After taking down out-of-conference opponent Brown Tuesday night, the UConn Women’s Hockey Team is back in action at Freitas Ice Forum this weekend as they take on the UMaine Black Bears in a Hockey East conference matchup. The Huskies won 3-0 last time out, with a balanced scoring attack that saw Coryn Tamala, Viki Harkness and Morgan Wabick find the back of the net to supplement a strong defensive showing, anchored by a clean sheet from Megan Warrener. Maine is looking to continue their own winning momentum, fresh off a 4-1 exhibition victory against Colby at home.
The Black Bears are led on the offensive end by Ally Johnson, Celine Tedenby and Ida Kuoppala, at marks of eight, seven and six points respectively. Johnson, a senior from Milwaukee, notched a goal in three straight games in a late October stretch against New Hampshire, Boston College and Holy Cross. Tedenby had a similar hot streak earlier in the season, scoring a goal in each of the two games against another Connecticut opponent, Quinnipiac. Kuoppala, the junior from Finland, led the Black Bears in goals and points last season, but has only notched one this year, in a game against St Anselm that saw her have a whopping 14 shots throughout the game’s entirety.
On the defensive side of the ice, Maine is led by Taylor Leech and Nicole Pateman, who lead the Black Bears in blocked shots at marks of 19 and 12, respectively. Leech has also scored two goals of her own, showing her value on both the offensive and defensive. The goalkeeping situation is commanded by Loryn Porter, a graduate student from North Bay, Ontario that has made a majority of the starts in net for Maine. However, Porter has struggled in her eight starts, with a record of 1-6, in which she has given up almost three goals per game. Fellow Canadian Jorden Mattison has had more success in her limited opportunities, going 2-2 in her starts, allowing on average a fewer number of goals from her opponents in a small sample size.
It has been a slightly disappointing season for Maine up until this point, dropping the first three games in a two-game series vs Quinnipiac before falling in their home opener in a one-goal affair against St. Anselm. The Black Bears have already faced UConn this year, in which the Huskies went on the road and eked out a 1-0 win thanks to a goal by Harkness off a combined assist effort from Natalie Snodgrass and Taylor Wabick. UConn dominated this game, outshooting the hosting Black Bears 34-17. Samantha Carpentier-Yelle was excellent in net, making 17 saves on the night in a strong effort that helped a then 5-0 Huskies squad come out of Orono with a victory.
For UConn, the key to this game is maintaining the balanced offensive effort this year that has helped to be more successful than ever before. Snodgrass leads the Huskies in points with 10, but Taylor Wabick, Harkness, Danielle Fox, and Wabick’s sister, Morgan, are close behind, helping their 11-1 UConn squad dominate the competition. On defense, it has been Alex-Anne Boyer and Chloe Gonsalves leading the way with 21 and 11 blocked shots, respectively, which have helped Carpentier-Yelle achieve success. The senior from Quebec has notched 170 saves on the season at a clip of .924, with a record of 8-1 in her 9 starts. In allowing only 14 goals, her average goals given up per game stands at 1.56, with UConn allowing 1.34 goals per game as a team overall.
UConn and UMaine will play at 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday, both at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.