STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s hockey team was propelled by a three-goal third period in a 4-3 comeback victory over Vermont on Sunday afternoon at Freitas Ice Forum. The victory closed out a weekend sweep of the Catamounts and improved the Huskies to 6-11-6 on the year and 2-5-3 in Hockey East play, while UVM dropped to 10-12-1 and 1-9-0 in league action.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, UConn got a power play goal from Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) in the second period to cut the lead to one before the explosive third frame. In the final stanza, Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.), Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) and Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) each found the back of the net to secure the victory. Hewes, MacDonnell and Snodgrass each also had an assist in the contest for two-point outings, and Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia) recorded two assists.
Vermont out-shot UConn 40-36 on the day, but the Huskies held a 15-11 edge in the third period. Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) got the start in goal for UConn and made 37 saves, while Molly Depew turned aside 32 shots for Vermont. The Huskies went 2-for-6 on the power play and the Catamounts were 1-for-5. UConn won the face-off battle, 43-32, thanks to a dominant 20-10 performance in the dot from Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.)
The Catamounts broke into the score column with the game’s first goal at 16:21 of the first period when Bridget Baker snapped a shot from the slot past Belanger for a 1-0 lead. Baker set up Vermont’s next goal less than two minutes later, firing a shot that was saved before Mackenzie MacNeil punched home the rebound at 18:02. UVM took its 2-0 lead to the first intermission, despite UConn holding a 14-13 advantage in shots in the first frame.
The second period played out quietly through its majority, before the Huskies used special teams to cut the Catamount lead in half. During a power play late in the frame, Lum sent a pass to Snodgrass deep in the Vermont end, where the senior forward snapped a shot into the top left corner of the cage for her team-high 12th goal of the season at 18:01.
After picking up a crucial penalty kill early in the third frame, the Huskies stuck to tie the contest midway through the period. Snodgrass crashed the net and was initially denied by Depew, before Campero gathered the loose puck and popped home her fourth goal of the season at 8:26 to tie the contest at 2-2.
The Huskies jumped ahead for the first time at 13:18 with Hewes’ goal. The junior assistant captain took a feed from Margaret Zimmer (St. Charles, Ill.) and jammed a shot through traffic for her second goal of the season. The Catamounts responded quickly to tie it again with a power play goal from Brittany Zuback at 13:42, her team-high 15th of the year.
UConn took the lead for good at 14:51 of the third period, connecting for its second power play goal of the game. Lum circled the puck to Hewes at the point for a shot fired into traffic in front. In the ensuing scramble, MacDonnell jammed home her fifth goal of the season to put the Huskies on top by a score of 4-3.
Vermont pulled Depew with 1:24 remaining in regulation, and after a UConn timeout sent a late flurry at Belanger that the freshman goalie stood tall against. The weekend league sweep for the Huskies marks their first since taking down No. 7 Boston College and New Hampshire in consecutive contests on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, 2014.
Up next, the Huskies host another two-game league set when they welcome New Hampshire to the Freitas Ice Forum. UConn and UNH will square off on Saturday, Jan. 17 and Sunday, Jan. 18 for a pair of 3 p.m. starts.
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