Women’s Hockey: Huskies stay undefeated after weekend sweep against Stonehill

9-30-2022 WHOC v Stonehill by Emily O’Bannon, Grabs Photographer. The UConn Huskies face Stonehill College on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Freitas Ice Forum. The Huskies secured another win with a final score of 7-2.

UConn Women’s Hockey showed pure dominance this past weekend as they defeated Stonehill in both their Friday and Saturday night matchups. Friday night was all UConn, as it won 7-1 on its home ice. Saturday was more of a test for the Huskies, as the Stonehill Skyhawks sent them to overtime for their first away game of the season. Despite the pressure, UConn was able to find the back of the net and sneak away with its fourth win with a final score of 3-2. 

Friday’s game was more than just a normal non-conference game, as it marked a new start for the Stonehill College athletics program. It was the first game in program history for their Women’s Ice Hockey team. This was evident, as the team showed an immense amount of energy in the tunnel and also on ice when the game approached the opening face-off.  

However, the Huskies quickly struck down the Skyhawks energy level as they opened up the first period with two goals. The first goal came off a ricochet by junior forward Kathryn Stockdale with 7:40 left in the period. Just over a minute later, at the 6:26 minute mark, graduate forward Carlie Magier shot a screamer that got past Skyhawks goalie Hanna Zukow. For the majority of the first period, the puck was on the Stonehill side, as UConn’s impressive offense overpowered the Skyhawks defense. The Huskies didn’t only control the game on the offensive side, but the defensive as well, not allowing a single shot on their net by Stonehill, as they outshot the Skyhawks 18-0. 

The Skyhawks finally managed to record a shot on goal early in the second period, but still were unable to suppress the extremely powerful UConn offense as it tacked on four more goals throughout the period. The one area UConn’s offense was slowed down in during the first period was its power play. Despite this, they quickly fixed this issue as they cashed in on two such opportunities during the second period by sophomore forward Brianna Ware and senior defender Claire Peterson. The remaining goals for UConn during the period came from junior forward Jada Habisch and freshman forward Brooke Campbell. Although the Skyhawks were majorly outscored, they still showed signs of life as freshman forward Mia Kenmore netted the Skyhawks’ first goal in program history the team’s bench went absolutely ecstatic.  

During the final period of play, both teams battled as UConn looked to stay hot and keep adding goals to their already large lead over Stonehill. The period was relatively quiet as there was only one goal scored, which was by UConn junior forward Kathryn Stockdale, marking her second of the game. The Huskies went on to win 7-1, gaining serious momentum ahead of the second game of the series away at Stonehill on Saturday. 

9-30-2022 WHOC v Stonehill by Emily O’Bannon, Grabs Photographer. The UConn Huskies face Stonehill College on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Freitas Ice Forum. The Huskies secured another win with a final score of 7-2.

“I think our defensive game was pretty sound, and any time you’re giving up less than ten shots in a game, that’s a good thing.” coach Chris MacKenzie said of the biggest factor in the win. “If you defend well, it usually leads to opportunities on offense and I think we saw that tonight, so we were able to generate a ton of offense there and it’s nice to see a few people get their first NCAA goals”.  

This group of skaters for UConn is undoubtedly  special. “I couldn’t do it without my team.” noted leading scorer Kathryn Stockdale of her big night. “We are young and hardworking and it’s just a great group of girls and I can’t wait to see what we do in the future.”  

As the Huskies traveled to Bridgewater, Mass. to face the Skyhawks for the second game of the series, they were met with much tougher competition.  

UConn was the first to find the back of the net through a goal by sophomore forward Riley Grimley with 10:40 left in the first period. Even though they had two power play opportunities, the Huskies fell silent for the rest of the frame. 

Early in the second period, the Skyhawks knotted the game up at one with a goal from freshman Bailey Feeney. However, UConn’s Riley Grimley found the back of the net again for her second goal of the game to put the Huskies on top 2-1 with 6:39 left in the period.  

As the game entered the third period, the Skyhawks tied the game up yet again with a goal from freshman defender Maeve Carey. The Skyhawks continued to have opportunities to score, as they were granted a power play opportunity, but failed to advance over the Huskies.  

Both teams went scoreless for the remainder of the third, and the game entered overtime tied 2-2. Luckily for UConn, junior forward Jada Habisch scored the game winner with fifty eight seconds left in overtime play, giving the Huskies the 3-2 win. 

With this weekend sweep, the Huskies advance to 4-0 on the season. They need this momentum, as they open up their Hockey East conference play this week against the Northeastern Huskies, who are the reigning champions. The energy is buzzing for the Huskies, and they look to keep it rolling as they have some tough competition ahead.  

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