NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – A season-high seven goals gave the University of Connecticut women’s ice hockey team its first Hockey East win of the season Saturday when the Huskies defeated Merrimack 7-1 at Lawler Rink.
The Huskies are now 1-2 in league play and 5-4-1 overall while Merrimack drops to 4-6-1 and 2-3 in Hockey East games.
Merrimack took an early 1-0 lead after the team’s leading scorer Katelyn Rae found the back of the net just over five minutes into the game. UConn held Merrimack scoreless for the remaining 54 minutes, backed by 21 saves from junior goaltender Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec).
Three minutes later, UConn evened out the score when freshman Leona Sim (Vancouver, B.C.) poked in a rebound off a shot from sophomore Jaime Fox (Unionville, Ont.). That gives Sim two goals so far in her inaugural season at UConn after she scored her first career goal in the season opener against Union.
UConn outshot Merrimack 10-8 in the first period. The Huskies were 0-2 on the power play while the Warriors went 0-1. UConn had the first power play opportunity of the game 10:32 into the game. Despite UConn getting three shots on the five-on-four, Merrimack took advantage on line change by the Huskies and had a short-handed shot on goal that was saved by Belanger.
UConn scored three goals in the second period alone, all even strength goals, to take a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes of play.
Knutson broke the tie and put UConn up 2-1 just 4:36 into the second period. Knutson carried the puck into the zone, passed it across to Lum who landed a shot on goal. Knutson cleaned up the rebound off Lum’s shot and found the back of the net.
The Huskies capitalized off yet another rebound 12:59 into the second when junior Madison Badeau (Courtice, Ont.) tucked one away off an initial shot from freshman Catherine Crawley (Washingtonville, N.Y.). That was Badeau’s second goal of the season and Crawley’s first career point at UConn.
UConn killed off its second penalty of the game after Badeau was called for hooking with under five to go in the second. One minute after Badeau’s penalty was released, Lum found the back of the net with 28 seconds left up on the clock to give the Huskies a 4-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
Senior Kelly Harris (Canton, Mich.) scored her first goal of the season 52 seconds into the third period to make it 5-1 UConn.
Merrimack was called for checking 8:30 into the third, the Warriors’ six penalty of the game. Lum nabbed her second goal of the game six seconds into the UConn power play, giving the Huskies a commanding 6-1 lead.
Freshman Briana Colangelo (Whitby, Ont.) closed out the scoring with less than five minutes to play in the game, sealing the score at 7-1 with UConn on top. Colangelo finished with two points after picking up an assist on Lum’s second goal.
Knutson and Fox each picked up assists on Colangelo’s goal. Knutson finished with three points and Fox totaled two assists. UConn held an overall 28-22 edge on shots over Merrimack.
The Huskies are back at it again on Sunday, Nov. 6 when they take on UNH at the Whittmore Center in Durham, N.H. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m.