STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s hockey team couldn’t convert on six power play chances and allowed a pair of man-advantage goals to No. 10 Minnesota Duluth in a 3-0 loss on Saturday afternoon at Freitas Ice Forum. The loss drops the Huskies to 0-1-1 on the young season, while the Bulldogs improve to 1-0-1.
UConn kept pace with its top-10 opponent throughout the contest, with UMD holding a slight 35-27 advantage in shots. Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario) made 32 saves for the Huskies, improving her season save percentage to a terrific .935 mark. Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.) led UConn with four shots on goal.
After a quiet start to the first period, Minnesota Duluth went on the power play at 11:49 after a hooking call. The Bulldogs’ man-advantage afforded them four shots on target, but Chuli stood tall and turned aside each attempt. UMD had a grade-A look in the final minute of the opening frame, but Chuli gloved a Zoe Hickel blast on an odd-man rush to keep the contest scoreless.
The Bulldogs used a pair second period power plays to get on the board. At the 4:07 mark of the frame, Hickel took a feed from Meghan Huertas and beat Chuli blocker side for the game’s first goal. UMD struck again with the man-advantage at the 10:29 mark, with Tea Villila ripping a shot from the point into the back of the cage.
UConn had a pair of power play chances early in the third period, but outside of two Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia) blasts from the point couldn’t generate a quality look. The Huskies went a man up again midway through the frame, but Duluth was strong on the kill to keep them off the board.
Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) made a bid for UConn inside the four-minute mark of the third period, but her shot skipped in front of the net and Black snagged it. The Bulldogs countered immediately for a pair of strong looks in Chuli’s crease, but the UConn netminder snuffed both chances.
UConn called its timeout and pulled Chuli with 2:02 remaining in regulation, but Duluth capitalized with a Michelle Lowenhielm empty-netter a minute later to seal the 3-0 victory.
Up next, UConn continues early season action with a trip to in-state rival No. 10 Quinnipiac. The Huskies and Bobcats will skate in Hamden on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.
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