STORRS, Conn. – The UConn men’s and women’s hockey programs held their first-ever “Hockey Night in Storrs” event for students and fans at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum Tuesday night.
The newest UConn tradition served as a showcase for both men’s and women’s programs, with extended player introductions and comments from both men’s head coach Mike Cavanaugh and women’s head coach Chris MacKenzie. The night also featured the UConn pep band and plenty of games and giveaways.
Following player introductions, both teams took part in an NHL style skills competition featuring a hardest slap shot, penalty shot competition and a fastest skater competition.
In the hardest slap shot competition, for the women senior Leah Lum (Richmond, B.C.) defeated junior Kayla Mee (Stonewall, Manitoba) with a shot clocking in at 68 mph. On the men’s side, sophomore Bryan Nelson (Upton, Mass.) blasted a shot 88 mph to beat senior Johnny Austin (St. Louis Park, Minn.).
In the break-away challenge, junior Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) beat senior Kasperi Ojantakanen (Helsinki, Finland) and on the women’s side, sophomore Briana Colangelo (Whitby, Ont.) beat classmate Catherine Crawley (Washingtonville, N.Y.).
In the final challenge of the night, the fastest skater, freshman Natalie Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) and senior Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) were the winners. Snodgrass beat seniorMarisa Maccario (Marblehead, Mass.) in her semifinal race and then junior Rebecca Lindblad (Winnetka, Ill.) in the championship. Ronan beat junior Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury, Mass.) in the semis and then flew past freshman Zach Robbins (Glenview, Ill.) in the final.
The teams split up for a Blue & White Scrimmage with three UConn rookies finding the back of the net in Brian Rigali (Libertyville, Ill.), Robbins and Evan Wiscoky (Hoboken, N.J.), with the game-winner for the white team.
The UConn women’s team is back in action on Friday night, hosting the No. 3 ranked Boston College Eagles at 7 pm at Freitas. The men will face-off in a home-and-home series with No. 7 Boston University this weekend. The Huskies will host the Terriers in their home opener at the XL Center on Saturday afternoon at 5 pm.