STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s ice hockey team is set to open its regular season Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. on the road against conference opponent Boston University, before returning home for its home opener Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. against Union at the Freitas Ice Forum.
The Huskies finished 11-18-8 last season, with a 5-11-5 conference record. UConn advanced to the WHEA semifinals for the first time since 2010, where they were knocked out 3-1 by No. 1 Boston College. UConn swept the Maine Black Bears, 2-0, in a best of three series in the WHEA quarterfinals. Senior goaltender Elaine Chuli posted a 45-save shutout in the 1-0 overtime win in the second game to clinch the series.
UConn returns two of its top five scorers, including sophomore Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia) with 19 points (4g, 15a) and redshirt senior Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) with 17 (3g, 14a). Chuli returns to the roster after playing 1500 minutes in net for the Huskies last season, recording 892 saves for a 2.92 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
The Huskies opened their 2015-16 play with an exhibition match against the Whitby Wolves, where UConn put up five goals for a 5-1 win on Saturday. Freshman Jordy Zacharias racked up a hat trick in her first ever appearance with the Huskies. Senior Margaret Zimmer recorded three points (1g, 2a) for the team in the 5-1 exhibition win.
The Series: Boston University
BU leads the all-time series 20-8-3. The Huskies and the Terriers met on three separate occasions last season. BU swept all three games, including a 3-2 and a 4-2 win in the double header last November and a 5-3 win back in January. The two first met in 2005, where UConn shutout the Terriers 3-0.
The Terriers won their fourth straight Hockey East Championship last season, finishing with a 25-9-3 overall record, and going 15-5-1 in conference play. BU claimed its fourth conference title after defeating No. 1 Boston College, 4-1, in the finals. The Terriers advanced to NCAA quarterfinals, where they were defeated at Wisconsin 5-1.
BU returns four of its five top scorers including seniors Sarah Lefort (23g, 27a), and Kayla Tutino (14g, 23a), and sophomores Victoria Bach (20g, 14a), and Rebecca Leslie (14g, 17a). The Terriers’ top scorer Marie-Philip Poulin graduated after last season with 27 goals and 27 assists for a combined 54 points.
The Terriers opened this season with a 3-0 exhibition win over Guelph on Saturday. Juniors Samantha Sutherland and Maddie Elia, and senior Dakota Woodworth tallied one for BU, all which came in the second period. Goaltenders Victoria Hanson and Erin O’Neil split time and recorded a combined 16 saves for the Terriers.
The Series: Union
The all-time series is split evenly 3-3-1 between UConn and Union. The two met twice early last year and both walked away 1-1 on the weekend, with both games played on Union’s home ice in Schenectady, N.Y. The Huskies claimed the first win, putting up four goals in the 4-2 win on Oct. 10, 2014. Union came out strong the next day and didn’t allow one goal for a 1-0 shutout, forcing a UConn loss.
The Union Dutchwomen went 4-22-8 last season, with a 1-16-5 conference record. The team welcomes six newcomers this season in addition to the 15 veterans on the squad. The Dutchwomen return three of their five top scorers from last season, including Kathryn Tomaselli (9g, 11a) and Jessica Kaminsky (6g, 14a), who were tied at the top spot with 20 points.
Union is currently 0-1-1 this season having already played two regular season games on the road against Minnesota State University. The team’s first match on Friday ended in a 2-2 tie, followed up by a 3-0 loss on Saturday. Tomaselli recorded both goals for Union on Friday, Kaminsky had an assist along with senior Elizabeth Otten. Junior Alli Devins assisted on both goals for a total of two. Goaltenders Melissa Black and Leah Patrick each received a start in that series. Black played the full 65 minutes in Friday’s tie and Patrick played the full 60 minutes in Saturday’s loss.
The Huskies have a week off from games before returning to the Freitas Ice Forum on Saturday, Oct. 17 to take on Syracuse at 2 p.m. and then Colgate on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m.