Women's Hockey Notebook: UConn’s penalty kill unit strong against Colgate
Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013 22:10
The UConn Huskies were able to split a weekend series with the visiting Colgate Raiders, as an overtime thriller and a defensive battle made up an exciting weekend of hockey at Freitas Ice Forum.
The weekend’s opening game was won by the Huskies as a Kayla Campero winner in overtime gave UConn their first win on the season.
Colgate was able to get their revenge in the weekend’s second contest, as a first period goal by Raider forward Taylor Craig proved to be enough for a Colgate victory.
MacKenzie picks up first win in Storrs
Friday’s overtime victory was full of emotion. Any time a team can score with just seconds remaining to win, there’s sure to be a bit of excitement.
However, this weekend’s victory was extra special for the Huskies, as it was the first win with first year coach Chris MacKenzie at the helm.
MacKenzie made sure to point out his teams effort, as he is already seeing noticeable improvements in this year’s Huskies.
“It’s the first win for the team,” said MacKenzie. “It’s not so much me. Our team did that together. We got our first win and we took another step. We had 37 shots on net. I don’t know the last time this program had that many shots on net. For us, we’re just looking to get better every day. That’s really it. “
Huskies strong on penalty kill
Despite facing the uphill battle of dealing with 14 Colgate power plays, the UConn penalty kill unit stood strong throughout the weekend by not allowing a power play goal.
While no coach likes to see his team play a man down, coach MacKenzie is developing major confidence in his penalty kill unit.
“We’re very confident that we can kill penalties,” said coach MacKenzie. “We had our fair share of work this weekend, but I was really happy with how we just adapted and overcame some adversity. I think we killed almost fifteen penalties on the weekend. That probably puts us in the top ten in the country. That’s where we want to be in a lot of categories.”
UConn embracing ‘the journey’
The Huskies were able to bounce back from a pair of losses at nationally ranked Minnesota Duluth with this weekend’s overtime win, demonstrating just the type of resilience MacKenzie expects from his players.
Despite losing the second game of the weekend series, MacKenzie is proud of his team’s strides so far, while also looking forward to what the team can become with a long season ahead of them.
“They’re a good hardworking bunch of players,” said MacKenzie. “We have a culture of unselfishness. We’re working hard for each other. For us, that journey together is special. That’s what we’re doing right now. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we’re taking steps in the right direction. That’s the most important point.”