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STORRS, Conn. -- The UConn women's hockey team (4-11-6, 0-5-3 WHEA) returns home for the first time since late November and jumps into a 14-game conference stretch when it hosts Vermont (10-10-1, 1-7-0 WHEA) for two contests this weekend. The Huskies have played the fewest league games of any team in Hockey East and can pick up valuable ground in the conference standings against the Catamounts. Puck drop from the Freitas Ice Forum on Saturday, Jan. 10 is set for 7 p.m. before a 3 p.m. start on Sunday, Jan. 11.
Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) and Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) continue to pace the UConn offense this season, with MacDonnell holding a team-best 4-9-13 scoring line and Snodgrass tops on the squad with nine goals. Freshman Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia) has brought an offensive presence to the blue line for the Huskies, placing third on the team with a 4-6-10 scoring line this season. Her defensive partner Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) is tops in Hockey East this year with 52 blocked shots.
The Series: Vermont
The Huskies and Catamounts have met 28 times in the past, with UConn up 19-7-2 in the all-time series. Vermont has cut into the advantage of late and won six of the last seven meetings, including two of three a year ago and a meeting earlier this season. Last year, the Catamounts picked up shutout wins on Nov. 1 in Storrs and Jan. 10 in Burlington, Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario) returned the favor with her first career blanking on Jan. 11, a 2-0 UConn victory. Chuli made 32 saves in the contest, and Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) and Michela Cava provided the Husky goals. Vermont also shut out UConn this season, a 6-0 victory on Nov. 2. Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.) has scored four goals in her 10 career contests against Vermont, and MacDonnell holds a 1-2-3 ledger in the same span.
A Look At Vermont
Vermont visits Storrs with a 10-10-1 mark on the year, including a 1-7-0 record in Hockey East play. The Catamounts are coming off a two-game sweep of Colgate in Burlington on Jan. 2 and 3. Vermont is led by the high-scoring trio of Brittany Zuback, Amanda Pelkey and Dayna Colang, who each have notched at least 18 points on the season. Zuback leads the squad and is among the Hockey East leaders with 14 goals, also adding six assists for 20 points. Pelkey has nine goals and a team-high 11 assists to also register 20 points, while Colang has posted an 8-10-18 scoring line. Bridget Baker and Amanda Drobot have added eight assists apiece. In goal, Madison Litchfield has seen the bulk of work and holds a 7-9-1 record with a 2.88 GAA and an .891 save percentage. Behind her, freshman Molly Depew holds a 3-1-0 record in five starts with a 2.82 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Last Time Out
UConn visited No. 6 Harvard to close the non-conference portion of its schedule on Tuesday night and suffered an 8-2 setback to the Crimson. The Huskies got a pair of goals from freshman skaters, with Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.) striking in the first period and Lum scoring in the second frame. The goals were the sixth and fourth of the season for the two rookies, respectively. Harvard’s high-powered attack was led by a hat trick from Syndey Daniels and two goals from Lexie Laing, as the Crimson held a 43-18 advantage in shots on goal for the contest. Reigning Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week Elaine Chuli made 35 saves for the Huskies in the losing effort. The loss finished out UConn’s non-conference slate with a 4-6-3 record, including a 4-5-1 mark against teams in the ECAC.
After closing the season series with Vermont, UConn hosts another two-game league set the next weekend when New Hampshire visits Storrs on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18.
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