PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The roles were reversed on Saturday night, as the UConn women's ice hockey team hoisted a 3-0 shutout against No. 10 Providence at Schneider Arena, sending the Hockey East quarterfinals to a decisive game three on Sunday afternoon.
Senior forward Theresa Knutson got the Huskies (14-13-9) on the board at 11:14 in the first period, and from that point on, UConn maintained a lead and fought off Providence's attack to avoid elimination and tie the series.
UConn killed off its only penalty of the night in the second period, while the defense held the Friars to just 23 shots on target - including only 11 after two periods. Senior goalie Annie Belanger made the 23 stops, posting her fourth shutout of the season.
Out of the gate, the Huskies played more aggressively than Friday night, led by their eight-player senior group. UConn outshot Providence in the first period, 10-4, including Knutson's score - the 50th of her career - to give the Huskies an early 1-0 lead.
Junior defender Kayla Mee fired a shot from inside the blue line, which was deflected by sophomore forward Briana Colangelo, but stopped by Providence goalie Madison Myers. Knutson, however, collected the rebound and pocketed the puck in the back of the net for UConn's first goal of the series.
The Huskies had a power play at 8:40 of the second period, but were unable to capitalize. However, just 16 seconds later, senior forward Justine Fredette scored off a rebound from a shot by sophomore defender Emily Reid - making it 2-0 at 10:56.
-- UConn Women's Hockey (@UConnWHOC) February 25, 2018
Providence came out firing in the third period, outshooting the Huskies 12-4, but the defense never faltered - limiting clear shots on target. Belanger made several nice stops, moving from side-to-side in the goalie crease.
At 19:55, the Huskies cashed in a scoring chance when Providence elected to go empty net and Mee fired a shot from the neutral zone to seal the game. It was a two-point night for the Winnipeg, Manitoba native.
Winning at Schneider has not come easy for the Huskies over the years, especially in recent history. UConn was 1-9-2 since December of 2010 when playing in Schneider Arena, with the win coming during the 2016-17 campaign.
Game three against the Friars will be Sunday at 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to the Hockey East semifinals next weekend. Providence's live stream is free for all fans to watch.
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