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Huskies Host Maine in Hockey East Opener

Senior Sami Evelyn serves as a captain for the 2011-12 Huskies.

Oct. 20, 2011

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

STORRS, Conn. -  The University of Connecticut women’s ice hockey team remains at home for its 2011-12 Hockey East opener when the University of Maine visits the Freitas Ice Forum for a weekend series on October 21 and 22. The puck drops for the start of league play at 7:00 pm on Friday night and continues with a 2:00 pm face-off on Saturday.

About the Huskies... UConn enters the weekend with an overall record of 0-4-2, with all games being played against non-conference opponents. On their home ice, the Huskies are 0-3-1 so far this season. Freshman forward Emily Snodgrass leads the team in points with four, including two goals, both of which have come on the power play. Eight different players have scored a goal through the first six games and 16 of 19 skaters have recorded a point. Junior forward Kelly Horan and redshirt-sophomore Maggie Walsh are tied for the team-lead in assists with three apiece. In goal, senior Alexandra Garcia and sophomore Nicole Paniccia have alternated starts. Individually, the two goaltenders have put up similar numbers, but combined they own a .892 save percentage and 3.57 goals against average.

Last Time Out... Connecticut was swept by No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth at home last weekend. UConn fell by scores of 5-4 and 6-1 after being swept by a combined 12-0 score at UMD in 2010. Snodgrass posted the first multi-point game of her career with a goal and an assist in game one. Sophomore forward Taylor Gross, the team’s leading scorer from a year ago, netted her first goal of the season on an extra-man opportunity to bring the Huskies within one with 1:23 remaining on Friday night. Early in the second period of Saturday’s contest, UConn tied the game at one on a goal by freshman forward Sarah MacDonnell, but the Bulldogs would go on to score five unanswered goals to close the game. Paniccia stopped a career-high 42 shots in the loss.

Scouting the Black Bears... Maine leads the league in scoring at 4.17 goals per game after opening with a 4-2-0 record, including four straight wins against teams from the Nutmeg State, recording two vs. Sacred Heart and two more against No. 9 Quinnipiac. Senior forwards Danielle Ward, Myriam Croussette, and Dawn Sullivan lead the Black Bears with eight points each. Ward is the top goal scorer with six, while Sullivan has collected a team-high six assists. Three different players have started in goal for Maine, with junior Brittany Ott getting the nod three times, while appearing in all six games. She has stopped 75 shots for a .915 save percentage and 2.47 GAA.

Last Time vs. Maine... UConn swept Maine in a road series in January, 3-0 and 3-1. Garcia recorded her third straight shutout and Alexandra Vakos netted her third game-winning goal in four games to defeat the Black Bears in the opener. Maine scored first in game two as Brittany Dougherty tallied a goal 2:49 into the first period. The Huskies notted the game with less than two minutes to play in the first with Brittany Murphy’s first goal of the afternoon. Horan posted the game-winner at the 4:27 mark of the second and Murphy added an empty netter to secure the victory. Garcia totaled 53 saves on the weekend.

All-Time vs. the Black Bears... The Huskies own a 19-10-3 lead in the all-time series with the Black Bears and have won six straight against them over the past two seasons. Dating back to March of 2005, UConn has not lost to Maine, posting a record of 14-0-1 over that span. The Black Bears last won on January 23, 2005, 3-2 in Storrs.

WHEA Openers... All-time the Huskies are 4-4-1 in Hockey East openers, including a 3-2-1 record at home. Connecticut has opened league play against New Hampshire each of the last three years, posting a 0-2-1 record.

Up Next... UConn hits the road next weekend for games at Syracuse on October 28 and 29. Game one will take place at 7:00 pm, while the following day’s contest will be played at 4:00 pm.