Women’s Hockey: Top-15 Matchup ends in tie at Providence; Habisch hero in shootout

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The UConn women’s ice hockey team sweeps Maine 2-0 capturing a victory at the Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Conn. on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. This win capped off the two game series between the two teams, each team coming a way with one win. The Huskies will return to the ice against Boston College this upcoming weekend. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/The Daily Campus

The No. 14 UConn women’s hockey team (16-8-3, 10-7-3) went back on the road to take on No. 13 Providence (17-8-3, 12-6-3) at the Schneider Arena.

Both team’s defenses allowed a handful of shots on goal in the first period – nine for the Huskies and 14 for the Friars. None of those 23 shots found the back of the net however.

Sophomore Tia Chan, UConn’s goaltender, made 26 saves in the second period alone, while graduate Providence goalie Sandra Abstreiter made 16. Senior defenseman Camryn Wong got the scoring started for the Huskies, her fourth of the season.

An opportunity came up for the Friars as Wong was penalized for interference, but the Huskies were able to kill the penalty and hold a 1-0 lead heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.

UConn got out to a 2-0 lead thanks to an early third-period goal by sophomore forward Riley Grimley, assisted by first-year forward Christian Walker and senior forward Kate Thurman. That was Grimley’s third goal of the season and her first since a two-goal performance against Stonehill in October, ending a long drought.

The Huskies’ defense would not hold up for the third period however, as Providence answered with two goals three minutes apart from each other, scored by graduate forward Sara Hjalmarsson and first-year forward Reichen Kirchmair.

Chan finished with 41 saves, an impressive performance by the Olympian. That tied her season-high, recording just as many saves against Maine in late October. The Friars were not able to get the puck past her as the overtime period went scoreless.

Junior forward Jada Habisch was the hero in the shootout, scoring the game-winning goal for the Huskies, despite the game being recorded as a tie. While the statistics won’t include shootout goals, she would have three goals in the past two games if the game-winner was included.

Senior defenseman Ainsley Svetek played her 100th game against Providence where she made a season-high five blocked shots.

Overall, UConn was outshot 43-26 in the game, but didn’t spend as much time in the penalty box as the Friars. Providence also won more faceoffs, 34-31.

On Monday, both the Huskies and Friars stayed put in the USCHO Division I Women’s Poll, at No. 14 and No. 13 respectively. In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, Connecticut moved up to No. 14 while Providence stayed put at No. 14 in the country.

Including the shootout win, head coach Chris Mackenzie has his team on a six-game winning streak.

UConn will play two games in one weekend next week: one against Maine on Friday night and the other against New Hampshire at the Toscano Family Ice Forum on Sunday afternoon.

Stay tuned for the preview of those games later this week.

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