STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s ice hockey team gets back to conference play this weekend with two match-ups, one at home against Vermont on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. and one on the road Sunday, Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. against Maine. UConn enters Friday’s game 1-4 in Hockey East play.
The Huskies dropped from an even 4-4-2 to a 4-6-2 overall record with two non-conference losses to No. 4/5 Clarkson on Friday and Saturday. Freshman Jordy Zacharias (Winnipeg, Manitoba) notched two goals, one in each game, against the Golden Knights.
UConn scored first against Clarkson on Friday to take a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission, but the Golden Knights went up 2-1 after the second and tacked on an insurance goal in the third to claim the 3-1 final.
The Huskies held the Golden Knights to a scoreless first period in game two on Saturday. Clarkson struck first late in the second period to take a 1-0 lead going into the third. UConn answered with back-to-back goals halfway through the final period when senior Margaret Zimmer (St. Charles, Ill.) got the equalizer and then Zacharias put one in the back of the net to give the underdogs the 2-1 lead with just over eight minutes to kill on the clock.
Clarkson tied it up with two minutes left in the game, and then secured the win with a power play goal with just one minute left on the clock which earned them the 3-2 victory at the final buzzer.
Zacharias’ two goals moved her to second on the team in points. Senior Brittany Berisoff (Kelowna, B.C.) currently leads the team with seven points (5g, 2a) followed by Zacharias with six (4g, 2a) and sophomore Leah Lum (Richmond, B.C.) with five (1g, 4a).
Senior goaltender Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ont.) has started in eight games for the Huskies, recording 332 saves in 462 minutes for a .946 save percentage and a 2.46 goals against average. Sophomore net minder Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) has earned for starts between the pipes and recorded 109 saves for a .916 save percentage and also has a goals against average of 2.46.
Vermont is currently 3-9 overall with a split 3-3 Hockey East record. The Catamounts are coming off a 1-1 weekend against Providence. Vermont could only put up one goal against the Friars on Friday and ended up dropping a 4-1 decision in game one.
Saturday’s game read a similar fate as Providence held a 3-1 lead going into the third period, but Vermont battled back, scoring three unanswered goals, one with four seconds left on the clock to upset Providence, 4-3, at the last second.
Senior Dayna Colang tallied four points (1g, 3a) in the series against Providence. Colang currently leads the team with nine points (5g, 4a) followed by sophomore Taylor Willard who has six points (2g, 4a) and junior Bridget Baker who has five (3g, 2a).
Junior goaltender Madison Litchfield and sophomore goaltender Molly Depew have split time in net for the Catamounts. Litchfield has recorded 158 stops in 363 minutes for a .898 save percentage and a 2.97 goals against average. Depew has stopped 153 pucks in 353 minutes between the pipes for a .884 percentage and a 3.40 goals against average.
UConn leads the all-time series against Vermont 21-7-2. The Huskies and the Catamounts faced off three times last season. In the first meeting of last season, Vermont stunned UConn 6-0 at Gutterson Field House in Burlington, Vt. The last time the two met was in January of 2015 where UConn earned back-to-back wins on its home ice in Storrs.
Maine went from an even 6-6 record to a 6-8 overall after being swept by Boston University. The Black Bears kept it close all weekend with both games ending in two-goal deficits.
Maine was down 2-1 on Saturday going into the second period, but scored back-to-back goals in the middle frame to take the 3-2 lead against BU. The Black Bears’ lead was short-lived as the Terriers tied it up late in the second and scored two unanswered goals in the final period to earn the 5-3 decision.
BU got off to a quick 2-0 lead on Sunday, and Maine couldn’t catch up despite scoring two goals in the third period and the game finished 3-2 in favor of the Terriers.
Brooke Stacey currently leads the team with 11 points (6g, 5a) followed by Jessica Vallotton with three (1g, 2a) and Carolyn Menges with two (1g, 1a). Senior net minder Meghann Treacy has started in 13 games for the Black Bears, recording 389 saves in 768 minutes for a .928 save percentage and a 2.34 goals against average.
The Huskies lead the all-time series against the Black Bears 25-14-7. The two met five times last season, three meetings in the regular season and twice in the Hockey East tournament. The first meeting last season ended in 3-3 tie on UConn’s home ice. UConn faced Maine in four straight games at the end of last season, closing out its regular season in a two-game series against the Black Bears and then facing them in two games to start the post-season. The Huskies swept the Black Bears with four straight wins all on the road at Alfond Arena. UConn advanced to the conference semifinals after defeating Maine 3-2 in game one and 1-0 in overtime of game two.
UConn will participate in the Nutmeg Classic where they will first play Quinnipiac on Friday, Nov. 27 at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn. and then play either Yale or Merrimack on Saturday, Nov. 28. The times have yet to be determined.