HAMDEN, Conn. (December 30, 2007) - Senior Jaclyn Hawkins (Manotick, Ont.) scored the game winning goal at 8:02 in the third period to lead the No. 9/9 University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team past Yale University 3-2 on Sunday night in the TD Banknorth Sports Center to earn the Nutmeg Classic Championship title.
The Bulldogs, who were crowned the Nutmeg Classic champions a year ago after defeating the Huskies 3-0 to get into the championship game, defeated Niagara on Saturday night in a shootout after finishing regulation and overtime in a 4-4 tie. With the win, Yale earned a chance to defend their 2006 championship title against UConn, who have not won the Classic since 2004.
The Huskies, who came into the game designated as the home team, found themselves out shot 11-8 by the Bulldogs after the scoreless first period of play. UConn goaltender Brittany Wilson (Nepean, Ont.) recorded 11 saves in the first 20 minutes while Yale's Shivon Zilis made eight stops.
Senior co-captain Bridget King (Paxton, Mass.) opened up scoring at the 6:14 mark in the second period, as she snuck around the goal cage and found an opening to place the puck past Zilis to give the Huskies the first lead of the game. The goal marked King's second of the season and fourth of her career. On the power play goal, freshman Brittany Murphy (Tewksbury, Mass.) earned her second assist on the year.
Yale was able to go five on four against the Huskies late in the second period as sophomore defender Cristin Allen (Pickering, Ont.) was called for hooking and sent into the penalty box for two minutes. Yale's Sarah Tittman picked up a rebound and flipped the puck into the back of the net at 17:22 to tie the score at one with the Bulldog power play goal. Tittman's goal was her team-leading eighth of the season as the Bulldogs out shot the Huskies 14-12 in the second period.
UConn took the lead early in the third period as Murphy picked up her second career goal off a pass from junior Nicole Tritter (Toronto, Ont.) and sophomore Amy Hollstein (Pembroke, Mass.).
But the Bulldogs answered back at the four minute mark with a power play goal by Danielle Kozlowski, which was her second goal of the season. Kozlowski was assisted by Kristen Stupay and Berit Johnson.
Hawkins, UConn's senior co-captain, put the Huskies on top 3-2 at 8:02 in the third as she intercepted a Yale pass in front of the goal and fired a shot past Zilis into the back of the net. Hawkins' game winner was her program-best 62nd career goal.
Wilson made 36 saves in goal for the Huskies while Zilis picked up 25 stops for the Bulldogs.
UConn improves to 5-1-0 all-time against Yale since the teams' first meeting on Nov. 24, 2001.
UConn will return to action on Friday, Jan. 4 and Saturday, Jan. 5 in the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum as the Huskies will take on Princeton in a two-game weekend series.