NEW HAVEN, Conn. - For the third-consecutive season, the University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team won the Nutmeg Classic on Saturday with a 6-1 win over Yale at Ingalls Rink. The Huskies have won the tournament over the Bulldogs in each of the past three seasons. Freshman Kelly Horan (Methuen, Mass.) recorded a career-high three assists, aiding the Huskies to two of their three power play goals on the night.
UConn was three-for-five with the man advantage, including the first goal of the game by junior Jody Sydor (St. Alberta, Alta.) with assists from senior Michelle Binning (Oshawa, Ont.) and Horan. Less than a minute later rookie Elisabeth Stathopulos (Toronto, Ont.) added to her rookie-best scoring total with her fifth goal of the season. Sydor and senior Amy Hollstein (Pembroke, Mass.) set Stathopulos up for the 2-0 UConn lead.
Junior Jennifer Chaisson (Cumberland, Ont.) ended scoring in the first period at 15:28 with her second of the season. Sophomore Sami Evelyn (Nepean, Ont.) and junior Brittany Murphy (Tewksbury, Mass.) with the assists to the Huskies' 3-0 lead.
With less than three minutes remaining in the second period, Aleca Huges put Yale on the board after forcing senior Jennie Bellonio (Guilford, Conn.) to turn away six shots in the first. Horan set up Binning for her sixth of the season, with less than a minute remaining in the second period, to put the Huskies back ahead by three (4-1).
Chaisson and sophomore Monique Weber (Rogers, Minn.) combined for a pair of power-play goals with Chaisson netting her third of the season at just past the midway point of the third and Weber knocking in her team-high seventh with two minutes on the clock. Murphy and Horan had the assists on Chaisson's power-play goal while defensemen Evelyn and sophomore Rebecca Hewett (Oak Bluff, Man.) set up Weber for the final UConn goal.
Bellonio made eight saves in the final 20 minutes en route to the Huskies' 6-1 rout of the Bulldogs. She is now 3-1-0 in three starts this season while her Yale (2-8-1, 1-7-0) counterpart Jackee Snikeris falls to 1-7-1 between the pipes.
With a goal and assist in the championship game, Binning was named the Tournament's MVP while with Friday's shutout performance sophomore Alexandra Garcia (Pointe-Claire, Que.) received the Laurie Bellevue Award for the goal with the best save percentage (1.00).
UConn now 7-5-3 after a pair of wins this weekend will host Boston University on Friday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.
- With a career-high in assists, freshman Kelly Horan became the most recent UConn player to record three points in a single game since Jennifer Chaisson (2G, 1A) achieved that feat against Maine (Nov. 7).
- The Huskies recorded five or more goals for the second time this season and first time since their 7-2 victory over Maine (Nov. 7).
- UConn scored three of its six goals in the first period, scoring three in a single period for the first time since its Oct. 23 game at Brown (W, 8-1).
- Michelle Binning's acknowledgement as the tournament's MVP marks the second-consecutive season that a UConn player has been named the Nutmeg Classic MVP. Last season, Nicole Tritter was the Tournament MVP.
- As the Laurie Bellevue Award recipient, Alexandra Garcia is the first UConn goalie to be honored as such since Shannon Murphy in the inaugural Nutmeg Classic in 2004.