May 22, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – Following a 2013-14 campaign that saw it triple its win total from a year prior, the UConn women’s hockey team has tabbed rising senior Sarah MacDonnell to captain the squad in the 2014-15 season. MacDonnell will be joined by assistant captains rising junior Leah Buress and rising senior Caitlin Hewes as the Huskies look to continue to make noise in Hockey East.
“I’m happy to announce our team has picked our captains for next season,” head coach Chris MacKenzie, who recently completed his first season as the UConn bench boss, said. “Along with a class of seven seniors, our leadership should again be a strength of our team next season.”
MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) assumes the captaincy after serving as an assistant captain last season. The versatile winger led the Huskies in goals (12) and points (27) in 2013-14, while playing a key role on special teams both on the power play and penalty kill units.
“Sarah MacDonnell possesses a tremendous work ethic and investment level in everything she does,” MacKenzie said. “She brings an ‘every day’ attitude and performs at a very high level that commands respect. She learned from [’13-14 captain] Erin Burns and will be able to use that experience next season”
A star in the classroom as well as on the ice, MacDonnell is on pace to earn her third consecutive WHEA All-Academic team nod and was a 2012-13 Hockey East Academic All-Star.
"Its truly an honor to be recognized by my teammates and coaches as a leader for this program,” MacDonnell said. “After a very successful postseason of workouts, I know everyone is already itching to get back on the ice this fall and turn some heads. "
Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) has been tabbed as an assistant captain for the third straight year. After a WHEA All Star Honorable mention season as a sophomore in 2012-13, Hewes started fast in ’13-14 but missed the final 30 games of the year with an injury.
“Caitlin Hewes only played 5 games last year and battled a season ending injury. Her ability to remain a vital part of our team through that adversity speaks to the type of person she is. We are excited to have her back in the lineup next season,” said MacKenzie.
Named a captain for the first time, Buress (Windsor, Ontario) has skated in 54 career contests and tallied 13 points in her career. In 2013-14, the center played in all but two contests and scored three goals with four assists. Like MacDonnell, Buress was a key contributor in all facets of special teams for the Huskies and was especially efficient in the faceoff circle.
“Leah is a hardworking, intense competitor that will play any role asked of her,” said MacKenzie. “If you polled our opponents, I believe many of them would say Leah is tough to play against.”
MacDonnell, Buress and Hewes will lead a UConn squad that finished sixth in the conference last season, two spots ahead of its preseason projected finish.