Feb. 9, 2014
DURHAM, N.H. -- The UConn women's hockey team erased an early deficit with three straight goals to top New Hampshire, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at the Whittemore Center. With the win, the Huskies move to 9-19-2 on the year and into fifth place in Hockey East with a 6-10-1 league record.
Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario) turned in another stellar performance in goal for the Huskies, stopping 38-of-39 shots in the win. The Huskies got goals from Brittany Berisoff (Kelowna, British Columbia), Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamis, New Brunswick) and Michela Cava (Thunder Bay, Ontario) to storm back after UNH (9-18-2, 4-11-2 WHEA) took a 1-0 lead in the first period. Cava also notched an assist in the win to join Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.), who tallied two assists, with a multi-point night.
The Huskies were out-shot 39-23 in the game, and both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play. Ashley Wilkes made 20 saves for the Wildcats, who have now lost six in a row and eight of nine overall.
The first period was all New Hampshire, as the Wildcats came out firing to the tune of a 17-6 advantage in shots on goal. New Hampshire got on the board first, tallying on the game's first power play at 11:21. Cassandra Vilgrain picked up the UNH goal, with assists to Heather Kashman and Jess Ryan. The Wildcats took their 1-0 lead to the break, with Chuli limiting the damage by recording 16 saves in the period.
After UConn killed a UNH power play early in the second period, the Huskies found an equalizer. Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) started the play by going end-to-end on a rush and firing a shot at Wilkes. The initial save was made, but Berisoff was there to bury the rebound and tie the game at 1-1 at 4:31 of the second.
Vilgrain nearly had her second of the game midway through the second period, but Chuli was sharp to stop her initial shot and a rebound bid before a third try hit the post. The Huskies killed off another Wildcat power play after a tripping call at 11:21 of the frame, with Chuli making a pair of saves during the advantage.
Cava and Farrel both made strong bids for UConn in the final five minutes of the second, but Wilkes was there to turn aside both. The Huskies went to the power play at 16:02, but their best chance was turned aside when Wilkes poked away a rebound chance on the doorstep.
The Huskies went back on the power play at 18:38 of the second, and this time wouldn't be denied. MacDonnell picked up her fourth power play goal of the season, taking a feed from Cava by way of Farrel before ripping a shot from the point through traffic and past Wilkes at 19:23. The Huskies took their 2-1 lead to the second intermission, thanks in part to Chuli stopping all 12 shots she saw in the second stanza.
Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.) had a strong chance early in the third period, intercepting a pass in the UNH zone and firing a shot at Wilkes that was covered up. The Huskies tacked onto their lead at 7:39 of the third, pushing the lead to 3-1. Farrel won a draw in the UNH zone back to Kiana Nauheim (Fairbanks, Alaska), who ripped a shot from the point on goal. Cava was there waiting for the redirect, and punched in her eighth goal of the season.
New Hampshire went on the power play at 11:44 of the second after a holding call on UConn, but Chuli stood tall on a barrage of UNH chances to keep it a two-goal game. The Huskies went back to the power play at 15:47, and Wilkes was sharp to stop a chance from Fleming deep in the crease. The Wildcats took timeout and pulled Wilkes with 1:18 to play, but the Huskies' forecheck kept the play out of their zone and helped them seal the 3-1 victory.
Up next, UConn visits Northeastern for a pair of WHEA games in Boston on Feb. 15 and 16. Both contests are set for 2 p.m. puck drops.