By David F.P.
STORRS, CT-The Providence Friars, coached by Bob Deraney, made the trek down to from RI to take on the Connecticut Huskies, coached by Heather Linstad, on a sunday afternoon, and both teams battled to a 1-1 tie, resulting in a shootout which Providence won. Shootout victories only count in conference standings, not national standings.
As a caveat to my reports they’re usually offense heavy, of course defensive plays are critical to game play, they’re just harder to document.
Some of the notable events (a lot happens in a hockey game if one wasn’t already aware so I write down what I can.)
A puck went flying into the air and Providence’s Goalie Genevieve Lacasse had some trouble catching it causing a melee at the net, before she brought it down. Later in the period she would stop UConn’s Monique Weber from scoring when Providence’s lone defender lost her stick giving Weber a free shot in.
On an attack Providence’s Nicole Anderson passed it to Kate Bacon and over to Ashley Cottrell who narrowly missed the goal.
UConn’s Brittany Murphy picked up a steal and raced in on goal but was unable to make a point out of it.
Later PC’s Lauren Covell stick handled the puck in on an attack but was unable to get a goal out of it.
UConn’s Elisabeth Stathopulos passed it to Michelle Binning but the shot just missed the net on an attack.
PC went on the attack several times though an Alyse Ruff slap shot got saved by UConn goalie Alexandra Garcia.
The first penalty of the game came at the 9:11 mark when Connecticut’s Rebecca Hewett was called for roughing. Providence went on the power play and had some efforts, though much of the power play was anywhere but the UConn zone. In fact Weber maneuvered her way back up the ice and took a shot on Providence’s net while shorthanded. UConn managed to kill the penalty off without incident.
Connecticut’s Cristin Allen had a break, as did PC’s Jessica Cohen.
The Huskies got called for a too many people on the ice penalty with 6:35 left in the period and Tiffany Good served it, but once again the Huskies killed it without incident and in fact Providence’s Lauren Covell got called for hooking with 4:48 left putting the home team on the power play almost immediately.
The period ended with no score the shots on goal tally being 11 for Connecticut and 6 for Providence.
The two teams continued to go at it with each team getting some opportunities.
At one point UConn kept getting face-offs deep in their end on perhaps four straight occasions giving Providence some chances.
Connecticut’s Jessica Lutz stick handled in but no points came of it, later on teammate Stathopulos had a point blank shot on net but couldn’t get it by the keeper.
Providence finally broke the stalemate when Laura Veharanta got it passed Garcia with the assists of Cottrell and Cohen to take a 1-0 lead.
Connecticut picked up another penalty with 9:25 in the period on Michelle Binning for body checking, but PC didn’t take advantage and in fact Binning led a breakaway pretty much the moment she was out of the box, though it did not lead to points.
Providence’s Jennifer Friedman picked up a penalty of holding late in the period, but UConn did not score on the power play.
They did however score at the 18:01 mark when Murphy picked up a rebound and got it passed Lacasse assisted by Maude Blain.
Providence’s Jean O’Neill and Ruff had attacks later in the period, and Connecticut’s Hollstein had a close shot, but the period wrapped up with no further scoring.
Shots on goal through 2 periods were Connecticut 22, and Providence 12.
There was no scoring and no penalties, but still plenty going on in the third frame.
Weber led a couple of breakaways though Lacasse didn’t let anything happen.
Providence’s Arianna Rigano also went on the attack but was equally successful.
There was a scrum in front of the UConn net, but the Huskies survived it.
Ruff launched a point blank shot, but it flew by the net.
During normal play, UConn’s Cristin Allen managed to send a rocket flying over the glass and into a wall of the building resulting in a huge clang.
Murphy had her own scoring chance as did PC’s Christine Jensen when she tried a wrap around to no success, Providence’s O’Neill and UC’s Weber who also gave it a go but couldn’t score.
Connecticut’s Sami Evelyn sent a shot through the screen but it didn’t make it passed Lacasse either.
UConn spent more time in their defensive zone than in past quarters.
As the period progressed, Huskies Weber and Hewett, and PC’s Ruff had more chances, as did Cohen for the Friars, and later UConn’s Good and Lutz made their attempts.
The period came to an end with neither side scoring so it was off to overtime. Shots on goal were UConn 29 and Providence 22.
Connecticut had their changes including from Weber and Allen,
Providence’s Veharanta, Covell, and Ruff went in for the attack as well.
Both teams would call time outs during the overtime period.
But in the end neither team scored either cementing the tie.
The two teams then set out to battle for the conference win.
Stathopulos skated in at Lacasse but couldn’t get it past her for a point.
Cottrell managed to slide one by Garcia to give to the advantage to PC.
Hollstein swept in and scored past Lacasse.
Veharanta sent one to the upper left corner of the net past Garcia.
Blain knocked the puck to the upper right corner of the net passed Lacasse.
Cohen however would send the puck around the Garcia into the right side of the net to win the shootout.