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STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team opened the New Year with a 3-2 victory over Dartmouth on Saturday at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. Three different UConn players scored while sophomore Alexandra Garcia (Pointe-Claire, Que.) made 23 saves in the win.
With her first career goal, freshman Casey Knajdek (Woodbury, Minn.) put the Huskies ahead a mere 1:22 into the game. Senior Cristin Allen (Pickering, Ont.) and junior Jessica Lutz (Rockville, Md.) assisted the first goal of the game. It was Allen's team-best 11th assist of the season.
The Huskies (9-6-4, 2-3-4-1) dictated the game early on with 16 shots on goal and captured a 2-0 edge entering the first intermission with senior Amy Hollstein (Pembroke, Mass.) scoring her fourth of the season in the final minute of the first period. Sophomore Monique Weber (Rogers, Minn.) had her first of two assists in the game on Hollstein's goal.
Tides turned a bit in the second period with Dartmouth capitalizing on a hooking call against UConn to cut the deficit to a goal (2-1). Erica Dobos netted her first of the season just over two minutes into the second period with assists from Sarah Toupal and Sasha Nanji.
The pace of play increased throughout the second stanza as the Big Green (6-6-1, 4-4-1) offense pressured UConn, outshooting the Huskies 11-5. UConn took an uncharacteristically high amount of penalties (four) in the second period, although allowed just the one power-play goal by the Big Green.
Dartmouth was 1-for-5 on the power play while the Huskies were held scoreless in a mere three extra-man opportunities in the game.
The Big Green tied the game 21 seconds into the final period of regulation with Sarah Parsons scoring an unassisted goal to tie the game 2-2. With the game tied, the Huskies did not panic and took control of the game and the scoreboard less than three minutes later.
Michelle Binning (Oshawa, Ont.) regained possession of the puck in front of the net and caught Mariel Lacina out of position. Binning put her second gamewinning goal of the season behind the left side of Lacina to put UConn ahead 3-2. Hollstein and Weber had assists on the goal, each finishing the game with two points against Dartmouth.
The Huskies held onto the lead as time expired despite facing an extra attacker for more than minute of the final period. UConn finished with the overall advantage in shots on goal (27-25), with Lacina turning aside 24 shots in her sixth loss between the pipes. Garcia made 23 saves, including 10 in the second period alone to secure her sixth victory this season.
UConn takes on Dartmouth once again on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Freitas Ice Forum. The Huskies will be sporting their "pink jerseys" to help kick-off their fundraising efforts for Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer. In addition, following the game fans will be able to skate alongside their favorite players during the "Skate with the Huskies" event.