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The No. 9 Black Bears drop their weekend series to UConn

The No. 9 University of Maine women’s hockey team (16-9-3, 10-6-2 HEA) travelled to Storrs, Conn. to take on the University of Connecticut Huskies (9-11-8, 3-10-5 HEA) on Friday, Jan. 26. Despite a late goal in the third period to tie up the game, the Black Bears fell to the Huskies in overtime 2-1.

The Huskies were the first to find the back of the net just four minutes into play on a power play opportunity. First-year forward Natalie Snodgrass scored off an assist from first-year forward Morgan Wabick and second-year forward Briana Colangelo, giving UConn an early lead. This was Snodgrass’ 15th goal of her freshman campaign. She leads the team in total points, shots and goals.

The Black Bears were not able to score until the final minutes of play. With just 1 minute 5 seconds remaining, the Black Bears ripped shot after shot on fourth-year goaltender Annie Belanger. It was first-year forward Michelle Weis who was able to put one through, with second-year forward Lydia Murray and second-year defender Brittany Kucera picking up assists. This was Weis’ ninth goal on the season, putting her at 18 points on her first collegiate season.

This ended the regulation time scoring, with both teams going into overtime 1-1. It only took the Huskies 1 minute 20 seconds to net a goal in overtime. Fourth-year forward Leah Lum shot on the net, which second-year goaltender Carly Jackson reflected giving Colangelo the opportunity to notch the puck in. Fourth-year forward Theresa Knutson also picked up an assist in the final goal.

The penalty box was pretty quiet throughout the game. Neither team spent significant time in the box, with the Black Bears only having three penalties, one which resulted in UConn’s goal. UConn only had one penalty in the first period.

UConn was consistent throughout the game, recording a total of 47 shots on net compared to the Black Bear’s 26 shots on goal. Jackson was able to stop 45 of these shots, a season-high, while Belanger took the win on the night with 25 saves. Knutson led the Huskies in shots, recording eight shots on goal, closely followed by Lum and fourth-year forward Justine Fredette who both logged six.

For the Black Bears, second-year forward Vendula Pribylova led the team with five shots on net, followed by second-year forward Tereza Vanisova with four shots on goal, while first-year defender Taylor Leech and fourth-year forward Catherine Tufts had three apiece.

Black Bears fall in second game as Huskies sweep 4-0

The Black Bears dropped the weekend series, losing Saturday’s game 4-0 thanks to four different Huskies netting goals.

In a similar fashion from the night before, the Huskies scored just before the two-minute mark in the first period. Wabick was able to net the goal off an assist from Snodgrass and third-year defender Kayla Mee.

Before the first period was over, Snodgrass ended it with a goal of her own. Mee and Wabick were both credited with assists on the play, ending the first period with the Black Bears trailing 0-2. This was Snodgrass’ 16th goal of the season.

In the second period, Mee passed the puck to Lum who was able to breakaway on the left side, shooting to get it past Jackson.

UConn scored their final goal in the third period on a power play opportunity. Wabick passed the puck to Lum, who scored for her eighth goal of the season and her 20th goal point, putting her third on the team for points and tied at third for goals. This was also Lum’s third power play goal of the season.

Both teams recorded the same number of shots on goal: 26. UConn was led by Lum who recorded five shots on net, followed by Wabick with four and third-year defender Jaime Fox with three. For the Black Bears, Murray led the team with five shots, followed by Tufts with four and fourth-year forward Brooke Stacey with three.

Despite the loss, Jackson stopped 22 shots on net including 12 in the first period alone. Belanger took her second win of the weekend, stopping 26 shots and putting her at 7-8-5 on the season.

The Black Bears will return home from this loss for a weekend series against the University of New Hampshire. The first game will be Friday at 2 p.m., with a second game the following day at the same time. UConn will stay home to play Northeastern at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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