It was all smiles for UConn head coach Chris MacKenzie and his skaters after they captured their sixth shutout win of the season over the Brown Bears on New Year’s Eve in a 3-0 win.
This win improved the Huskies record to 13-8-2, and given that this was a non-conference game, they still sit in the sixth spot in Hockey East standings.
Sophomore forward Brianna Ware wasted no time for the Huskies, as she found the back of the net less than two minutes after puck drop to give her team an early 1-0 lead over the Bears on their home ice. Junior Ainsley Svetek tacked onto this lead late in the first period as she hammered a slapshot past Brown goaltender Kaley Doyle.
As the game progressed into the second period, UConn’s defense continued to shut down the Bears while their offense continued to pepper the Brown net with shots. Brown decided to change their netminder to Megane Pilon in the second period, who stayed in the crease for the remainder of the game. Despite this change in the net, UConn once again tacked onto their lead with a second period goal from freshman forward Megan Woodworth. With the score, the Huskies took a 3-0 lead heading into the third period.
The third period of this game was scoreless as the puck moved back and forth down the ice. UConn’s defense played tremendously well this period, holding Brown to only three shots on goal. In total, the Huskies outshot the Bears 22-15 on the night.
UConn’s sophomore goaltender Megan Warrener was awarded the shutout win, as her lockdown 15 save performance allowed the Huskies to top the Bears. For the majority of the season, UConn turned to sophomore goaltender Tia Chan to be their starting goalie. However, as of late, MacKenzie has written Warrener into the starting lineup as she has continued to be a brick wall in the crease. In fact, this win marked her second shutout performance in a row.
Although UConn picked up the non-conference win in Providence, Rhode Island they still showed weakness in their power-play offense, going 0-2 on the night. For the near entirety of the season, their special teams offense has not had much success, as game-after-game they have found themselves empty-handed as they have failed to connect on these opportunities. This aspect of their game can be the difference maker for the Huskies as they enter the second half of the season and continue to go to war with conference opponents in arguably the best college hockey conference in the nation: Hockey East.
Ahead for the Huskies is the monumental opening of the Toscano Family Ice Forum on campus, which is set to host its first game on January 13th, where the women will take on Merrimack in a one game showdown.