STORRS, Conn. – A third period goal from Briana Colangelo (Whitby, Ont.) lifted the UConn women’s ice hockey team past Merrimack 3-2 on Friday at the Mark Edward Frietas Ice Forum. Colangelo finished with two points after assisting UConn’s first goal of the evening.
The Huskies record their 10th win of the season and improve to 10-7-3 overall and 5-4-1 in Hockey East games. Merrimack is now 7-14-2 with a 3-11 WHEA record.
UConn killed off a 5-on-3 situation early in the game when juniors Lindsay Roetke (Buffalo, Minn.) and Cydnee Cook (Winnipeg, Manitoba) were called for back-to-back penalties 2:59 and 3:22 into the first period.
The Huskies received their first power play opportunity of the game 8:31 into the first after Merrimack was called for tripping.
Just five seconds after the Merrimack penalty was released, UConn scored to take a 1-0 lead 10:36 in. Colangelo passed the puck up to sophomore Kayla Mee (Stonewall, Manitoba) who sniped the puck in from the point.
UConn’s lead was short-lived as Merrimack’s Mikyla Grant-Mentis snuck one past between UConn goaltender Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) and the post on the goal line less than 30 seconds later to tie the game up 1-1. The Huskies outshot the Warriors 10-6 in the first period, but the game remained tied 1-1 going into the break.
The Warriors took their first lead of the game 8:18 into the second after Merrimack’s Madison Morey tipped one in off a shot from the point. Shortly after Merrimack’s goal, the Warriors were called for holding and UConn went up on the power play, but could not find the back of the net.
As the game was returning to five-on-five, junior Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.) ripped a shot off the post that bounced out and the Huskies still trailed by a goal.
Junior Marisa Maccario (Marblehead, Mass.) netted the equalizer for the Huskies 11:56 into the second off a rebound in front. Line-mates Rebecca Lindblad (Winnetka, Ill.) and Nora Maclaine (Easton, Mass.) took credit for the helpers.
Shots were near even in the second period, but UConn had a 13-12 edge on shots in the second and a 23-18 overall advantage after two periods.
UConn had an early power play chance in the third after Merrimack was called for body-checking less than two minutes into the frame, but the Huskies did not capitalize on the man-advantage.
Colangelo scored her sixth goal this season, the game-winner, 7:43 into the third to give the Huskies a one-goal lead with over 10 minutes to play in the game.
Merrimack was penalty-prone in the third period and was called for three penalties over the last 10 minutes of the game, which did not allow a lot of time to find an equalizer.
UConn was able to fend off Merrimack for the remainder of the game to claim the 3-2 win. The Huskies outshot the Warriors 31-24 overall. Belanger finished with 22 saves and improved her record to an even 7-7-3 this season.
UConn is back in action against Merrimack on Saturday, Jan. 7 on the road at Lawler Rink. Puck-drop is scheduled for 2 p.m.