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STORRS, Conn. -- With crucial Hockey East points on the line, the UConn women's hockey team (6-13-6, 2-7-3 WHEA) and Providence (5-15-4, 4-7-1 WHEA) skate in a home-and-home series over the weekend. The Huskies and Friars battled to a 4-4 tie earlier this season on Nov. 9 in Providence. UConn is currently two points behind PC in the league standings and four points out of the top-four in the league. Puck drop from PC's Schneider Arena on Saturday is set for 1 p.m. before a 2 p.m. start on Sunday at Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs.
UConn is led offensively by its top line of seniors Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick), Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) and Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.). MacDonnell is the Huskies top scorer with five goals, 14 assists and 19 points on the year, while Snodgrass is the top goal scorer with 13 tallies along with four assists for 17 points. Campero is right behind them with a 5-6-11 scoring line, and with a goal last weekend took sole possession of sixth on the UConn all-time goals list with 31 career strikes. Snodgrass moved into a tie for eighth in program history with 29 career goals, while MacDonnell is now sixth in the Husky annals with 42 assists and eighth with 67 career points.
The Huskies have also received a spark from the blue line from freshman Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia) and her 4-9-13 scoring line. Lum and Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.) are both among the top-10 rookie scorers in Hockey East. In goal, Elaine Chuli holds a 2.98 GAA and a .923 save percentage, third in the league.
The Series: Providence
The Huskies have faced the Friars on 46 occasions in the past, with an all-time record of 12-29-5. UConn has seen its fortunes against PC improve during Chris MacKenzie's tenure behind the bench, with a 2-1-1 record over the last two seasons. The Huskies took two of three from the Friars last season, winning the season series for the second time in program history and first since the 2004-05 season. Earlier this season, UConn got goals from Knutson, Lum, Snodgrass and Margaret Zimmer (St. Charles, Ill.) in a 4-4 tie at Schneider Arena. Cydnee Cook (Winnipeg, Manitoba) added two assists, her first career points, and Chuli made 27 saves in the Nov. 9 contest. Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) and MacDonnell both hold 3-3-6 career scoring lines in 10 games against Providence, and Campero has also lit the lamp three times against the Friars.
A Look At Providence
Providence enters the weekend with a 5-15-4 overall record, including a 4-7-1 mark in Hockey East play. After sweeping a home-and-home with New Hampshire on Jan. 10 and 11, PC lost its only game last weekend with a 2-0 setback to Maine on Sunday. Beth Hanrahan is the leading scorer for the Friars with 12 goals and 20 points on the year. The senior had three assists in the meeting between UConn and PC earlier this season.Behind her in the scoring column are Cassidy Carels (5-10-15) and Haley Frade (4-10-14), who join Hanrahan and Brooke Simpson (4-6-10) as the four Friars with double-digit points. Simpson scored a pair of goals in the Nov. 9 contest, including an extra attacker tally with four seconds to play in regulation to force overtime and the eventual draw. In goal, Allie Morse has seen the bulk of action and holds a 5-12-2 record with a 2.83 GAA and a .905 save percentage.
Last Time Out
UConn dropped a pair of tightly-contested contests to New Hampshire last weekend, falling 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 17 and 3-1 on Jan. 18. In the first contest, the Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead with first period goals from Zimmer and Campero before the Wildcats leveled the score with a pair of goals in the second. After a scoreless third period, UNH struck with a power play goal at 3:49 of overtime to come away with the victory. Chuli made 52 saves for the Huskies in the setback, her fourth 50-save performance of the season. In the second match-up, Snodgrass scored her team-high 13th goal in the second period to erase an early UNH lead, and the contest was tied until a Wildcat goal midway through the third period. Despite the Huskies pressing forward late, they could not convert on a 6-on-4 power play with an empty net and UNH cashed in an empty-netter. Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) made 39 saves for UConn in the contest.
Following the weekend series with PC, the Huskies host No. 7 Boston University in the annual Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer game on Jan. 31. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m.