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Huskies Drop Home-Opener to Vermont

Oct. 7, 2017

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STORRS, Conn. - Despite an early goal from senior alternate captain Leah Lum, the UConn women's ice hockey team fell to Vermont - 2-1 - in the Hockey East home-opener on Saturday afternoon at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.

Just over two minutes into the game, Lum scored her first goal of the season, but the Huskies (1-2-0, 0-1-0 WHEA) were unable to score the equalizer in the final minutes against the Catamounts.

Junior Kayla Mee and freshman Briana Colangelo each recorded an assist on Lum's tally, while senior goalie Annie Belanger made 18 saves in the contest. UConn outshot Vermont, 28-20, but were 0-for-5 in power plays while the Catamounts were 2-for-5.

Vermont's goals both came on power plays in the second period by Mackenzie MacNeil and Saana Valkama, taking a 2-1 lead into the third period. Sydney Scobee stopped 27 UConn shots in the victory.

"It was a hard-fought game and I thought five-on-five we carried the play, but we weren't able to capitalize. A few too many penalties in the second period and they took advantage. Vermont played a solid game," said head coach Chris MacKenzie.

Junior Rebecca Lindblad had a golden opportunity to tie the game with five minutes remaining when she had a breakaway toward the Vermont goal. Lindblad took the puck to the left corner, but Scobee made a kick save to keep the lead intact.

"We had a breakaway in the third, but it wasn't meant to be. We're going to learn from this and turn our focus to Union next week," said MacKenzie.

The Huskies committed three penalties in the second period, and due to a hooking call on freshman Carley Olivier and roughing by Mee, at one point were two-players down to the Catamounts.

Earlier in the period, Lindblad went to the penalty box for roughing, which led to a Vermont goal to tie the game. Seven minutes later, two Huskies were in the box and quickly after Olivier came back to the ice, the Catamounts took the lead.

"We need to look at where we can get more offensive production and just keeping working on all the things we do," said MacKenzie. "It's still early in the year and it's better to work on things now than in February."

Lum's tally came just 2:14 into the game, when Mee sent in a shot from the blue line which deflected off the stick of Colangelo. The puck bounced to Lum, UConn's leading scorer in 2016, at the right corner where she buried it to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.

Senior Theresa Knutson led all players with five shots in the contest, while UConn defenders racked up 12 blocked shots. Both teams had five penalties in the game, but only one came in the final period.

UConn returns to the Freitas Ice Forum on Friday night to host Union in the first of two weekend games at 7 p.m. (ET). On Saturday, puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET).