STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s ice hockey team will host conference opponents, Merrimack on Saturday, Nov 7 at 2 p.m., and New Hampshire on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs.
The Huskies are coming off two, 4-0 losses against No. 2 Boston College. Senior goaltender Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ont.) set a school record for most saves in a single game with an impressive 59 stops against the Eagles on Friday. Chuli racked up another 41 saves in Saturday’s game for a combined 100 saves on the weekend, which earned her WHEA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The two losses moved UConn to an overall 3-3-2 record, and 0-3 in conference play. Senior Brittany Berisoff (Kelowna, B.C.) currently leads the team with six points (4g, 2a) followed by senior Leah Buress (Windsor, Ont.) with four points (1g, 3a) and four other Huskies, who are tied at three points.
Chuli has seen 285 minutes between the pipes for UConn this season, recording 214 saves for a 2.74 goals against average and a .943 save percentage, the second best percentage in the conference. Sophomore goaltender Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) has earned three starts for 185 minutes in goal, tallying 90 saves for a 2.59 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.
Merrimack currently holds a 2-7 overall record, with a 1-2 conference record in its inaugural season in Hockey East. The Warriors are coming off a 5-1 loss to No. 9 Northeastern on Friday, Oct. 30. Northeastern led 4-0 after the second period, but a goal from Paige Voight put Merrimack on the board six minutes into the third. Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne netted her third goal of the game 11 minutes into the third, for her ninth career hat trick and to bring the final score to 5-1.
Freshman Paige Voight currently leads the team with nine points (4g, 5a) followed by sophomore Jackie Pieper and freshman Katelyn Rae, who are both tied at five points (3g, 2a). Freshman goalie Samantha Ridgewell has played in all nine games for the Warriors, earning eight starts and recording 257 stops for a 3.63 goals against average and a .895 save percentage.
Saturday will mark the first meeting between UConn and Merrimack. The Huskies and the Warriors will come together for two meetings later this season with a home-and-home on January 9 and 10 of 2016.
SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE
UNH is currently 1-8 overall this season with a 1-4 Hockey East record. The Wildcats are coming off a 1-1 weekend against two conference opponents, with a 4-0 win over Vermont on Friday and a 5-3 loss to BU on Sunday.
After a scoreless first period against Vermont, four different Wildcats notched goals for UNH to claim a 4-0 shutout win. In Sunday’s matinee against BU, UNH had a 3-2 lead going into the third period, but BU put up three unanswered goals in the third to secure a win.
Junior Jonna Curtis currently leads the team with 11 points (6g, 5a) followed by sophomore Amy Schlagel with six points (3g, 3a), and sophomore Julia Fedeski and senior Sara Carlson, who are both tied with five (2g, 3a). Four different goaltenders have seen action in net for UNH, but senior Vilma Vaattovaara has seen the most minutes starting in six games for over 330 minutes where she recorded 141 saves for a 3.99 goals against average and a .865 save percentage.
New Hampshire currently leads the all-time series against UConn 31-8-4. The two came together three times in the 2014-15 season. UConn lost the first two games on January 17 and 18, the first a 3-2 ending in overtime. The last time the Huskies and the Wildcats met up was on February 8, 2015, where the game ended in a 2-2 tie after the overtime period.
The Huskies go on the road for a two-game series against Clarkson on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. at Cheel Arena in Potsdam, N.Y., for a non-conference match-up.