By: Max Wolpoff
BOSTON — On the back of a 28-save performance from Annie Belanger, the Connecticut Huskies ended their December schedule with a win over Boston University.
“Pucks didn’t get in the net today,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “I thought we were a little lax early in the game, not really being committed to offense.”
Junior Rebecca Leslie did not play most of the second period and all of the third after going sliding into the boards along the BU bench side of the ice. She remained on the ice for a few seconds, then skated off under her own power.
Durocher says Leslie will be reevaluated at a later date to determine the extent of her injury. “Any time you go into the boards like that, the first thing everybody thinks about is the head. And the head is connected to the neck, the neck to the shoulders, and all those areas that are concerning for everybody.”
Leslie was selected by Hockey Canada as part of the squad for the Nations Cup to be held in Germany and Austria in early January. Classmate Victoria Bach was also tabbed for service.
All three goals came with the special teams. UConn started the scoring with Kelly Harris tipping in a slap-shot from Jamie Fox on the power play.
“I think certain penalties are an issue,” Durocher said. “When you get penalties away from the play, when you get penalties where you reach, those are issues.”
Madison Badeau boarded Leslie and she sat for a five-minute major penalty. Late in the advantage, Sammy Davis replicated her elevator tip-in goal from last night off the shot from Alexis Crossley.
“A lot of my goals come from grinding out in front and that was just a lucky tip,” Davis said.
After a clearance by Kayla Mee, Marisa Maccario jumped off the bench on a change and got to the loose puck. She out-waited Victoria Hanson, firing through her legs for her first of the season.
“If you get shots blocked or you miss the net, it’s one thing,” Durocher said. “But if you comopund that by turning the puck over and giving them easy clears, that’s on our shoulders to be better there.”
Maddie Elia saw her no-penalties streak end at two games with a minor hooking in the first and then for slashing the goaltender in the third.
“To me, those pads are $2,000 worth of protection,” Durocher said. “If you catch the kid on the hand or up in the mid-section, then penalty-do. I wasn’t sure if that happened, but because Maddie did it once, then the second time a couple minutes later, sometimes the people have to keep order out there.”
Hanson made 23 saves in her seventh consecutive start, including all 11 she faced in the third period.
“To walk out of a game giving up two goals, I don’t think anybody’s disappointed in that and it carries on, for her, a continued solid run,” Durocher said.
Late in the third, Belanger and her defense stopped all 24 shot attempts thrown at them. BU attempted 77 shots on the game, 24 got blocked before they could reach Belanger.
“First goal meant a lot,” Durocher said. “This team has got unbelievable confidence that they can win one-nothing or two-to-one.”
The Huskies are done with games for the next month, starting up again against the Northeastern Huskies on January 2nd. BU will welcome #2 ranked Minnesota to Walter Brown Arena for a two-game set next weekend.