Women’s Hockey: No. 17 Huskies host No. 11 Maine with chance to get up to .500 in conference play 

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The UConn women’s ice hockey team takes on the Merrimack Warriors on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022 at Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Conn. The game ultimately ended in a tie with a final score of 2-2. Photo by Emily O’Bannon/Daily Campus.

UConn Women’s Ice Hockey (5-3-2, 1-3-2) will host the No. 11 Maine Black Bears (5-4, 3-1) this weekend in a two-game series, both taking place at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Connecticut. The first game is tonight at 6 p.m., while the second game will be on Saturday at 3 p.m. 

The Huskies are coming off a successful series last weekend where they shut out Merrimack, who is receiving votes in the latest poll in North Andover, Massachusetts, and tied with them at home, winning in a shootout.  

Connecticut has three players tied for the most goals so far this season with three apiece: forward Coryn Tormala (Sr.), defenseman Claire Peterson (Sr.) and forward Carlie Magier (Gr.). Tormala has been the biggest contributor, leading the team with five assists and eight points. She’s second in shots on the team with 27, behind forward Jada Habisch (Jr.).  

Goaltender Tia Chan (Soph.) has been the primary goaltender for the Huskies, with nearly 500 game minutes played so far this season. Chan comes into this weekend with a 2.2 goals-against average and a 91.9% save percentage. With a 3-3-2 record so far this season, Chan looks to get back into the win column again with two home games this weekend. 

The Huskies are coming off of one of their best performances on the power play, scoring twice on four power plays. They forced the most penalties for the opposing team last weekend with five penalties for Merrimack.  

For the Black Bears, the Huskies will need to look out for the fifth-year forward Grace Heiting, who has six goals so far this season, the highest on the team. She’s second on the team in assists with four behind freshman forward Luisa Welcke who has five, giving Heiting a team-high 10 points heading into the series. Forward Ida Kuoppala (Sr.) is also a potential threat, as the Finnish player has four goals and six points total.  

The main goaltender in the crease for Maine is Jorden Mattison (Jr.), who has a goals-against average of 2.17 and a save percentage of 92.1%. Those are similar numbers to Chan, but the Black Bears have been utilizing two goalies so far in October. Brooklyn Oakes (Fr.) has played the last three weeks, giving Mattison days off. She has put up similar numbers to Mattison, with a 2.35 goals-against average and a save percentage of 92.2%. Despite this, Oakes has a record of 1-2, while Mattison has a 3-2 record. 

The UConn women’s ice hockey team takes on the Merrimack Warriors on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022 at Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Conn. The game ultimately ended in a tie with a final score of 2-2. Photo by Emily O’Bannon/Daily Campus.

The Black Bears are coming off a split with No. 3 Northeastern, something UConn could not accomplish earlier this season. What’s impressive is that they shut out the third-ranked team in the nation, 1-0, this past Saturday. That result was powered by a season-high 39 saves for Maine. Despite a successful win last Saturday, Friday’s game couldn’t have gone worse for them. Northeastern put up an opponent season-high 16 points, six goals, 10 assists, and 45 shots in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Black Bears. Maine will face the Huskies in Connecticut. 

Last season, the Huskies were unable to claim a win in the series against Maine, losing the first game and tying in the second, where the Black Bears won in a shootout. Connecticut leads the all-time series 38-18-9, with their last win coming in October 2021, where the Huskies shut out Maine, 1-0, in Orono, Maine. UConn has won five of the last seven games and looks to continue the successful history against the Black Bears this weekend. 

If you’re unable to make either of these home games at the Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, they will be streaming live on ESPN+. 

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