ORONO, Maine. - The UConn women's hockey team used a pair of power play goals from Sarah MacDonnell and Kayla Campero and another strike from Justine Fredette to secure a 3-2 victory on Friday night at Alfond Arena. The contest was game one of a best-of-three Hockey East Championship Quarterfinal series. The five-seed Huskies improve to 10-17-8 on the year with the win, while the four-seed Black Bears drop to 10-19-3.
Campero (Wallingford, Conn.) and MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) each added an assist to their goals for two-point outings, and Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) had two assists. The goal for Fredette (Winnipeg, Manitoba) came early in the third period and was her first career game-winner.
UConn went 2-for-2 on the power play in the contest and held Maine off the board on a pair of extra-man chances. The Huskies out-shot the Black Bears by a 35-28 margin, with Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario) making 26 saves for UConn and Meghann Treacy stopping 32 shots for Maine.
With her two point outing, MacDonnell now has 30 points on the year (11g-19a), making her the first Husky since Michelle Binning in 2009-10 (20g-10a) with 30 or more points in the season. She has also scored a goal in five-consecutive contests. The Huskies have now recorded 10 wins in a season for the first time in Chris MacKenzie's two-year tenure behind the bench and first time overall since 2010-11. The win was UConn's first postseason victory since a WHEA semifinal win in 2010.
UConn was the aggressor early, creating several chances in a scoreless first period. After taking to their first power play early in the second frame, the Huskies broke through for the game's first goal. Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia) sent a pass across the slot that was deflected by Campero before it reached Hewes for a blast at the point. After an initial save, MacDonnell punched home the bouncing puck in front to put UConn up 1-0 at 5:21 of the second.
The Huskies doubled their lead early in the third period as part of a flurry of scoring at the outset of the frame. On UConn's second power play of the day, Hewes worked the puck to MacDonnell on the doorstep for a shot that nicked the post. Campero crashed and was able to bury the rebound for her 10th of the year, giving the Huskies a 2-0 lead at 2:25 of the third.
Maine responded barely 30 seconds later when Emilie Brigham connected after a two-on-one feed from Audra Richards and 2:58 of the third. The UConn lead was back to one for a mere 36 seconds, as Fredette buried a scramble in front at 3:34 to push the advantage back to 3-1. Cydnee Cook (Winnipeg, Manitoba) started the play by keeping the puck alive near the point and one-timing a shot towards goal, before Fredette finished with her third goal of the season.
Maine pulled Treacy in the final minutes of regulation, and Richards poked home an extra-attacker goal at 18:47 of the third. The Black Bears had a 6-on-4 advantage for the final 47.2 seconds of a late UConn penalty, but Margaret Zimmer (St. Charles, Ill.) came up with a huge clearance on the kill to help seal the victory.
UConn and Maine return to the ice for game two of the WHEA Quarterfinal series tomorrow at 4 p.m. The Huskies can clinch a trip to the conference semifinals with a victory.