STORRS, Conn. -- Two third period goals in a span of 20 seconds late in regulation vaulted No. 5/4 Harvard (11-1-2) to a 2-1 victory over an upset-minded UConn women's hockey team (4-13-2) on Tuesday night at Freitas Ice Forum.
The Huskies scored first and led for much of the contest, getting a goal from Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.) and outstanding goaltending from Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario). Campero's goal, her team-high seventh of the year, came in the first period off assists from Michela Cava (Thunder Bay, Ontario) and Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.). Chuli, the reigning Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week, made 31 saves for UConn, including the first 30 she saw.
Brianna Laing got her third start of the year in net for Harvard and made 24 saves. Harvard out-shot Connecticut 33-25 on the day, and both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play. The Crimson earned a 24-22 edge in faceoffs, despite an 11-of-15 showing at the dot for Snodgrass.
The first period started close, with the Huskies skating toe-to-toe with their top-five opponent. Snodgrass fired a backhanded shot on goal early in the first, and Campero made a bid from in front of the crease that Laing thwarted. The UConn top line would not be denied, however, as it got Connecticut on the board 11:18 into the first. Snodgrass fed Cava in the slot for a shot on net, initially saved by Laing, but Campero was there awaiting the bounce and punched home the rebound to give UConn a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies kept their lead through a period, as the squads were even with seven shots apiece in the opening frame. The Crimson, who came into the game with the nation's top penalty kill, killed off a pair of UConn power plays in the period to keep it a one-goal game.
Harvard came out the aggressor in the second period, and Chuli had to make three acrobatic saves on a pair of shots from Marissa Gedman and another from Miye D'Oench to keep the Crimson off the board. Mary Parker and Sydney Daniels each had shots midway through the period carom off the post for Harvard, and Chuli had to be sharp to stop a Hillary Crowe rebound bid following Daniels' shot. The Huskies killed off two penalties in the period and Chuli stopped 18 shots to send the game to the second intermission with the score still 1-0.
The Crimson finally broke through in the final stanza, scoring twice in a span of 20 seconds late in the third period. Elizabeth Parker found the equalizer at 14:41 of the period, capitalizing in front to tie the contest at 1-1. Not a half minute later she assisted on Sarah Edney's game-winner, which came at 15:01. UConn pulled Chuli after a timeout with 45 seconds to play in regulation, but traffic in front that led to shots for Cava and Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) could not yield another goal and the Huskies dropped the contest.
UConn returns to action this weekend for the start of a 16-game Hockey East stretch. The Huskies visit Vermont on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. for a pair of crucial conference contests.