STORRS, Conn. -- The UConn women’s ice hockey team will play an upcoming home-and-home series with Boston University, hosting the Terriers at the Freitas Ice Forum Saturday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. and then traveling to Walter Brown Arena in Boston, Mass. on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m.
The Huskies are coming off a split, 1-1, weekend at the 12th annual Nutmeg Classic where they placed third, moving their overall record to 7-7-2 and 3-4 in Hockey East. UConn fell short of No. 4 Quinnipiac in a 1-0 deficit Friday, which put them out of the championship game. Senior goaltender Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ont.) recorded 32 saves against the Bobcats.
UConn came out strong in the consolation game on Saturday where it faced conference opponent, Merrimack. The Huskies held a solid 3-0 lead after two periods. Sophomore Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.) notched the team’s first two goals both assisted by classmate Justine Fredette (Winnipeg, Manitoba). Freshmen Jordy Zacharias (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Kayla Mee (Winnipeg, Manitoba) each earned an assist on one of Knutson’s goals.
Senior Margaret Zimmer tallied the third goal late in the second, assisted by Mee, her second of the game, and sophomore Leah Lum (Richmond, B.C.). Merrimack got on the board late in the third period to make it 3-1. UConn was called for a penalty with less than one minute to play, and Merrimack pulled its goalie for 40 seconds of 6-on-4. Thirteen seconds into the penalty kill, senior Leah Buress (Windsor, Ont.) landed an empty net goal to seal it 4-1. Sophomore goalkeeper Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) made 18 stops for her fourth recorded win of the season.
Lum and Zacharias are currently tied for first on the team with nine points, Lum with one goal and eight assists and Zacharias with four goals and five assists. Fredette is currently tied for second with senior Brittany Berisoff (Kelowna, B.C.), who both have eight points, followed by Knutson and Buress who both have six. Chuli has faced 582:30 in net, stopping 402 pucks for a .953 save percentage and a 2.06 goals against average, while Belanger has played 364:05 in net making 145 saves good for a .918 percentage and a 2.14 goals against average.
The Terriers are currently 11-7 overall this season with an 8-3 conference showing. BU is also coming off a .500 weekend after a 1-1 appearance at the Windjammer Classic in Burlington, Vt. In its first match-up against Cornell, BU suffered a 4-2 loss, despite being equal, 2-2 after the first period. Sarah Lefort and Lillian Braga scored the only two goals for the Terriers.
BU bounced back in Sunday’s match-up against Ohio State, claiming a 5-3 victory over the Buckeyes. Sophomore Victoria Bach recorded a career-high four points including two third period goals and two assists, which moved her into second on the team in scoring. Lefort, Rebecca Leslie and Kayla Tutino also finished with multi-point games.
Leslie currently leads the team with 24 points (5g, 19a), followed by Bach with 20 points (9g, 11a) and Rebecca Russo with 19 points (7g, 12a). Maddie Elia leads the team in goals with 10, but is currently fifth in overall points, because of four players who have double-digit assists. Sophomore goaltender Erin O’Neil has had the most face time in goal, starting in ten games and seeing over 591 minutes. O’Neil has made 274 stops this season for a .907 save percentage and a 2.84 goals against average.
BU leads the all-time series against UConn 21-8-3. The Huskies and the Terriers battled earlier this season in UConn’s regular season opener on the road at Walter Brown Arena on Oct. 2, where the Terriers walked away with a 2-1 victory.
UConn led 1-0 after the second period with a goal from Brittany Berisoff. The Terriers tied it up 1-1 nine minutes into the third period. With the clock running down, overtime appeared imminent, but BU shattered that possibility by smacking in a rebound with one second on the clock to end it 2-1. Chuli made an impressive 46 stops in the full 60 minutes.
The Huskies will have a one month hiatus and will return to the ice Tuesday, Jan. 5 against Northeastern on the road at Matthews Arena in Boston. The time of that game is yet to be determined.