Feb. 23, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - After earning three points during the final weekend of the regular season, the University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team sealed their position as the No. 4 seed in the Hockey East Tournament and will now host Northeastern in a quarterfinal match-up on Saturday (Feb. 26) at 1:00 p.m. Saturday's contest will mark the seventh time that the Huskies have reached the WHEA Tournament in the past nine seasons and the second straight year that UConn has faced Northeastern in the first round of the tournament.
The Huskies earned home ice advantage after a 4-2 victory against Northeastern last Saturday and a 1-1 tie against NU on Sunday, while Northeastern earned the No. 5 seed with Sunday's tie. No. 3 Providence will host No. 6 Maine in the other quarterfinal contest, while No. 1 Boston University and No. 2 Boston College await the winners of Saturday's games.
The quartet of Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Jennifer Chaisson (Cumberland, Ont.), Sami Evelyn (Nepean, Ont.) and Kelly Horan (Methuen, Mass.) has led the UConn offense this year, combining for 81 points on 33 goals and 48 assists. Gross has a team-high 12 goals, while Chaisson and Evelyn have each posted 14 assists to lead the Huskies. Forty-four of the groups points have come during Hockey East contests, including 10 points over the last two weeks.
Alexandra Garcia (Pointe-Claire, Que.), the reigning WHEA Defensive Player of the Week, enters the tournament with 874 saves on the year, which ranks her second all-time at UConn for stops in a season. Garcia has posted five shutouts this year, all of them coming during Hockey East action, and became the second Husky to notch more than 10 shutouts during their time at UConn as she currently has 11 on her career.
Five current Huskies have posted at least one point during tournament play in their careers, led by Chaisson who notched two assists in last year's WHEA tournament. Brittany Murphy
(Tewksbury, Mass.) and Horan each posted a goal last year, while Casey Knajdek
(Woodbury, Minn.) and Rebecca Hewett
(Oak Bluff, Manitoba) each tallied an assist. Garcia has totaled 103 saves during the postseason, protecting the net in three games last year and one game during the 2008-09 season.
Saturday's contest will be the third between the two teams over the past two weeks and the fourth over the past month. Offensively Northeastern has been led by Rachel Llanes (1G, 1A), Stephanie Gavronsky (1G, 1A), Dani Rylan (1G, 1A) and Siena Falino (2A) against UConn this season, while Leah Sulyma has posted 53 saves during two contests and Florence Schelling recorded 23 saves the last time the two teams met. NU hasn't won a Hockey East contest since Jan. 28 when they defeated Vermont 2-1 in overtime. Since then, Northeastern has gone 0-4-4 overall and 0-4-3 against WHEA opponents.
Fans that are not able to make it to the Freitas Ice Forum for Saturday's game can catch the action online! Pack Network will be streaming four of the five tournament games live on the internet, excluding the Championship game. Single-game subscriptions for the women's tournament will be available for $7.95, while the women's All-Access pass is available for $19.95. To purchase any of the live women's games visit http://www.hockeyeastonline.tv/. The New England Sports Network (NESN) will air the WHEA Championship Game on Sunday, March 6 on tape delay at 4:00 p.m.
Ticket prices for Saturday's contest will be as follows:
$4.00 - Adults
$2.00 - Youth (under 18) and Senior Citizens
Free - Students from participating schools
Complete WHEA Tournament Schedule
Saturday, February 26
No. 5 Northeastern at No. 4 Connecticut (1:00 p.m.)
No. 6 Maine at No. 3 Providence (2:00 p.m.)
Saturday, March 5
Lowest Seed vs. No. 1 Boston University (12:00/3:00)
Highest Seed vs. No. 2 Boston College (12:00/3:00)
Sunday, March 6, 1:00 p.m.
Game Notes in PDF Format