Women’s Hockey: UConn, New Hampshire split Hockey East series

10-30-2022 WHOC V Maine by Skyler Kim, Staff Photographer. UConn Women’s Ice Hockey competes against Maine on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. The Huskies were unable to score all game, falling 0-1.

No. 14 Connecticut played two games in New Hampshire this past weekend, taking one game from the unranked Wildcats. Coming into the series, the Huskies had only won one of their last four games and were struggling defensively. New Hampshire came in on a down swing as well, losing six of their last seven games. Both teams came in looking to right the ship and had some positives to take away. 

Despite their recent struggles, the Wildcats played a dominant game one, taking down the Huskies 4-0. 

The game was scoreless after the first period, but the Wildcats were starting to attack, getting a few shots on goal to finish the first. Goalkeeper Nicky Harnett saved twelve shots to keep the Huskies at zero with UConn’s Tia Chan saving five shots herself. 

New Hampshire was able to break the tie with a shot right in front of the goal by Kelly Harty to go up 1-0. This was the freshman’s first ever collegiate goal and a big one at that as it kickstarted their offense. 

Just minutes later, New Hampshire’s Emily Rickwood was able to break loose and go against Chan one-on-one, scoring to put them up 2-0. It was her second goal on the season and first since the end of September, providing a rare spark from the back line. Rickwood finished second in blocks in the Hockey East just last season and currently leads the Wildcats with 37. 

A third goal came halfway through the third period, this time off a tip in by Nicole Kelly. This was the forward’s second goal on the season and the gut punch that really took Connecticut out of the game. 

The Huskies elected to go on the attack, and it just didn’t work out for them, as the Wildcats’ Marina Alvarez scored on an empty net with just 18 seconds left to increase the lead to four. Alvarez, a sophomore, racked up two points on the day with the goal and an assist on the goal by Kelly. 

Harnett made 28 saves, collecting her second shutout of the season and fourth win behind goal. This also matched for her second most saves in a game this season. Chan was credited with three goals allowed and 16 saves. 

Despite being outshot by eight, New Hampshire was able to capitalize on scoring situations and locked UConn down defensively. 

The second game was a lot closer and UConn was up to the challenge, winning with the narrow score of 1-0. 

10-30-2022 WHOC V Maine by Skyler Kim, Staff Photographer. UConn Women’s Ice Hockey competes against Maine on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. The Huskies were unable to score all game, falling 0-1.

Unlike Friday, UConn was able to go up early with a score from Claire Peterson, her fifth on the season. With the goal Peterson moves up to third on the team in points with ten only behind Coryn Tamala and Jada Habisch. 

This would be the last score of the whole game as it turned into a defensive battle from there on. In order to preserve their lead and hold onto the win, the Huskies needed to play better than Friday and that’s exactly what they did. 

Sophomore Megan Warrener was given the start for UConn over Chan and performed well, tallying 27 saves without conceding a goal. This was Warrener’s third win in four starts and her first shutout this year. Coming off her last appearance in which she allowed four goals against Boston University, this looks like the player the Huskies were able to depend upon last year. 

Connecticut tallied a total of 12 total blocks with Ava Rinker, Peterson and Ainsley Svetek all having two themselves. New Hampshire had eight blocks with Kyla Bent leading the team with three. 

Harnett had another solid game for New Hampshire despite the goal, adding 21 saves to her weekend total.  

UConn comes out of the weekend at 12-8-2 and gets a little bit of a breather as its next game isn’t until the end of December against Merrimack in Rhode Island. The Huskies are currently in a three-way tie with Boston College and Maine for fourth in Hockey East. 

New Hampshire won’t play until January, when it’ll play one game against Saint Anselm College. It rounds out the weekend at a record of 6-14-0, tied for seventh in Hockey East play with Boston University. 

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