Leah Buress and the Huskies are back in action this weekend with crucial league points on the line
Feb. 7, 2014
STORRS, Conn. -- Looking to snap a three-game losing slide, the UConn women's hockey team (7-19-2, 4-10-1 WHEA) gears up for a pair of conference games this weekend. The Huskies host No. 7 Boston College (20-4-3, 14-1-1 WHEA) on Saturday to close their season series with the Eagles, before visiting New Hampshire (9-16-2, 4-9-2 WHEA) on Sunday in a game with major standings implications.
The Series: Boston College
The Huskies have skated with the Eagles 38 times in the past, with Boston College holding an 18-13-7 advantage in the series. BC is currently on a 10-game winning streak against UConn, including sweeping a home-and-home series this season back on Nov. 23 and 24. In the first game at BC’s Conte Forum the No. 7 Eagles took home a 6-2 victory, then won 3-2 the next day in Storrs. Sarah MacDonnell and Leah Buress scored for Connecticut in the game in Chestnut Hill while Elaine Chuli made a career-high 48 saves. In the contest at Freitas Ice Forum, Kayla Campero and Emily Snodgrass lit the lamp and Sarah Moses made 27 saves in the hotly contested matchup.
A Look at the Eagles
Boston College enters the weekend ranked as the No. 7 team in the nation, holding a 20-4-3 overall record and a near-perfect 14-1-1 mark in league play to sit comfortably in first place in the WHEA. BC is currently riding a seven-game winning streak and an 11-game unbeaten streak, most recently topping Boston University, 4-1, in the first round of the Beanpot on Tuesday. Haley Skarupa leads the Eagles offense with an 18-12-30 scoring line, and is supported by the league’s top freshman scorer in Andie Anastos, who has posted 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points on the year. Corinne Boyles is the primary goaltender for BC, leading Hockey East with a 1.71 GAA and .940 save percentage.
The Series: New Hampshire
The Wildcats lead the all-time series with the Huskies 31-7-4, but the teams split a two-game set on Jan. 18 and 19 of this year. UConn won 3-1 in Storrs before UNH took a 3-2 decision in Durham. Campero, Rebecca Fleming and Stephanie Raithby scored in the win to support a 33-save performance from Chuli. In the loss, MacDonnell scored twice in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit before a late goal sealed the win for the Wildcats. Chuli made 30 saves in the setback for 63-of-66 weekend.
A Look at the Wildcats
New Hampshire is currenlty 9-16-2 overall, and with a 4-9-2 record in Hockey East play sits one point ahead of UConn for sixth place in the conference standings. Nicole Gifford and Jessica Hitchcock are the top scorers for the Wildcats with 18 and 17 points this year, respectively. Vilma Vaattovaara (2.44 GAA, .913 SV%) and Ashley Wilkes (2.61, .901) split time in goal for UNH.
Last Time Out
UConn dropped both ends of a home-and-home series with Boston University last weekend, falling 2-1 at home on Jan. 31 and 5-2 in Boston on Feb. 1. Rachel Farrel scored UConn’s lone goal in the home setback while Chuli made 35 saves. In the game at BU, MacDonnell and Michela Cava both posted a goal and an assist in the loss. The Terriers got five goals from their top two scorers, the WHEA league leaders Louise Warren (3) and Sarah Lefort (2). The weekend sweep was the first time the Huskies have dropped two straight to a league foe since Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 against Boston College.
Following this weekend series, UConn closes its conference road slate with two games at Northeastern on Feb. 15 and 16.