Women’s Hockey: UConn bested in battle of the Huskies

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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.

A tough second period for No. 15 Connecticut resulted in its first loss of the season to No. 3 Northeastern. Both teams entered their first Hockey East matchup undefeated going into Friday’s matchup in Boston.   

  

The first period had little to no action with both teams holding each other scoreless. It looked as if the game would come down to whose offense was stronger.   

  

Forward Alina Mueller started the scoring for Northeastern, continuing her dominant start to the season, scoring her fourth goal in just as many games. As a result of the score, she took over as the program’s leader in career game winning goals with 21.  She currently leads the Hockey East in goals and ranks fourth in the nation. 

  

Forward Katy Knoll pushed the lead to two just minutes later, which was followed by forward Skylar Irving’s shot that ricocheted off the skate of UConn’s Claire Peterson and into the back of the net for the third and final goal of the game. 

  

Senior goalkeeper Gwenyth Phillips had the shutout and earned a win for Northeastern, blocking all 26 shots on goal. Phillips currently ranks second in the Hockey East in save percentage (fifth in all the NCAA) and first in win percentage. 

  

A bright spot for UConn was its success at killing penalties, not allowing any scoring on any power plays. Northeastern had four such opportunities throughout the game and was never able to put the puck in the net. UConn’s defense is its strong suit, boasting talents such as the Hockey East Defender of the Week Claire Peterson. 

  

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 goalkeeper Tia Chan blocked 30 shots while allowing three goals. Chan has been splitting goalkeeping duties with fellow sophomore Megan Warrener this season. Both have been solid for UConn in the early part of the season.   

  

The second game of the series, taking place this time in Storrs, started in favor of UConn.  Senior Camyrn Wong opened up the scoring in the first period, UConn’s first goal in the series. The UConn lead didn’t last long as Northeastern’s Maureen Murphy tied the game later in the first period. With an assist on the goal, Mueller added yet another milestone to her Northeastern career as she became the third member of the Northeastern 200-point club. 

  

Just like the first game, the second period was rough for the UConn Huskies as they gave up yet another three goals. Forward Taze Thompson scored her first of the series and Knoll scored the next two goals for Northeastern and proved too much for UConn to come back. With two goals in this game and one in the first she tied her teammate Mueller with four goals on the season.  

  

Aside from their strength in killing penalties, UConn also played a cleaner game, only giving Northeastern two power plays compared to the four power plays they had in the first game. 

  

Northeastern put 37 shots on goal, and Tia Chen blocked 33 of them (89%). Gwenyth Philips allowed one goal of 16 shots on goal (94%).   

  

“[It was] not a complete game yet, but I think that’s the closest to a complete game so far this year,” Northeastern coach Dave Flint said of his team’s performance. “[It was] definitely a better effort than yesterday.” 

“As soon as she stepped on campus, she’s always been a big part of our offense,” associate coach Nick Carpenito noted of Mueller. “She’s been the heart and soul of our team.” 

UConn hasn’t fared well against Northeastern in the past and haven’t won against them since 2018. Northeastern beat UConn in the Hockey East Women’s Tournament final last year by a score of three goals to one.  

  

UConn was outscored seven to one in the weekend series and will look to adjust as the teams’ next matchup will be on February 10th in Storrs. 

  

As for their next games, Northeastern moves on from this weekend and matches up against Merrimack. In their last game against each other, Northeastern blanked Merrimack while putting up eight goals in the Hockey East Women’s Tournament. It was the largest goal differential in the whole tournament. 

UConn looks to regain some momentum next weekend against another Hockey East opponent, Vermont. The last time these teams met up, UConn sent Vermont home in the semifinal round of the Hockey East Women’s Tournament. 

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