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Special Teams Lift UConn Past Northeastern, 3-1

Fisher made 26 saves on Friday night.
Fisher made 26 saves on Friday night.
Feb. 2, 2018

Final Stats

STORRS, Conn. – Special teams continues to be a strength for the UConn women’s ice hockey team, as a pair of power play goals from freshmen Natalie Snodgrass and Taylor Wabick led the way in a 3-1 win over Northeastern on Friday night at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.

The Huskies (10-11-8, 4-10-5 WHEA) extended their winning streak to three games, while snapping a 25-game winless streak against Northeastern. UConn’s last victory over the Boston-based Huskies came on Feb. 10, 2011.

“It was a hard-fought game that came down to special teams and goaltending,” said head coach Chris MacKenzie. “We were able to capitalize on power plays. We gave up one, but besides that, we killed off penalties and the empty-netter at the end sealed it.”

Already at a disadvantage after an interference call on junior Jaime Fox at 18:06 in the final period, Northeastern went with an empty net soon after to make it 6-on-4. However, junior defender Kayla Mee tallied an empty-net score for an insurance goal at 19:05 – making it 3-1.

Senior forward Leah Lum racked up three assists on the night, recording a helper in each of UConn’s three goals, giving her 55 for her career. She is just two assists away from tying Jennifer Chaisson for third all-time in program history.

“I think a lot of games you see now are going to be just like this one; one-goal games right to the end and hard-fought battles,” said MacKenzie. “I was happy to get the win.”

Snodgrass struck first at 2:53 in the first period, nailing a shot past Northeastern goalie Brittany Bugalski off passes from Lum and sophomore Briana Colangelo to give UConn a 1-0 lead. It was Snodgrass’ team-high 17th goal of the season.

Northeastern tied the game at 14:40 after Lauren Kelly beat sophomore goalie Morgan Fisher in front of the net following a penalty on sophomore Catherine Crawley for hooking at 13:07.

UConn retook the lead at 13:55 in the second period, as the Huskies worked the puck around the perimeter on a power play and set up Wabick for her slap shot in the left corner of the net to make it 2-1. Lum and Wabick’s sister, Morgan, assisted on the score.

From the second period on, the Huskies limited scoring opportunities for Northeastern and held the visitor to just 27 shots on the night. Fisher made 26 saves in her third win of the season, while UConn’s defense killed off five of six penalties.

“I think it’s just experience, preparing the team a certain way where everyone has their role and they are comfortable in it,” said MacKenzie of the special teams play. “We’re executing. At the start of the year, the bounces weren’t going our way, but now they are so we want to keep up that momentum.”

In the last five games, UConn has a 27.8-percent (5-of-18) power play conversion rate and a 94.1-percent (16-of-17) penalty kill mark. By comparison, in the first 10 games this season, the Huskies were converting just 16.7-percent (5-of-30) of power plays and killing off 71.4-percent (20-of-28) of penalties.

On Saturday afternoon, the Huskies welcome No. 9 Providence to the Freitas Ice Forum for the second time this season with puck drop at 3 p.m. ET. Fans are encouraged to wear white for Whiteout Week at UConn.