STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team opened the 2011-12 regular season with a 3-3 tie against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at the Freitas Ice Forum on Friday night. The two teams start the season 0-0-1 and take to the ice again tomorrow after noon for a 3:00 pm face-off.
Midway through the first period, UConn got on the board with a goal by freshman defender Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) to go on top 1-0. Senior forward Sami Evelyn (Nepean, Ont.) and sophomore forward Stephanie Raithby (London, Ont.) each put shots on goal during the play. Junior forward Kelly Horan (Methuen, Mass.) rebounded the puck off of Evelyn's shot and centered it to Hewes in the slot, who buried it in the back of the net for her first collegiate goal.
Early into Connecticut's first power play of the game, RPI countered with a two-on-one and senior forward Jillian Vandergrift found classmate Alisa Harrison for the shorthanded score to tie the game at one, 5:34 into the second period. The Huskies regained the lead at the 13:57 mark of the period as freshman forward Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, N.B.) put a shot from the left wing past the Engineer's netminder. Sophomore defensemen Kiana Nauheim (Fairbanks, Alaska) and Maggie Walsh (Bloomfield, Conn.) picked up the assist on MacDonnell's first career goal.
Late in the second period, RPI came back to bring the game even for the second time. UConn cleared the zone on a penalty kill, but an immediate turnover gave the puck to Engineer junior forward Taylor Horton. Horton scooped up the puck and went in one-on-one for the power play goal.
Only 37 seconds into the third period, senior defenseman Rebecca Hewett (Oak Bluff, Man.), assisted by Horan and Evelyn, put the Huskies back on top. The Engineers would come back one last time as Horton netted her second goal of the game to tie it at three to force overtime.
In the extra frame, UConn outshot RPI 3-0, but was unable to capitalize.
Senior goaltender Alexandra Garcia (Pointe-Claire, Que.) made 21 saves for the Huskies, while freshman Briana Piper stopped 14 for the Huskies.
RPI outshot UConn 24-17 for the game.