HARTFORD, Conn. - Taylor Gross (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored her team-high 11th goal of the season at the 5:08 mark of the third period, forcing UConn into its second overtime game of the weekend, and allowing the Huskies to earn a 2-2 tie with Northeastern at the XL Center this afternoon. The tie is just the second of the season for UConn as they are now 12-16-2 overall and 8-7-2 in Hockey east play, while Northeastern is 14-9-5 and 6-7-4.
Connecticut got on the board first just three minutes into the game as Stephanie Raithby (London, Ont.) had a one-on-one opportunity with the NU goalie after catching a breakaway pass for the 1-0 UConn advantage. Raithby beat NU's Leah Sulyma to the left as she scored her fifth goal of the season.
Alexandra Garcia (Pointe-Claire, Que.), who kept UConn alive in overtime posting four saves, made an excellent stop at the end of the first period to keep Northeastern off the board. Garcia made a diving catch to her left as an NU forward ripped a shot at the net from the top of the right faceoff circle, keeping it at a 1-0 UConn lead.
After controlling much of the second period, Northeastern was finally able to get the puck past Garcia at the 14:24 mark, as Kristi Kehoe beat her to the far post with a shot from the left faceoff circle, tying the game at 1-1.
NU continued to press at the beginning of the third period, and eventually scored their second goal of the game less than two minutes in. Dani Rylan got the puck at the high slot and fired off a shot that sneaked past Garcia in the upper corner of the net, giving Northeastern a 2-1 lead in the third period.
Gross brought UConn back into the game at the 5:08 mark of the third period when she posted the game-tying goal on a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle. After a turnover at the blueline, Maude Blain (Magog, Que.) and Sami Evelyn (Nepean, Ont.) found Gross at the top of the faceoff circle and Gross skated through the Northeastern defense to get the shot at the net.
The UConn defense stayed strong throughout the overtime period as NU fired off nine shots, including four that Garcia stopped to earn to the 2-2 tie. Northeastern held the shot advantage throughout the entire game, posting 35 to UConn's 22. Garcia tallied 33 saves for UConn as Sulyma posted 20 on the day.
UConn fought off a Northeastern power play at the end of the third period and also at the end of overtime, as they went three-for-three on the penalty kill this afternoon, posting their 19th game that they did not let up a power play goal this season.
UConn returns to action next weekend when they play a home-and-home with Hockey East opponent Providence. Connecticut will travel there for a 2:00 p.m. contest on Saturday (Feb. 12) and will then host the Friars at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 13), outdoors at Rentschler Field as part of the Whaler's Hockey Fest. For more information on Whaler's Hockey Fest check UConnHuskies.com.