Women's Hockey Notebook: Chuli stops 66 of 68 shots in weekend split with Friars
Published: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2014 23:01
The UConn women’s hockey game was able to earn a home and home split with conference foe Providence, as the Huskies picked up their seventh win of the season on the back of goaltender Elaine Chuli.
The Huskies kicked off the weekend with a 3–1 victory over the visiting Friars on Saturday afternoon, before dropping a 1–0 decision on the ensuing trip to the Rhode Island capital.
Stellar goaltending from Chuli led the way, as the sophomore was able to pick up a combined 66 saves on 68 shots.
Chuli has started the New Year in great form, having made at least 30 saves in 9 straight games.
However, Chuli got off to a rough start in Saturday’s matinee, as the UConn goaltender let one past just 28 seconds into the game.
“It’s not ideal but it does happen,” Chuli said. “You just have to put it aside and forget that it happened and move forward with the game. That’s all you can do. It was tough to give up a goal in the first 20 seconds of the game but I thought we battled hard, came back and we never gave up and got a couple of key goals. We were able to hold them at one.”
Chuli’s play over the past few weeks has been spectacular. She was able to pick up the first UConn shutout since November of 2011 and she was recognized as the WHEA Defensive Player of the Week on Jan. 3.
UConn coach Chris MacKenzie praised his goaltender for her performance in Saturday’s game, as the first year coach is just as proud of her off-ice work ethic as her play on it..
“She’s getting what she deserves,” Mackenzie said. “She’s a student athlete that puts in hard work everyday. She’s here, she studies the game, she’s a 4.0 student and she’s one of the hardest working players on the team. And she’s actually talented. That’s not a bad thing either. When you put that together, you’re going to be successful. She’s just getting rewarded for all of her hard work and effort, just like a lot of our players.”
Chuli was also quick to point out the effort of those around her, as she made sure the rest of the team got their share of credit for their efforts.
“Our team did a really good job of clearing out pucks up front and picking up rebounds from outside shots,” Chuli said. “I just do what I can, but the team really, really helped.”
Chuli and the Huskies will be back in action this weekend, as UConn will take on nationally ranked Boston University.