July 11, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s hockey team has announced its schedule for the upcoming 2014-15 season. The slate will see second-year head coach Chris MacKenzie’s charges play 34 regular season contests, with at least 14 in the friendly confines of Freitas Ice Forum. The Huskies will battle four 2014 NCAA Tournament participants, including the defending national champion Clarkson.
In addition to a full 21-game conference schedule that sees UConn face each Hockey East rival three times, Connecticut will play 13 non-conference games with teams from the CHA, ECAC and WCHA. Also part of the non-conference slate is the annual Nutmeg Classic Tournament, which will be hosted at Freitas Ice Forum.
The Huskies kick off the season when they host Minnesota Duluth at Freitas Ice Forum on Sept. 26 and 27. The five-time national champion Bulldogs took a pair from UConn early last season in Duluth. Connecticut hits the road for the first time with an Oct. 3 trip to in-state rival Quinnipiac, taking on a Bobcats squad that came in at No. 7 in the final USCHO.com poll of the 2013-14 season.
UConn will then play six consecutive games in upstate New York, beginning with two contests at Union on Oct. 10 and 11. The Dutchwomen earned a 3-2 win in the season opener in Storrs last year despite a pair of goals from Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.). UConn moves next to games at Colgate on Oct. 18 and at Syracuse on Oct. 19. The Huskies earned their first win of the MacKenzie era against the Raiders last year, while the match-up with the Orange is the first since Oct. 27, 2012.
A two-game set with RPI takes place on Oct. 25 and 26, after UConn swept the Engineers in two contests in Storrs a year ago. The Huskies finally return home on Oct. 31 to open up conference play, hosting Maine at Freitas Ice Forum. Hockey East play continues the next day at Vermont, before a brief jaunt out of conference to host Brown on Nov. 4.
The next five contests all occur under the WHEA banner, with a trip to Providence on Nov. 9 before home-and-home series with national powers Boston University (Nov. 15 and 16) and Boston College (Nov. 21 and 22). Both Boston-based rivals reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago, with BC winning the WHEA regular season crown and BU taking home the WHEA Tournament title. The signature win of the 2013-14 season came against then-No. 7 Boston College on Feb. 9 in Storrs, a 2-0 shutout courtesy of 45 saves from Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario.).
The 2014 iteration of the Nutmeg Classic takes place in Storrs on Nov. 28 and 29. In the opening round, Quinnipiac takes on Yale before UConn skates with defending national champion Clarkson. The second round will pit the winners of the first two games in the championship, with the remaining two playing in a consolation game. Quinnipiac is the defending tournament champion after defeating Yale in Hamden, Conn. in the 2013 title game.
After a month-long break for finals and winter vacation, the Huskies return to the ice in Boston on Jan. 3 to take on Northeastern at Matthews Arena. Following that contest, UConn concludes non-conference play with a trip to 2014 NCAA Tournament participant Harvard on Jan. 6.
The next four games all occur in Storrs, with UConn hosting Vermont on Jan. 10 and 11 and New Hampshire on Jan. 17 and 18. The Huskies took the season series from UNH last year for only the second time in program history. A home-and-home with Providence on Jan. 24 and 25 comes before UConn hosts BU for the final time in the regular season on Jan. 31.
Trips to Boston College (Feb. 7) and UNH (Feb. 8) lead into the final regular season home series, a two-game set with Northeastern on Feb. 14 and 15. The regular season concludes with a pair of contests at Maine on Feb. 21 and 22. The WHEA Quarterfinals take place on campus sites and begin on Feb. 28, before the semifinals and finals at a later date in March to be determined.
UConn, which improved its win total by six in MacKenzie’s first season behind the bench, returns 75.8 percent of its goals from the 2013-14 roster, and 75.5 percent of its total points. The Huskies will be led by freshly-appointed captain Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick), who led the squad in scoring last season with a 12-15-27 line. Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.) also returns after potting 10 goals a year ago, and Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) will look to improve on a 15-point campaign last season. Chuli will man the pipes after a WHEA All Star Honorable Mention nod in ’13-14, during which she posted a 2.57 GAA and .929 save percentage.