STORRS, Conn. (Jan. 16, 2009) - A pair of power-play goals led the No. 9/10 University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team (15-6-2, 7-4-0) to a 3-2 victory over No. 4/4 Mercyhurst on Friday night at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. It is the first win for the Huskies over the Lakers in program history and the all-time record now stands at 1-6-2.
The win also extends UConn's winning streak to nine games and ends Mercyhurst's 11-game winning streak.
Monique Weber (Rogers, Minn./Elk Rivers High) and Michelle Binning (Oshawa, Ont./Toronto Jr. Aeros Inter.) scored the UConn power play goals while Kristen Russell (Daupin, Man./U-18 Team Manitoba) added to the score with her first of the year to the Husky offense.
Binning scored her team-best ninth game-winner less than five and a half minutes into the third period. Her 14th of the season answered Mercyhurst's Jesse Scanzano's goal at 2:55 of the third that tied the score, 2-2.
Jody Sydor (St. Albert, Alta./Sturgeon Composite) and Dominique Thibault (L'Orignal, Ont./Montreal Axion NWHL) had the assists on the third UConn goal.
The Huskies scored twice in the second period with Weber getting things started at 12:26. Weber fired one past Pattenden capitalizing on a Husky power player. Weber's sixth of the year tied the game (1-1) and was assisted by UConn's goalie, Brittany Wilson (Nepean, Ont./Ottawa Inter. AA). It was Wilson's third assist of the season.
Weber took the puck from behind the UConn net into the Laker zone and rifled it to the left of the Mercyhurst goalie. Less than three minutes later, Russell put her first of the season behind Pattenden. With an assist from Brittany Murphy (Tewksbury, Mass./Lawrence Acad.), the goal put UConn ahead, 2-1.
Wilson maintained a steady stick and quick glove, making 13 saves to hold the Lakers scoreless in the second period. She stopped eight shots in the opening stanza as Mercyhurst had an edge in shots on goal (22-15) at the end of forty minutes of play.
The UConn netminder stopped 18 of the 19 Laker shots in the third and finished the game with a season-high 39 saves. Wilson's record moves to 11-3-1 between the pipes.
This was just the fifth loss of the season for Mercyhurst and only the second for their goalie, Pattenden. She finished the game with 18 saves, falling to 12-2-0 on the year.
Things got of to a shaky start with UConn escaping a four-on-three situation after Sami Evelyn (Nepean, Ont./Ottawa NCCP Inter.) was called for a penalty after Sydor was already in the box alongside Mercyhurst's Kelley Steadman. Evelyn's penalty turned a four-on-four to a potentially costly four-on-three.
The Husky penalty killing team hunkered down and minimized the Lakers threat and escaped the situation without allowing the visitors to add another before the first intermission. Meghan Corbett scored her second of the season at 7:07 to put Mercyhust ahead 1-0.
In the game, UConn's penalty killing denied the Lakers a power-play goal in five opportunities.
Women's ice hockey continues its series with Mercyhurst on Saturday at 4 p.m. The first 100 fans to arrive at Freitas Ice Forum will receive a free thunderstick. Those in attendance have the opportunity to donate to Connecticut's "Skating for Strides" fundraiser. Ice hockey fans can donate a minimum of $5.00 for a pink t-shirt or a minimum of $10.00 for a pink hockey stick.
Fans unable to attend can follow all of the action via GameTracker on www.UConnHuskies.com.
- This is the second fourth-ranked team UConn has taken on this season. On Oct. 15, the Huskies defeated New Hampshire in their Hockey East opener with a shootout goal by Monique Weber. At the time, the Wildcats were ranked No. 4 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll at the time.
- This is the ninth-consecutive time the Huskies have scored at least one power-play goal in a game and the fourth time, in that span that they have scored two in a single game.
- With the Lakers going 0-for-4 on the power-play tonight it is the fourth-straight game that the Huskies have held their opponent scoreless with the man advantage.