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WHOC Falls Short of Nutmeg Classic Title

Snodgrass was named to the All-Tournament Team (PC: Steve Slade).
Nov. 25, 2017

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STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s ice hockey team surrendered a two-goal lead to Quinnipiac on Saturday night, resulting in a 2-2 tie, but a 2-1 shootout loss to the Bobcats determined the Nutmeg Classic championship game at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.

The Huskies (4-5-6) were one period away from their first Nutmeg Classic title since 2009, but the Bobcats tied the game in the third period within a span of 1:40 – bringing the contest to overtime and eventually the shootout.

Quinnipiac claimed its seventh all-time tournament title, as sophomore Briana Colangelo was the only UConn player to score in the shootout. Senior goalie Annie Belanger stopped the Bobcats’ first two attempts, before allowing two goals to decide the game.

“I’m sure for anyone watching the game, it was entertaining,” said head coach Chris MacKenzie. “You have to give Quinnipiac credit to claw back in the third. They had more poise than us. If you take away that minute-and-a-half, maybe we’re the ones hoisting the trophy – but it’s not meant to be now.

I’m proud of our team and proud of the effort. I really think we left it on the ice today and I think this is a good weekend to build on going into Providence next weekend.”

Freshman Natalie Snodgrass was the bright spot for the Huskies, as she scored a pair of goals in the first period – her team-leading ninth and 10th tallies of the season – to give UConn an early advantage.

Senior Leah Lum, Colangelo and freshman Taylor Wabick recorded assists on Snodgrass’ goals, helping UConn earn a 2-0 lead that it took into the final period.

Quinnipiac’s Melissa Samoskevich and Raquel Pennoyer scored the game-tying goals in the third, sneaking a pair of shots past Belanger between the pipes at the 10:00 and 11:40-minute marks of the period.

A scoreless overtime period led to the shootout, where Colangelo put the Huskies ahead – 1-0. However, subsequent misses by Snodgrass and senior Theresa Knutson ended the game and UConn’s quest for a Nutmeg title.

“I think we can compete with anyone. We have to learn how to get up on people though; learn how to finish when we have leads in the third, and there are certain ways to do it,” said MacKenzie. “It takes time and sometimes it takes getting knocked down.”

UConn’s defense killed two power plays – the only two of the game – after a checking call on sophomore Tristyn Svetek and a too many players penalty on the bench. The Huskies held Quinnipiac to just one shot in the extra period.

Senior Justine Fredette recorded a team-high six shots, while Belanger made 32 saves in goal – including 12 stops in a physical third period between UConn and Quinnipiac.

Snodgrass was named to the All-Tournament Team after her performance on Saturday – finishing the tournament with two goals, as well as the game-deciding shootout goal on Friday night against Penn State.

The Huskies prepare to get back in Hockey East action this weekend with a home-and-home scheduled against Providence. UConn hosts the Friars on Friday, with puck drop at 7 p.m.


 

 

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