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STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s ice hockey team opens 2017-18 regular season play this weekend, traveling to Minnesota to take on St. Cloud State on Friday and Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
It will be a battle of the Huskies when each team begins its campaign on Friday, as puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET). On Saturday, the action will start at 4 p.m. (ET). Both games will be available on Sidearm Stats and St. Cloud State’s live stream.
Head coach Chris MacKenzie returns for his fifth season at the helm for UConn, coming off a 14-18-4 record in 2016-17. The Huskies were recently picked to finish sixth in the Hockey East Preseason Poll, but will have a chance to exceed expectations beginning Friday.
UConn returns eight seniors this season, including top goal scorers Leah Lum and Theresa Knutson – as well as starting goaltender Annie Belanger. Lum scored a team-high 18 goals as a junior, while Belanger recorded a .929 save percentage – second-best in Hockey East.
Sophomore Briana Colangelo is coming off a sensational freshman season, tallying nine goals and a team-best 16 assists for a 25-point rookie year. She was one of five players on UConn to gather at least 15 points throughout the season.
The Huskies will play the first two of their 10 non-conference games this season against St. Cloud State, a program they have not faced since 2001. UConn is 1-1-0 all-time against the Huskies from Minnesota.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
St. Cloud State of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is coming off a 9-23-4 (7-18-3 WCHA) season in 2016-17, ending the year on a five-game losing streak – including a pair of losses to Minnesota Duluth in the WCHA Quarterfinals. Junior Julia Tylke returns as the team’s leading scorer (12g, 8a, 20p), as well as goalie Janine Alder, who recorded a .926 save percentage as a freshman.
Senior Justine Fredette was elected captain back in May, while Lum and junior Jaime Fox were named alternate captains to assist in the area of team leadership. Fredette played in all 36 games as a junior, finishing fourth on the team with 16 points. Lum led the team in goals (18) and points (29), while Fox recorded 11 assists – tied for second-most at UConn.
The Huskies welcomed Ashley Greenier, an eight-year-old from Vernon, Conn., to the program last week through UConn’s partnership with Team IMPACT. Greenier, who suffers from DiGeorge Syndrome, signed her letter of intent last Friday and became an official member of the team. We are thrilled to have her!