PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The UConn women's ice hockey team couldn't generate enough opportunities to overcome No. 10 Providence's knack for finding the back of the net, as it dropped a 4-0 decision to the Friars in Game 1 of the Hockey East quarterfinals on Friday night.
Senior goaltender Annie Belanger made 30 saves for the Huskies (13-13-9), but was under constant fire throughout the game - as the second-seeded Friars took the lead in the first period, extended the edge in the second and maintained it in the third.
UConn was outshot, 34-25, with freshman forward Natalie Snodgrass ripping five shots on target against Providence goalie Madison Myers. It is the sixth time that the Huskies have been shutout this season.
Just three penalties were called in the game, two of which went against UConn, thereby limiting the chances for the Huskies to showcase their recent power play success. UConn's defense stood firm on both penalties.
The Friars took the lead at 6:51 in the first period, when Avery Fransoo scored off a faceoff to make it 1-0. Belanger made 13 saves in the opening period, getting an intense workout before Providence hit the board.
At 7:00 and 13:32 of the second period, Hayley Lunny and Christina Putigna each scored their respective goals to extend the lead to three. Belanger made 12 more saves in the period, putting her at 25 after two.
The Huskies' offense showed spurts of life in the final period, holding a 9-6 shots edge over the Friars. Sophomore Catherine Crawley and junior Jaime Fox each had strong shots in front of the net, but were stoned by Myers - who made 25 saves in the shutout.
Providence tacked on an empty-net goal at 18:42, sealing the win and putting UConn on the brink of elimination from the Hockey East postseason.
The second game of the series will be Saturday night from Schneider Arena at 7 p.m., as the Huskies look to keep their season alive. Providence's live stream is free for all viewers.
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