Jan. 18, 2009

Courtesy UConn


STORRS, Conn. - The No. 9/10 University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team (15-7-2, 7-4-0) lost 5-2 against No. 4/4 Mercyhurst on Saturday afternoon at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. UConn split the weekend series after winning Friday night's game 3-2.

The Huskies trailed by three goals after Valerie Chouinard added to the Laker lead and her own goal scoring tally with a goal at 2:36 in the second period. Chouinard was responsible for the first goal of the game that left UConn down 1-0 after the first twenty minutes.

Vicki Bendus hit the back of the net for Mercyhurst (15-5-0, 4-0-0) less than a minute later. Her unassisted mark gave the Lakers a 3-0 lead.

Brittany Wilson (Nepean, Ont./Ottawa Inter. AA) left the net in favor of an extra skater and the call paid off. Brittany Murphy (Tewksbury, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) scored her third of the season to cut the deficit at 13:52 in the second period. Mercyhurst remained in control of the scoreboard with a 3-1 lead.

Kristen Russell (Dauphin, Man./U-18 Team Manitoba) and Tiffany Good (Hellertown, Pa./N. American Hockey Acad.) had the assists on Murphy's goal.

On the power play, Jesse Scanzano scored with less than three minutes remaining in the second period. Assisted by Bendus and Chouinard the goal left UConn trailing 4-1 going into the final period of regulation.

A power-play goal by Michelle Binning (Oshawa, Ont./Toronto Jr. Aeros Inter.) reignited the UConn offense, forcing Mercyhurst's Courtney Drennen to make nine third period saves. The Huskies trailed 4-2 with just under six minutes remaining in regulation after Binning's 10th power-play goal of the season.

Despite several solid chances and good looks, Connecticut lost 5-2 after Scanzano scored an empty-netter in the final minute of the game.

Wilson (11-4-1) made 33 saves while UConn forced Drennan (3-3-0) to stop 25 shots at the opposite end.