STORRS, Conn. (Jan. 17, 2009) – The No. 9/10 University of Connecticut women’s ice hockey team (15-7-2, 7-4-0) lost 5-2 against No. 4/4 Mercyhurst on Saturday afternoon at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. UConn split the weekend series after winning Friday night’s game 3-2.
The Huskies trailed by three goals after Valerie Chouinard added to the Laker lead and her own goal scoring tally with a goal at 2:36 in the second period. Chouinard was responsible for the first goal of the game that left UConn down 1-0 after the first twenty minutes.
Vicki Bendus hit the back of the net for Mercyhurst (15-5-0, 4-0-0) less than a minute later. Her unassisted mark gave the Lakers a 3-0 lead.
Brittany Wilson (Nepean, Ont./Ottawa Inter. AA) left the net in favor of an extra skater and the call paid off. Brittany Murphy (Tewksbury, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) scored her third of the season to cut the deficit at 13:52 in the second period. Mercyhurst remained in control of the scoreboard with a 3-1 lead.
Kristen Russell (Dauphin, Man./U-18 Team Manitoba) and Tiffany Good (Hellertown, Pa./N. American Hockey Acad.) had the assists on Murphy’s goal.
On the power play, Jesse Scanzano scored with less than three minutes remaining in the second period. Assisted by Bendus and Chouinard the goal left UConn trailing 4-1 going into the final period of regulation.
A power-play goal by Michelle Binning (Oshawa, Ont./Toronto Jr. Aeros Inter.) reignited the UConn offense, forcing Mercyhurst’s Courtney Drennen to make nine third period saves. The Huskies trailed 4-2 with just under six minutes remaining in regulation after Binning’s 10th power-play goal of the season.
Despite several solid chances and good looks, Connecticut lost 5-2 after Scanzano scored an empty-netter in the final minute of the game.
Wilson (11-4-1) made 33 saves while UConn forced Drennan (3-3-0) to stop 25 shots at the opposite end.
Connecticut resumes play on Friday, Jan. 23 against Northeastern at Freitas Ice Forum. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m. and the first 100 students to arrive on “Back to School Night” will receive a free t-shirt.
· UConn is 1-1-1 against No. 4 nationally ranked teams this season after splitting against the Lakers and going to a tie with New Hampshire on Oct. 15. The game against the Wildcats counted as a Hockey East win after Monique Weber scored in the shootout.
· This is the 10th-consecutive time the Huskies have scored at least one power-play goal in a game.
· Michelle Binning scored one goal in each game against the Lakers. Each were on the power play adding to her team-best power play goal total of 10.
· This is the third-straight game that Brittany Wilson has made more than 30 saves in a game.