Chuli leads UConn to sweep of women’s hockey

The University of Maine women’s hockey team lost a nail-biter in overtime to the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies on the road on Friday night. It was the first game of a weekend double-header for the Black Bears, which will wrap up their season. Up until this weekend, Maine had momentum, as they swept Merrimack at the Alfond Arena last weekend.

The Huskies opened the scoring halfway through the first period, as second-year defender Leah Lum found the twine to give UConn the lead after the first period of play.

After a scoreless second period, Maine dominated the ice in the third period. Third-year Maine forward Emilie Brigham scored a power play goal late in the third to tie the game up at 1-1. Maine peppered Huskies fourth-year goalie Elaine Chuli with 19 shots on goal, while UConn only managed two shots on net the entire period.

As regulation came to an end, the score was all tied up. UConn ended the game very early, scoring only 2:41 into the overtime period, as fourth-year forward Leah Buress scored on third-year Maine goaltender Meghann Treacy to walk off with a win.

The big story of the game was the outstanding play by the goalies on both teams. Treacy saved 19 of 21 shots that were sent her way throughout the game. The even bigger story was the play of Chuli. Maine had a staggering 40 shots on net, and Chuli managed to stop 39 of those shots. Maine had nearly double the shots than the Huskies, and still only scored one goal.

The Black Bears dominated the face-offs in the game, winning a total of 35, while the Huskies won only 22. Both teams were even on penalty minutes in the game. Maine was able to play tight defense while shorthanded, holding UConn scoreless on all three of their power play opportunities.

UConn is gaining momentum as the regular season winds down, having won three of their last four games, sitting in fourth place in the Hockey East standings with a record of 13-13-5.

The Black Bears season did not turn out how they had hoped, with a current overall record of 10-20-2, and sitting at seventh place in the Hockey East standings. Maine now looks to finish up their last game of the season with a win on Saturday at 2 p.m.

UConn completes the sweep with 4-3 victory

The Black Bears closed out their regular season against the UConn Huskies in game two of a weekend double header in Connecticut on Saturday afternoon. Maine fell behind early and was not able to fully recover, dropping their second game in a row, by a final score of 4-3.

The first period of the game was full of action, and it began with UConn’s fourth-year forward Brittany Berisoff scoring 6:17 into the period and then again a little over two minutes later to give UConn a quick 2-0 lead. Berisoff was assisted by fourth-year defender Caitlin Hewes on the first and by Buress on the second.

Maine answered, scoring at the tail end of the period, as second-year defender Anna Wright put the Black Bears on the board by scoring her first goal of the season. Wright’s goal put Maine within a goal at the end of the first period.

A little over halfway through the second period, UConn extended their lead when fourth-year forward Margaret Zimmer scored on an unassisted goal to give Connecticut a 3-1 lead.

Maine started their third period comeback when first-year defender Alyson Matteau scored 5:22 into the last period to bring the Black Bears back within one goal. Maine lost their late-game momentum about halfway through the period when the Huskies went on the power play.

Third-year forward Kelly Harris converted on UConn’s lone power play goal of the night, giving the Huskies a two-goal lead once again. Maine did not convert on any of their power plays on the night, going 0-4. The Black Bears scored again 17:37 into the period, as fourth-year forward Audra Richards put the puck in the net to bring the Black Bears within a goal, which would be the last scoring action of the day.

Treacy increased her career saves total to 1969, which brings her to fifth place overall in the conference. Chuli took the conference record for most saves in a season, finishing the season with 732.

The Black Bears finish their season with a record of 10-21-2, which lands them in eighth place in Hockey East standings. Maine now gets next weekend off, and begins the first round of the playoffs on Feb. 26-28. The Black Bears will either be facing Boston College or Northeastern University in a best two-out-of-three series.

 

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