STORRS, Conn. (Nov. 29, 2008) - For the second-straight season the University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team faced Yale in the championship game of the annual Nutmeg Classic. On Saturday night, UConn defeated Yale 3-2 in the fifth annual event held at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. The Huskies (9-6-2, 3-4-0) secured their second-consecutive title and are the first team to do so in Nutmeg Classic history.
Rebecca Hewett (Oak Bluff, Man./APHA Rangers) shot one from the point and the puck was tipped past Jackee Snikeris to tie the game 1-1 by Nicole Tritter (Toronto, Ont./Toronto Jr. Aeros Inter.) less than a minute after Yale's first goal of the game. Crysti Howser scored at 7:31 with an assist from Caroline Murphy to give the Bulldogs an initial 1-0 lead.
Two minutes after Tritter's goal, Jennifer Chaisson (Cumberland, Ont./St. Peter Catholic) redirected Hewett's second shot from the point to pull the Huskies ahead 2-1. Both UConn goals in the first period were on the power play.
UConn's penalty killing limited Yale (4-6-0, 2-4-0) to two shots in back-to-back power play opportunities in the second period. Monique Weber (Rogers, Minn./Elk Rivers High) had the best scoring opportunity going in on the lone Yale defender to have Snikeris make the stick save.
When Snikeris came out to challenge Dominique Thibault (L'Orignal, Ont./Montreal Axion NWHL) she left a wide open net for Michelle Binning (Oshawa, Ont./Toronto Jr. Aeros Inter.) to put away her 10th goal of the season. Amy Hollstein (Pembroke, Mass./Lawrence Academy) and Thibault had assists on the third UConn goal at 9:24 in the second period.
With a 3-1 lead going into the final period of regulation, UConn maintained a lead despite Howser netting her second of the game at 17:18. The Bulldogs fired five shots toward Brittany Wilson (Nepean, Ont./Ottawa Inter. AA) after coming within one (3-2). UConn's defense remained tight as the shots were either blocked or went wide as the Huskies earned their second-consecutive Nutmeg Classic title with the 3-2 win.
Tritter was received Tournament MVP honors, finishing the Classic with four points. Tritter scored a goal in each game and had a pair of assists in Friday's 5-4 victory against No. 10 Wayne State. The other Nutmeg Classic individual award winner was Yale's goalie Jackee Snikeris, who received the Laurie Bellevue award. Snikeris had a shutout in the Bulldog's first game of the Tournament and made 21 saves against UConn on Saturday.
For the third and final time of the regular season, the Huskies take on Boston College on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at Freitas Ice Forum. UConn has lost both previous meetings with the Eagles this season and look to snap a five-game losing streak to its Hockey East foe.
UConn is 6-1-0 against Yale all-time winning the last two meetings with its ECAC counterpart. |
With a pair of victories in this season's Nutmeg Classic, the Huskies are now 7-3 in the tournament all-time.
Jennifer Chaisson has recorded at least one point in the last three games and after scoring her first goal of the season against Wayne State (Nov. 28) and assisting Nicole Tritter's power play goal on Saturday.
The Huskies are the second team to have won the Nutmeg Classic in front of a home crowd. Yale did it in 2006 with a 7-3 victory over Quinnipiac on New Year's Eve.