BOSTON, Mass. – Freshman Natalie Snodgrass continued her sensational freshman campaign with her team-high fifth goal of the season on Friday night, as the UConn women’s ice hockey team earned a 2-2 tie at Boston University.
The Huskies (4-3-3, 0-2-2 WHEA) returned to Hockey East action against the Terriers for the second time this season, looking to avenge a 6-2 loss at the Walter Brown Arena back on Oct. 22.
Senior captain Justine Fredette scored the go-ahead goal at 7:53 in the third period, but BU’s Rebecca Leslie netted the equalizer with 50 seconds remaining in regulation – which resulted in a scoreless overtime period and UConn’s second tie in league play.
Had it not been for senior goalie Annie Belanger’s strong 43-save outing, the Huskies might not have reached overtime. The Terriers outshot UConn, 45-25, but Belanger’s second 40-plus save effort this season kept the Huskies in the game.
“Annie provided the same consistent and solid goaltending we’ve seen out of her all season,” said head coach Chris MacKenzie. “She made some big saves in key spots to keep us in the game.”
Despite being outshot, the Huskies took advantage offensively when the opportunities presented themselves – including Fredette’s power play goal after a tripping penalty on BU’s Jesse Compher. UConn killed off its only penalty of the night in the second period.
“We stayed discipline and converted on that power play. We came in wanting to win the special teams game and we did,” said MacKenzie.
Last time the Huskies visited the Terriers, they allowed three power play goals in the 6-2 loss – but have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, with Friday providing a good example.
“We have new lines from a couple weeks ago and when it comes down to it, we were only 50 seconds away from coming out tonight with a win,” said MacKenzie. “We wanted to close it out, but it wasn’t meant to be – despite some good chances in overtime.”
Belanger is now 3-2-2 in seven games this season for UConn, averaging 29.6 saves per contest and has earned a save percentage of .937. Friday night’s effort was only outdone by her 45-save masterpiece against No. 3 Boston College back on Oct. 20 in Storrs, Conn.
Snodgrass’ goal in the second period evened the game, 1-1, after BU held a 1-0 advantage in the first 20 minutes. Junior Kayla Mee and sophomore Catherine Crawley were credited with assists on Fredette’s tally in the third.
UConn returns to the ice on Sunday afternoon for a matinee with Maine (7-5-1, 2-2-1 WHEA) in the Harry Alfond Sports Arena. Puck drop is at 2 p.m. (ET) and can be watched on Maine All-Access, free of charge.