Oct. 22, 2011
STORRS, Conn. – Sophomore goaltender Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) completed her first career shutout and the University of Connecticut women’s ice hockey team converted on two power plays, while shutting down six en route to a 3-0 Hockey East win over Maine at the Freitas Ice Forum on Saturday afternoon. It was the first win of the season for the Huskies as they improved to 1-5-2 overall and 1-1-0 in the league, while the Black Bears dropped to 5-3-0 and 1-1-0.
Maine outshot UConn 15-3 to open the game, but the momentum immediately swung in the Huskies’ direction after killing off a five-on-three advantage for the Black Bears. Freshmen Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) and Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) were each sent to the box for body checking, just 13 seconds apart. After Paniccia turned away four power play shots from Maine, the Connecticut offense came alive.
Hewes came out of the box and went one-on-one to the net and was slashed. On the ensuing power play, sophomore defenseman Kiana Nauheim (Fairbanks, Alaska) sent the puck from the left point to the right for senior Sami Evelyn (Nepean, Ont.). Evelyn skate to the center and snuck a blast through traffic and into the net, 16:47 into the game.
At the 18:04 mark, Farrel received a touch pass off the stick of sophomore Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
in the corner and rifled a shot to beat the goalie to the top shelf to tally her second score in as many games.
UConn lifted its lead to 3-0 as freshman Christie Brauer (Edina, Minn.) netted her first career goal on a power play at 8:01. Senior Rebecca Hewett (Oak Bluff, Man.) and red-shirt sophomore Maggie Walsh (Bloomfield, Conn.) passed the back back-and-forth, followed by a shot from Hewett that Brauer deflected into the net.
The Black Bears dominated the third period as they outshot the Huskies 10-1, but could not convert. For the game, Maine outshot Connecticut 31-18. The Black Bears put eight shots on goal in six power play opportunities, while the Huskies got 10 shots on net in seven chances.
Paniccia totaled 31 saves for the day and junior Brittany Ott provided 15 saves in net for the Black Bears.
UConn returns to action as it hits the road next weekend for games on October 28 and 29 at Syracuse.