STORRS, Conn. - Freshmen Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) and Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) each netted a goal in the third period as the University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team attempted to erase a three-goal deficit, but it wasn't enough as the Huskies fell to Maine, 4-3, at the Freitas Ice Forum on Friday night. In dropping its Hockey East opener, UConn fell to 0-5-2 overall, while the Black Bears improved to 5-2-0 and 1-0-0.
Farrel's goal came on a power play midway through the third to cut the lead to two. Senior defenseman Sami Evelyn (Nepean, Ont.) blasted a shot that Farrel tipped past the goalie for the first score of her career. Hewes scored her second goal of the season at the 14:23 mark to bring the Huskies with one off assists from sophomores Jocelyn Slattery (Hugo, Minn.) and Stephanie Raithby (London, Ont.).
Maine scored early in the first on a goal by junior Brittany Dougherty at the 2:25 mark. Connecticut came back to tie the game at one on a power play, 8:04 into the period. Evelyn sent the puck from the right to the left, where Hewes fired it toward the net. Junior forward Kelly Horan (Methuen, Mass.) flew into the slight from the right of the net and tipped the back in for the score.
The Black Bears would take a 3-1 lead into the locker room at the first intermission after adding goals by sophomore Missy Denk and senior Myriam Croussette. Croussette was in on all three goals for Maine that period as she recorded an assist on each of the other two.
In the second period, the Huskies outshot the Black Bears 14-8, but were unable to put anything on the board. Maine successfully killed off three power plays for the period, in which UConn put four shots on goal. The Black Bears were however able to lift their lead to 4-1 with an unassisted score by freshman Jennifer More on a breakaway.
Sophomore goaltender Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) came off the bench to make 21 saves for Connecticut, while allowing just one score. Senior Alexandra Garcia (Pointe-Claire, Que.) made six saves and gave up three goals in 16:31 of action. For Maine, junior Brittany Ott provided 24 shots to earn the victory.
The Black Bears outshot the Huskies 31-27 for the game. On special teams, UConn was 2-6 on the power play and successfully killed off all four power play chances for Maine.
The Huskies and Black Bears meet again on the ice for a 2:00 pm face-off tomorrow afternoon.