Despite controlling play for much of the afternoon, the Northeastern womenís hockey team (3-22-1, 2-13-1 Hockey East) dropped a 2-0 decision to Connecticut (14-10-2, 9-4-1 Hockey East) on Sunday afternoon at Matthews Arena. Natalie Vibert and Kristen Russell scored twice in 28 seconds early in the second period and UConn held on despite being outshot 16-0 in the third period and 37-18 for the game.
The first period saw neither team find the back of the net, with NU controlling play for a majority of the period. The home team held a slight 9-8 edge in shots in the first 20 minutes, but neither NU freshman goaltender Sydney Arbelbide nor UConn goalie Brittany Wilson allowed a goal. Both teams went scoreless on a combined five power-play opportunities in the opening period, as well.
In the second period, Connecticut scored twice in 28 seconds to take a two-goal advantage into the third period. At the 1:59 mark, Wilson corralled an NU dump-in and found Vibert streaking down the left side of the ice. Vibert slid across the crease and maneuvered the puck through the five-hole of Arbelbide. Less than 30 seconds later, Russell took a shot from just outside the Husky blue line that sailed over the shoulder of the NU netminder for the teamís second goal.
Much like the first period, Northeastern spent plenty of time with the puck in the UConn end in the second stanza. NU outshot UConn, 12-10, in the second period, but the Huskies could not get a shot past Wilson. Junior Nikki Petrich had a great chance in front of the net, as she spun around and fired a shot from the top of the crease, but Wilson was there for the save.
Northeastern continued to press in the third period, but was unable to get the puck past Wilson, who finished with 37 saves for the visitors. Arbelbide made 16 saves for the homestanding Huskies, seeing no shots on net over the final 20 minutes of play.
Northeastern returns to the ice next weekend, as the Huskies welcome cross-town rival Boston University to Matthews Arena on Saturday afternoon for a Hockey East matchup. The Huskies and Terriers will drop the puck beginning at 2 p.m in a tune-up for the opening round of the Womenís Beanpot Tournament, in which the Huskies and Terriers will meet again on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 5 p.m.