NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Two goals from leading scorer, sophomore Justine Fredette (Winnipeg, Manitoba) helped lead the UConn women’s ice hockey past Merrimack 4-3 on Saturday.
The win moves UConn to 8-9-3 overall and 4-6-1 in Hockey East performances, while Merrimack drops to 3-19-0 and 2-11-0 in conference play.
After a slow start, the Huskies gained their momentum after the Warriors were called for too many players on the ice. After Merrimack successfully killed off the penalty, the Warriors were called for holding twenty seconds later and UConn went up on the man advantage again with just over two minutes to play in the first period.
Sophomore Leah Lum (Richmond, B.C.) capitalized for the Huskies a minute into the power play to give UConn a 1-0 lead headed into the first break. This marked Lum’s second goal and tenth point of the season. Seniors Leah Buress (Windsor, Ont.) and Margaret Zimmer (St. Charles, Ill.) picked up the assists on Lum’s power play goal.
Merrimack knotted up the score 1-1 halfway through the second period and the game remained tied going into the second intermission. The Warriors were called for hooking as time expired in the second period and UConn started the third period on the power play.
Fredette notched her first goal with just seconds left on the man advantage less than two minutes into the third period to make it 2-1. Sophomore Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.) and junior Jessica Stott (Niverville, Manitoba) took credit for the helpers on Fredette’s power play goal.
Less than three minutes later, Fredette got her second of the game off a pass from junior Kelly Harris (Canton, Mich.) to extend the Huskies’ lead to 3-1 less than five minutes into the third. Merrimack cut the lead the 3-2 with less than ten minutes to play in the final frame.
Knutson nabbed an empty net goal with a minute and a half on the clock to make it 4-2. Knutson’s goal became the game-winner after Merrimack added another with a minute left in the game to make it 4-3 when the clock expired with UConn on top.
UConn and Merrimack were even with 30 shots apiece. Sophomore goaltender Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) stopped 27 pucks for the Huskies and earned her fifth win of the season.
UConn and Merrimack will meet again tomorrow, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. on the Huskies home ice in Storrs.