STORRS, Conn – The UConn women’s ice hockey team (0-1-1, 0-1-0) will host two New York opponents this weekend, starting with Syracuse (1-2, 0-0) on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. followed by Colgate on Sunday Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. both which will be played at the Freitas Ice Forum.
The Huskies went 0-1-1 in the opening weekend of their regular season. Despite scoring first against No. 8 Boston University, the Terriers scored two goals in the final frame, one which came in the final second of the match to claim the 2-1 win over the Huskies on Friday, Oct. 2 on Bu’s home ice.
UConn returned home on Saturday, Oct. 3 when they finished in a 2-2 tie against Union after the overtime period. Union took a 2-0 lead after the first period, but the Huskies fought back netting one goal in each of the remaining frames, forcing the game into overtime.
Senior Brittany Berisoff (Kelowna, B.C.) and redshirt senior Cailtin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) both lead the team with two points each. Berisoff recorded one goal in both games to start her senior season, netting the team’s only goal against the ranked Terriers, and the third period equalizer against Union.
Hewes racked up both her points in the Union game, closing the gap to 2-1 in the second period with an early goal, and then earning the assist on Berisoff’s equalizer.
Senior Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ont.) and sophomore Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) both saw time in goal that weekend. Chuli played all 60 minutes against BU, recording 46 saves for a .958 percentage. Belanger played 65 minutes in net against Union including the overtime period. She faced 28 shots and made 26 saves good for a .929 save percentage.
The Series: Syracuse
Syracuse leads the all-time series against UConn 4-2-1. The Huskies faced off against the Orange in October of last season, where the two played to a 2-2 draw on Syracuse’s home ice. SU scored first, early in the second half, but UConn answered twice to take a 2-1 lead going into the final frame. Sophomore Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.), at that time a freshman, scored her first career goal with the Huskies to tie the game in the second period. Emily Snodgrass, who graduated from UConn in May, scored the other Husky goal, giving the team a 2-1 lead. The third period was about to expire, and it appeared UConn would claim the 2-1 victory, but Jessica Sibley netted the equalizer for the Orange with less than one tick left on the clock.
Scouting the Orange
Syracuse is currently 1-2 in its 2015 slate, with no conference games yet played. The Orange started off the year with back-to-back losses against ranked opponents, losing 3-1 to No. 5 Clarkson and 5-4 to No. 10 Northeastern. Despite an 0-2 start, Syracuse is coming off a most recent 3-2 win on the road against New Hampshire on Oct. 10.
The Orange are led by senior Melissa Piacentini, redshirt senior Nicole Ferrara and sophomore Stephanie Grossi, who all have four points. Piacentini leads the team in scoring with three goals. She put up the team’s only goal against Clarkson, and two of the four against Northeastern.
Senior goaltender Jenn Gilligan been in net all three games for the Orange, recording 177 minutes between the pipes. Gilligan has made a combined 72 saves so far this season for a .878 save percentage and a 3.38 goals against average.
The Series: Colgate
UConn leads the series 5-4-0 against Colgate. Heading into last season, the series was split 4-4, but the Huskies pulled out a 2-1 win over the Raiders in October of last year on Colgate’s home ice with two goals from Snodgrass. UConn went into the first break with 1-0 lead, and held that lead until the third period. Colgate tied it up less than five minutes into the third, but Snodgrass struck again with five seconds left on the clock, giving UConn the 2-1 victory.
Scouting the Raiders
Colgate is off to a 2-0 start to its 2015 schedule after sweeping Robert Morris with back-to-back wins on the road. The Raiders secured a 5-3 win against RMU on Friday, Oct. 2 and then shutout the Colonials 6-0 the next day.
Five different Raiders tallied goals in the team’s 5-3 win on Friday. Freshman Shae Labbe and sophomore Breanne Wilson-Bennett both notched two goals in the 6-0 shutout on Saturday. The team currently has 11 goals off of 67 shots, three of which were scored off powerplays.
Labbe leads the team in points with five (3g, 2a) followed by freshman Olivia Zafuto with four (4a) and senior Nicole Gass with three (1g, 2a). Senior goalie Ashlynne Rando has played 119:56 minutes in net for the Raiders, recording 52 saves for a .945 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average.
The Huskies will travel to Penn State for a two game series on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at Pegula Arena.