Jan. 24, 2014
STORRS, Conn. -- Rolling along in conference action, the UConn women's hockey team (6-16-2, 3-7-1 WHEA) closes its season series with Providence (10-15-0, 5-7-0 WHEA) with a home-and-home set on Saturday and Sunday. The Huskies are currently in seventh place in the league with seven points, while the Friars are tied with UNH in fifth place with 10 points, leaving crucial points on the line this weekend. Saturday's game at Freitas Ice Forum and Sunday's tilt at Schneider Arena will both get underway at 2 p.m.
The Series: Providence
Providence and Connecticut have skated 43 times in the past, including once earlier this season on Nov. 10. In that game, UConn snapped a nine-game losing skid against PC with a 5-4 victory at Freitas Ice Fourm. The Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead via goals from Sarah MacDonnell and Margaret Zimmer, and never trailed despite a furious late Providence rally. Rebecca Fleming posted three points in the win with a pair of assists and UConn’s fifth goal, which stood as the game-winner. MacDonnell and Rachel Farrel joined Fleming with multi-point efforts, each picking up a goal and an assist. Elaine Chuli made 27 saves for the Huskies to pick up the win. UConn’s last win at Providence came on March 6, 2010, a 3-2 victory.
A Look at the Friars
Providence comes into the weekend with a 10-15-0 record, including a 5-7-0 WHEA mark. That league record has the Friars sitting in a tie for fifth place in the conference with New Hampshire. PC has won two of its last three contests, most recently an upset win over No. 9 Boston University before dropping a 1-0 contest at Maine. Corinne Buie leads the Friars on offense, posting a 7-17-24 line this year. Her 17 assists are tops in Hockey East. Cassidy Carels is PC’s top goal scorer with 13 tallies during her rookie campaign, fifth in the WHEA and first among freshmen. Carels has also notched five assists to come in at second on the squad with 18 points, tied with Haley Frade and her 5-13-18 line. Beth Hanrahan (8-8-16) and Molly Illikainen (5-11-16) also provide some scoring punch to the PC lineup, and Lexi Romanchuk is the top-scoring defenseman with a 2-11-13 line. Sarah Bryant has seen the majority of time in net for the Friars, and has compiled a 2.91 GAA and .885 save percentage to total a 10-12-0 record in 23 starts.
Last Time Out
UConn played a home-and-home with New Hampshire last weekend, picking up a 3-1 victory in Storrs before falling 3-2 in Durham. In the victory, Chuli made 33 saves and Kayla Campero, Fleming and Stephanie Raithby scored in a solid all-around effort. Campero tallied in the first period with a booming slapshot, and the Huskies led 1-0 into the third period. After UNH found an equalizer midway through the final frame, Fleming scored off a bouncing puck in front of the net to give UConn the lead, before Raithby sealed the contest with an insurance goal minutes later. In the second contest, UNH took a 2-0 lead into the third period before MacDonnell scored twice in a span of less than two minutes to tie it up. However, the Wildcats found a winner in the final five minutes of regulation to salvage a weekend split. Chuli continued her streak of eight seven games with at least 30 saves by stopping exactly that many in the setback.
Following the series with Providence, UConn hosts No. 9/10 Boston University on Jan. 31 before traveling to BU on Feb. 1.