek to block another shot to keep the game scoreless in the opening minutes. UConn began to go on an offensive attack on their own later in the first period, with several chances coming from Natalie Snodgrass, Morgan Wabick, and Summer-Rae Dobson putting shots on net. Brown goalkeeper Kaley Doyle was up to the challenge, keeping the Huskies at bay with a handful of saves to avoid falling behind early. Another powerplay for the Bears came to nothing, as the first period ended in a scoreless tie.
However, it would not take long for the Huskies to flip that script, as five minutes into the second period, Coryn Tormala scored off a Brianna Ware feed to give the Huskies an early advantage, a common theme in this remarkable season, her fourth goal of the season. UConn continued with the pressure as the period progressed, adding another goal thanks to Viki Harkness. The senior from Ontario cashed in a combined effort of Svetek and Danika Pasqua that built on the Huskies lead, helping alleviate some pressure off the back of Warrener, who had been excellent all night in the third start of her young collegiate career.
UConn entered the third period up 2-0, carrying over the aggression on both sides of the ice that has led to their success all season long. Warrener continued to shine for the Huskies, turning away Anna Hurd in the opening minutes of the final frame. UConn’s defense stood strong during another Brown powerplay due to a Jada Habisch tripping penalty, with the Bears only recording one shot on the net that ultimately sailed wide that kept them off the scoreboard. Lizzy Gross and Anna Shelden had chances to cut the Huskies’ lead in half, but star of the night Warrener was there to save both opportunities to keep the clean sheet alive.
The dominant showing continued as UConn showed no mercy in the waning minutes of this one, with Snodgrass, Taylor Wabick and Kaitlyn Yearwood pressing the net to put the exclamation point on this out of conference game. It was ultimately Morgan Wabick that poured on the third goal of the contest for the Huskies, with Yearwood and Snodgrass creating the opportunity in a game that UConn was in control of, especially in the final two periods.
A couple of harmless Brown opportunities were no match for Warrener, who completed the clean sheet in route to a 3-0 victory, UConn’s 11th win of the season, adding onto a remarkable campaign that has seen the Huskies get nationally recognized with additional votes in the nation’s top 10 rankings.
All of the Huskies’ goals came in even strength opportunities, with Brown only being called for one penalty to three called on UConn throughout the game. The Huskies dominated the shot battle, outshooting the Bears 30-16. Danielle Fox led the way with five shots, Morgan Wabick following closely behind with four, and Snodgrass notching three. Warrener saved all 16 of the shots in an outstanding performance, turning away six in the first frame and five each in the last two periods, giving Samantha Carpentier-Yelle a game off as her brilliant season has progressed.
UConn continues their stretch of home games this weekend, as they welcome the University of Maine for a two game-set, at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Historically, the Huskies have dominated this matchup against their New England rival, leading the series 38-17, with eight ties as well. UConn has won their last five matchups against Maine, including a 1-0 win on the road earlier this season.