DURHAM, N.H. - Despite a 1-0 lead after the first, the UConn women's ice hockey team (14-14-5, 10-10-3 WHEA) fell short of New Hampshire (11-21-1, 8-15-0 WHEA) 2-1 Saturday after the Wildcats snuck in a late power play goal with two minutes left in the third.
After a scoreless ten minutes to start the game, Freshman Kayla Mee (Winnipeg, Manitoba) opened scoring 11:01 into the first after she nailed a shot from the point through lots of traffic and beat UNH keeper, Kyra Smith, blocker side. Seniors Leah Buress (Windsor, Ont.) and Brittany Berisoff (Kelowna, B.C.) took credit for the helpers.
UConn killed off the only power play opportunity of the first period after sophomore Justine Fredette (Winnipeg, Manitoba) was called for tripping less than a minute after Mee's goal. Despite being outshot by UNH 13-5 in the first, the Huskies held off the Wildcats to maintain a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission.
The first power play opportunity of the second was in favor of UConn, but the Huskies could not knock in a second goal. Less than a minute after UNH returned to full strength, the Wildcats had a good scoring chance when they tested UConn goaltender Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ont.) with three consecutive shots in tight to the goal, but Chuli came up with the saves to hold onto the lead.
UNH tied the game up 1-1 with just over five minutes to play into the second and the game remained tied at one going into the third period.
The score remained tied 1-1 for the majority of the third period. Chuli made a crucial save with five minutes to go in the third to keep the score knotted 1-1, but senior Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) was sent to the box for hooking with less than five minutes on the clock.
UNH capitalized on the man-advantage to go up 2-1 with just over two minutes to play in the game. UConn was searching for an equalizer but suffered another penalty and the game ended 2-1 in favor of the Wildcats. Chuli finished the game with 29 saves.
The Huskies and the Wildcats are back at it tomorrow, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Whittmore Center in Durham in their 2016 regular season finales.
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