Nothing silences a home crowd like giving up a goal in overtime after leading for most of the game. That is exactly what happened to the UConn women’s hockey team Friday in its loss to No. 3 Northeastern.
“They scored in the last two minutes of both overtime and the third, but the first two periods I thought we did exactly what we wanted to do,” head coach Chris Mackenzie said on the team’s struggles to finish off periods. “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but I think the effort and actual performance was good. I’m not happy with the result, but I’m happy with where our team is.”
UConn (13-14-2, 8-12-2) has struggled to close out periods throughout the season, especially in games against Northeastern (20-3-3, 18-2-2). Throughout all competition this season, the UConn Huskies have given up 22 goals in the final three minutes of a period. Even though the last three minutes count for just 15 percent of total game time, UConn has given up nearly 31 percent of its goals in this time frame.
Against Northeastern, UConn has given up six goals in the final three minutes of a period, which is almost 55 percent of the goals it has allowed in those games.
“I thought we played a solid game, it was good to get the lead right away just came up short at the end there. Northeastern is obviously having a great year. It would have been nice to at least get one point, but I’m proud of my team. I’m proud of the effort, we just came up short,” said coach Mackenzie post-game.
After leading for most of the game Friday, UConn gave up a goal with less than two minutes left in the third period. This came after two strong defensive periods. UConn gave up 14 shots in the third, to its two shots. Going into the third, the team had only given up a total of 14 shots.
In periods in which UConn allows 10 or more shots, it gives up a goal in nearly 57 percent of those periods. For a defense to be successful, it needs to limit shots. The more shots a defense allows, the more opportunities there are for the opponent to score. Seeing a high volume of shots in a period can also tax a goaltender and make them more likely to make a mistake.
UConn goaltender Morgan Fisher had played an outstanding game up until the final minutes in which she gave up the two goals. She finished with 30 saves, which is slightly above her season average of 26.7. In games Fisher has 30 or more saves, UConn is 4-6-1.
Mike Mavredakis is a campus correspondent for the Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.