The season for the UConn women’s hockey team officially started when they played two exhibition games this past weekend against No. 11 Penn State.
Even though the Nittany Lions outshot the Huskies 33-27 on Friday night, Connecticut still managed to shut them out with a score of 2-0.
The Huskies came out strong in the first and second periods, challenging Penn State defensively. Their first scoring chance of the game came from forward Brianna Ware when she collected a turnover at the blue line. She was left alone and took a backhand shot attempt, but it was ultimately saved by Penn State’s netminder Josie Bothun.
Shortly after, Penn State wanted to get in the mix. UConn goaltender Tia Chan made back-to-back saves in the first period. In that frame alone, Chan managed to make seven saves, keeping the score at zero.
The Nittany Lions held the majority of puck possessions in the second period, outshooting the Huskies 17-15, but the game remained scoreless until the third.
After a back-and-forth game, Connecticut managed to put themselves ahead with a goal from forward Riley Grimley. The score came after Grimley stole the puck from Penn State’s defense, and took aim above their goalie’s shoulder.
With the Huskies looking to put the game away, a pass from defenseman Camryn Wong to forward Kathryn Stockdale set up the team’s second goal, coming only two minutes after the first.
Chan proved herself to be tough enough for the Huskies as she kept things scoreless the rest of the game. At the end of the night, she tallied 33 saves.
Coming into Saturday’s game, the Huskies looked to jump on their chance to sweep the Nittany Lions. Connecticut struck first as forward Coryn Tormala skated through Penn State’s defense to find forward Brooke Campbell alone at the side of the net for a tip-in score. The power play goal came at the 12-minute mark in the first period.
Chan was able to weather the storm from Penn State’s offense until the second period. Penn State had the opportunity to tie the game at one from a delayed penalty. With the help of the extra attacker, the Nittany Lions found the back of the net.
The premature excitement gave way to disappointment, however, as the goal was waved off. This was due to a review showing that a Connecticut skater touched the puck before the goal was scored. UConn’s penalty kill remained strong once again and they were able to enter the third period up by one.
Through the final frame, Penn State fought to even the score. They were ultimately successful, as forward Alyssa Machado found a spot above Chan’s blocker to tie the score at 12 minutes into the third.
Neither team was able to find the net again in regulation and the game was brought to a winner-take-all overtime. As both teams battled, UConn’s only chance came with one minute remaining during a power play. However, their attempt was thwarted as the Huskies failed to put the contest to bed.
The game finished with a score of 1-1. UConn now holds a 4-0-3 record all-time against the Nittany Lions and remains undefeated. The Huskies notched 17 shots through the match and Chan finished with 39 saves. Her one-goal weekend proves the success and abilities of UConn’s defense.
The regular season for Connecticut will commence against Boston College. They are set to play in Chestnut Hill on Oct. 13, then will return home to Toscano Family Ice Forum on Oct. 14 for a 2 p.m. puck drop. Huskies fans can stream both of these games on ESPN+.