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UConn Opens Postseason Play With WHEA Quarterfinal Series At Maine

UConn captain Sarah MacDonnell has a goal in four consecutive contests

Game Notes
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ORONO, Maine --
TheUConn women's hockey team (9-17-8) begins postseason play this weekend with the Women's Hockey East Championship quarterfinals. The fifth-seeded Huskies travel to Orono for a best-of-three series against the fourth-seeded Black Bears of Maine (10-18-3). UConn is 3-8 all-time in the Hockey East Championship, with title game appearances in 2005 and 2010. Game one on Friday, Feb. 27 is set for 7 p.m., before a 4 p.m. puck drop on Saturday, Feb. 28 and another 4 p.m. start if necessary on Sunday, March 1.

The Huskies were led in the regular season by the high-scoring top line of seniors Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.), Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) and Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.). MacDonnell is first on the squad with 18 assists and 28 points, cracking the top-15 scorers in Hockey East. She has scored a goal in each of UConn's last four contests, riding a four-game point streak with a 4-3-7 scoring line over that span.

Snodgrass leads UConn with 15 goals on the year, most for an individual Husky in a season since 2009-10. Her 23 points are second on the squad and she is ninth in Hockey East in goals. Campero has added a 9-10-19 scoring line and now has 34 career goals, sixth in UConn history. Each member of the senior trio has cracked the top-10 UConn scoring list this season, with MacDonnell currently slotting in atseventhall-time with 76 points and Campero and Snodgrass tied for ninth with 69 career points.

Other top scorers for UConn this season include Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.), Kelly Harris (Canton, Mich.) and Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.), who have teamed up on a line in UConn's recent contests. Knutson is among the top freshman goal-scorers in the WHEA with nine tallies on the year, while Harris holds an 8-6-14 scoring line and Fleming a 6-7-13 ledger. Margaret Zimmer (St. Charles, Ill.) has added six goals on the year and Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) has dished out seven helpers.

The top defensive-pairing for the Huskies this year consists of Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) and Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia), both among UConn's top scorers. Lum is top-seven in defenseman and rookie scoring in Hockey East and top-25 nationally in both categories with a 4-15-19 scoring line, while Hewes has posted a career-best 3-12-15 ledger. Cydnee Cook (Winnipeg, Manitoba) has turned in a strong freshman campaign from the blue line with four assists, and Jessica Stott (Niverville, Manitoba) has a goal and an assist on the year.

In goal, Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario) is a four-time Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week and holds a 3.16 GAA and .918 save percentage on the year. Chuli has performed extremely well in recent contests, with a 2.17 GAA and a .936 save percentage over her last four outings. Freshman Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) has started 12 contests and is a two-time league Rookie of the Week, compiling a 2.65 GAA and .926 save percentage on the year.

The Series: Maine
The Huskies and Black Bears have skated 42 times in the past, with UConn leading the all-time series 23-14-7. In recent seasons the series has been razor-thin, with each team taking four wins and four losses with four ties over the last four seasons. In that span, UConn has out-scored Maine 31-30. The last two seasons are just as close, with a 2-2-2 record between the squads during Chris MacKenzie's time behind the UConn bench. This season, UConn took the series 2-0-1 with a tie in Storrs and a pair of wins last weekend in Orono. Hewes (3g-7a-10p) and MacDonnell (2-8-10) are UConn's top career scorers against Maine, with MacDonnell holding a 2-6-8 line over the last two seasons against the Black Bears. The power play has been a key to UConn success in the series, with the Huskies clicking at a 31.2 percent clip over the last two years vs. Maine and at 23.4 percent over the last four seasons. UConn and Maine have never squared off in the postseason.

A Look At The Black Bears
Maine hosts UConn this weekend with a 10-18-3 record and finished with a 9-11-1 mark in Hockey East play. The Black Bears have home ice in the Hockey East playoffs for the first time in program hisotry. Hailey Browne leads Maine offensive with seven goals and 10 assists, good for a team-best 17 points. Emilie Brigham has added a 7-9-16 scoring line, and Jennifer More is the top goal-scorer on the club with nine tallies this year. Also topping double figures in the score column are Audra Richards (8-7-15), Brooke Stacey (4-7-11) and Kelsey MacSorley (6-4-10). Goaltender Meghann Treacy is one of the top netminders in Hockey East, holding a 2.45 GAA with a .930 save percentage on the year. Treacy is second in the WHEA and 12th nationally in save percentage and has recorded three shutouts this season.

Last Time Out
UConn concluded the regular season last weekend with a two-game sweep at Maine to vault from the seven-seed to the five-seed in the WHEA Tournament. In game one on Feb. 21, Campero scored in the final minutes of regulation to force overtime before a dramatic MacDonnell goal with 0.6 seconds remaining gave UConn a 2-1 victory. Chuli made 40 saves in the contest. The next day, UConn scored three times in the first period and led wire-to-wire in a 6-2 victory that saw six Huskies find the back of the net. Fleming, Hewes, Knutson, MacDonnell, Snodgrass and Stott all scored as nine skaters recorded a point in the victory. The goal for Stott was her first of the season, while Lum dished out a career-best three assists. Chuli stopped 22 shots to finish with a .954 save percentage on the weekend. Hewes recorded a 1-3-4 scoring line in the two contests to lead all Huskies.


PLAYOFFS?!
This weekend marks the ninth time UConn has played in the Women's Hockey East Championship, and first with the new best-of-three format in the quarterfinal round. The Huskies have bowed out in the quarterfinal round in each of their last three WHEA Tournament appearacnes. falling to Northeastern in 2011, at Boston University in 2013 and last season at Northeastern. UConn has reached the league championship game twice, playing for the title in 2005 (3-1 loss to Providence) and 2010 (2-1 OT loss to BU). MacDonnell and Zimmer have goals in the WHEA Tournament in their careers and Fleming and Snodgrass have both registered assists.

 

 

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