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Huskies Skate in Non-Conference Play at Syracuse this Weekend

Sophomore Jocelyn Slattery has scored twice and picked up two assists.

Oct. 27, 2011

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

STORRS, Conn. -  Following a weekend split at home to open Hockey East play against Maine, the University of Connecticut women’s ice hockey team gets back on the road for a non-conference series at Syracuse. The Huskies and Orange face-off at 7:00 pm on Friday October 28, followed by a 4:00 pm start on Saturday October 29.

About the Huskies... UConn stands at 1-5-2 overall and 1-1-0 in the league after picking up two points to close out play against Maine last weekend. Senior captain Sami Evelyn has returned to the blueline for the Huskies after starting the first six games of the season at forward. She leads the team with six points on two goals and four assists. Freshman defender Caitlin Hewes is second on the team in scoring with two goals and three helpers for five total points. Red-shirt sophomore Maggie Walsh is tied with Evelyn for the team lead in assists with four. In goal, senior Alexandra Garcia and sophomore Nicole Paniccia have alternated starts throughout the first month of the season. Paniccia is the reigning WHEA Defensive Player of the Week after posting her first career shutout in UConn’s 3-0 win over Maine last Saturday. For the season, she holds a .927 save percentage and 2.35 goals against average.



Last Time Out... Connecticut lost its Hockey East opener to Maine last Friday, 4-3. Trailing 3-1, Paniccia replaced Garcia late in the first period and went on to give up one goal, while stopping 21 shots. The Huskies made a third period comeback on goals by freshman Rachel Farrel and Hewes, but ultimately fell one goal short in a 4-3 loss. On Saturday night, Evelyn blasted a shot from in front of the blueline to give UConn a lead late in the first on a power play opportunity and moments later Farrel would net her second of the weekend. Midway through the second freshman, Christie Brauer tallied the first score of her career on a power play to put the game at its final 3-0 score. Paniccia stopped 31 shots to earn her first career shutout and the Connecticut penalty kill was a perfect six-for-six. For the weekend, the UConn power play scored four times in 13 chances.

Scouting the Orange... Syracuse comes in at 3-6-0 overall after recently snapping a four-game slide with a 5-3 win at home over Union. Junior Holly Carrie-Mattimoe and freshman Allie Lacombe lead the Orange with five points, each having scored three times and picking up a pair of assists. Sophomore Kallie Billadeau has earned five starting nods in net and owns a .902 save percentage on 120 saves and a 2.80 GAA.

Last Time vs. Syracuse... Taylor Gross scored the lone goal of the game for the Huskies in a 7-1 loss at Syracuse on October 16, 2010. The goal came at the 10-minute mark of the second period and brought UConn within one, but the Orange responded with the first of three straight goals in a four minute span just 1:17 later. Isabel Menard recorded a hat trick and Sadie St. Germain added a score and two assists for Syracuse. Jenesica Drinkwater provided 18 saves in the win.

All-Time vs. SU... Connecticut and Syracuse have only met on the ice twice, with each side claiming a victory. Prior to last season’s 7-1 defeat, the Huskies registered a 3-2 win in their home opener on October 16, 2009. In that win, Brittany Murphy lit the lamp for the game-winner late in the second and UConn thwarted an Orange comeback attempt to take the win. This weekend’s match-up marks the first time that the two teams will face-off on a date other than October 16.

Defensive Player of the Week... After making just her ninth career start, sophomore netminder Nicole Paniccia was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending October 23. Paniccia made 31 saves to be credited with her first career shutout in a 3-0 win over Maine on October 22. She totaled 52 stops and a .981 save percentage for the weekend after making a relief appearance in the Friday night match-up with the Black Bears.

Up Next... UConn plays its first home-and-home series against Northeastern next weekend. On November 4, the Huskies battle each other in Boston, Mass. at 7:00 pm before making the trip to Storrs, Conn. for a 4:00 pm contest on November 5.

Special Teams... Despite racking up the penalties over the last two weeks, including six against Maine on Saturday, Connecticut still ranks last in Hockey East at 7.8 penalty minutes per game. However, the UConn penalty kill improved to fifth in the league after successfully killing off all 10 power plays it faced from the Black Bears last weekend. Overall the Husky PK is 23-for-28 (82.1%), while the team’s power play ranks fourth in the league after converting on four out of 13 opportunities to lift the season total to 7-for-39 (17.9%). In net last weekend, Paniccia made 12 of her 52 saves playing down a player. Freshman Emily Snodgrass leads the Huskies with two power play goals.

National Statistics... Paniccia currently ranks eighth in the country with a .927 save percentage and lands 16th nationally in goals against average at 2.35. Among the nation’s defensemen, Sami Evelyn is tied for 18th in points per game at 0.75, while Hewes is tied for 26th at 0.62. Hewes is also tied for 29th in points per game among rookies and is joined in the top 50 by Snodgrass (T-36th/0.50), Farrel and MacDonnell (T-49/0.38).

WHEA Openers... All-time the Huskies are 4-5-1 in Hockey East openers, including a 3-3-1 record at home, after their one-goal loss to Maine last weekend. Connecticut has opened league play against New Hampshire each of the last three years, posting a 0-2-1 record.