Jan. 26, 2014
Providence, R.I. – The UConn women’s hockey team (7-17-2, 4-8-1 WHEA) got 30 saves from Elaine Chuli, (Waterford, Ontario) but was unable to overcome a second period goal and fell, 1-0, to Providence (11-16-0, 6-8-0 WHEA) on Sunday afternoon at Schneider Arena.
The Friars jumped on the board early in the second period when Lexi Romanchuk charged into the offensive zone and fired a long shot that bounced off Chuli's pad. Romanchuk out-raced the Husky defense to grab the loose puck and buried her third goal of the season at the 5:21 mark. Courtney Kukowski and Brittney Thunstrom were credited with assists on the even-strength goal.
Providence controlled play early in the first period, holding a 13-to-4 advantage in shots and winning 10-of-17 face-offs in the first 20 minutes. A trio of Providence penalties midway through the period gave the Huskies a numbers advantage but goalkeeper Sarah Bryant held the Husky offense in check, turning away four shots-on-goal and killing the UConn power play.
The Huskies had five power play opportunities throughout the game but were unable to find the equalizer. UConn had a chance late in the third period when Haley Frade was called for holding at 15:34, although the Huskies could only muster one shot attempt from Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) that bounced off a defender and away from danger. UConn head coach Chris MacKenzie called a timeout in the waning minutes of the third period but Connecticut could not secure the puck before time expired.
Chuli recorded at least 30 saves for the ninth straight game, as the sophomore boasts a 2.62 goals against average in 2013-14. She was busy in the first 40 minutes, making 25 saves and helping the Huskies to kill three Friar power plays. Since the beginning of January, Chuli has made at least 30 saves and allowed less than two goals in eight of her nine starts.
Sunday’s meeting was the 45th all-time game between UConn and Providence and the third meeting of this season. UConn was victorious in Friday’s tilt against Providence, winning 3-1 as the Huskies received goals from senior forward Stephanie Raithby (London, Ont.), junior forward Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) and junior forward Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.). Back in November, the Huskies defeated the Friars 5-4 to snap a nine-game losing streak against Providence in a game in which Chuli made 27 saves.
Connecticut returns to action on Friday, Jan. 31 when it hosts Boston University for a 7 p.m. showdown at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.