Jan. 31, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s hockey team (7-18-2, 4-9-1 WHEA) got a late goal from Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) and 35 saves from Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario) but fell, 2-1, to Boston University (17-8-1, 10-5-0 WHEA) on Friday night at Freitas Ice Forum. The game was UConn’s annual Skating Strides for Breast Cancer Awareness game, and the team presented a check for $7,500 raised for the Friends of Mel Foundation to Executive Director Pauline Alighieri before the game.
Chuli’s performance marked the 10th straight start in which she has recorded at least 30 saves, and the ninth of those 10 in which she has allowed two or less goals. UConn was out-shot 37-21 in the setback, with BU’s Kerrin Sperry recording 20 saves. The Huskies were 1-for-4 on the power play, while BU went 1-for-5 with the extra man.
The first period started steady, with neither team garnering much of an offense through the first few minutes. The teams traded penalties midway through the first, but neither power play was able to churn out a goal. UConn’s best chance on its power play came on a blast from Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) that Sperry was able to secure.
Michela Cava (Thunder Bay, Ontario) nearly got the Huskies on the board in the final minute when she fired a shot aimed for the five-hole on Sperry, but the contest went to the first intermission scoreless. BU held a 13-8 advantage in shots on goal after a period, but Chuli stopped all 13 shots she faced in the frame.
The Terriers finally broke the scoreless draw in the second period, tallying on their second of three power plays in the period. At 7:41 of the period after a tripping call on Cava, Louise Warren worked the puck to Kaleigh Fratkin at the blue line. Fratkin slid a pass to her defensive partner Lillian Riberinha-Braga, who ripped a shot from the point through traffic and past Chuli to make it a 1-0 game. UConn was out-shot 10-5 in the second period, and went into the locker room after the stanza down a goal.
UConn had its best opportunity to equalize early in the third period on the power play, but Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) had a blast from the point on an open cage blocked by a BU defenseman. The Terriers then tacked on to their lead late in the third period, when Taylor Holze deflected a Fratkin shot past Chuli at 13:11 of the third.
Down 2-0 late in the third, UConn went on the power play with 3:04 remaining in the contest. Chris MacKenzie called timeout following the BU penalty and pulled Chuli to gain a 6-on-4 advantage. The ploy paid off, when Farrel scored to make it a one goal game. Cava circled the puck to MacDonnell at the point, who sent a pass to Farrel near the right circle. The junior sent a screaming slapshot towards goal the snuck over Sperry’s blocker and made it a 2-1 game.
MacKenzie pulled Chuli again with 1:54 to play, but this time the Huskies were unable to pick up an extra attacker tally and dropped their eight one-goal loss of the year.
UConn and BU conclude their weekend sand season series tomorrow afternoon in Boston. Puck drop from Walter Brown Arena is set for 3 p.m.
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