Press "Enter" to skip to content

Black Bears drop weekend series after two hard-fought battles

The University of Maine women’s hockey team got back in action at Alfond Arena on Friday afternoon, taking on the UConn Huskies. The Black Bears are coming off a road split of two games last weekend against Boston College. UConn comes in winning their previous four and playing with a heap of confidence, only allowing one goal across that four-game span. 

The game kicked off with a real struggle for possession. Both teams covered up passing lanes and made solid fundamental plays to keep the puck moving. The game’s first shot came after 8 minutes of action and was turned away by fourth-year goalie for the Black Bears, Jorden Mattison. The battle for puck possession continued until the Black Bears committed consecutive tripping penalties. After killing off the first, the Huskies capitalized on a rebound goal scored by second-year forward Christina Walker to capture the lead at the 15:05 mark of the first period. Huskies’ third-year goalie, Tia Chan, turned away all six shots she saw in the first period. The teams split the faceoffs 8-8, and the Black Bears headed into the locker room down a goal. 

The second period started the way the first period did. Puck possession was a real struggle for both teams as the strong, defensive-minded squads made any scoring chance evaporate very quickly. The Black Bears committed another penalty five minutes into the second period but were able to kill it. Maine’s best chance came 14:20 into the period, where the stifling Tia Chan turned away a golden chance and two rebounds. Maine outshot UConn in the second period 9-4. After 40 minutes, the Huskies still led 1-0. 

Fourth-year Black Bear forward Rahel Enzler had her best chance of the game on her first shift of the third period but again was denied by Chan. The two teams traded penalties within the first five minutes, with neither team being able to capitalize. Maine began to pick up its pressure in the final ten minutes of the game. Shift after shift. The Black Bears continued to cycle the puck deep and get solid scoring chances everywhere in the offensive zone. With an opportunity as the clock was winding down as a scrum in front of Chan, the Huskies were able to clear the puck and seal their fifth win in as many games as possible, including the fourth shutout.

Even being outshot 7-1 in the third period, Chan had all the answers. Posting a 21-save shutout on the road is as impressive of a performance as possible. Her counterpart, Matteson, was also excellent on the day, stopping 12/13 shots, and her only blemish came on a pretty goal from the Huskies. 

On Saturday, the two teams again faced off, with UConn winning 3-1. The Black Bears’ third-year defender Adriana van de Leest scored one goal in the third period, but it did not affect the game as UConn already held the three-goal lead.

Both goalies played well once more, but Chan got the advantage over Mattison, saving 34-35 shots while Mattison saved 26-29 shots.

The Black Bears will head to Burlington, Vermont, to take on the Catamounts in a two-game series on November 17 and 18.

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...