Women's Hockey: Five-goal attack lifts UConn over Hockey East foe PC
Five different players scored for the Huskies as the UConn women's hockey team defeated the Providence Friars 5-4 and picked up its first conference win and fourth in the season overall.
This victory marked the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Huskies were able to defeat the Friars, going 1-9 in the previous 10 contests.
Assistant captain Sarah MacDonnell was able to put the Huskies on the board first, scoring her fourth goal of the year. Defender Kiana Nauheim was able to force a turnover in the Huskies offensive zone and then dropped the puck to MacDonnell at the right circle. MacDonnell then took a wrist shot, which found the upper left corner.
MacDonnell leads UConn in points early in the season but credits her success to the team playing well as a unit.
"It's nice to contribute," MacDonnell said. "But it's an overall team effort, every line is contributing, it's nice to get lucky and put a few in but it's completely a team effort all the way."
UConn went up by two goals when Margaret Zimmer beat her defender in a one-on-one situation and the slipped a backhand shot past Providence goalie Nina Riley. With the Huskies up by two, Riley was pulled and replaced by sophomore Allie Morse. The Friars cut the Huskies' lead in half when Cassidy Carels was able to put home a rebound with seven seconds left in the first period.
Too many times this season has the Huskies have fallen into an earlier deficit but that was not the case on Sunday. UConn was able to gain and sustain their lead throughout the entire game.
"You always want to get on the board early," head coach Chris MacKenzie said. "It helps our confidence, gets us energized and it was just exciting to see us close one out and play well as a team."
Both teams had trouble scoring in the second period as both goaltenders made remarkable saves to keep the score at 2-1. With less than two minutes left in the period, UConn was able to break through on the power play. Jessica Stott fired a shot from the point and Kelly Harris was able to redirect it past Morse to give UConn a 3-1 edge heading into the third period.
The fans in attendance were gifted in the third period, as five goals were tallied, four of them coming in 2:49 of action. Providence was able to cut UConn's lead to one when Carels scored her second of the game but just 16 seconds later, the Huskies went back up two goals when Rachel Farrel took a wrist shot that found the upper right corner.
Just 59 seconds after that, Providence once again cut the lead in half as Haley Frade scored a nifty goal as she beat Chuli on a breakaway, making the score 4-3. Thirty-two seconds later Rebecca Fleming was able to avenge the Friars goal with one of her own to make it 5-3. Late in the third period, the Huskies failed to clear the defensive zone and the Friars were able to score a fourth goal, but UConn was able to stay strong and close out the game.
"It was a fantastic effort by our team," MacKenzie said. "We played a great game, we did a lot of good things."
UConn is now 4-6-1 on the season and will return to action in nine days when the Huskies will travel to Rhode Island to take on Brown University.
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