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Connecticut junior forward Kelly Horan
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team fell at home, 6-1, to No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth at the Freitas Ice Forum, Saturday afternoon. The Huskies dropped to 0-4-2 with the loss, while the Bulldogs improved to 3-1-0.
UMD junior defenseman Jessica Wong blasted a shot from the left side at the 11:51 mark of the first that deflected off of UConn sophomore goaltender Nicole Paniccia (Oakville, Ont.) and off the post. The closest official to the goal signaled that Wong scored, but after a conference with the other officials the goal was waved off. It took the Bulldogs another 25 seconds to score their first goal as freshman Jenna McParland found the back of the net to go up 1-0.
Early in the second period, the Huskies knotted the game after an unsuccessful power play opportunity. Sophomore Stephanie Raithby (London, Ont.) won a face-off to the left of the net to classmate Kiana Nauheim (Fairbanks, Alaska). Nauheim took a shot that was deflected to freshman Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, N.B.) who slipped it past the goalie for the equalizing score, 2:55 into the frame.
Minnesota-Duluth answered three minutes later when freshman Zoe Hickel's stuff shot was blocked and the puck trickled into the slot where Wong poked it through for the go-ahead score. The Bulldogs added two more goals in the period. The first came on a power play as junior Audrey Cournoyer centered the puck for senior defender Mariia Posa to put the puck away for the score. UMD pushed its lead to 4-1 before the intermission with McParland's second score of the afternoon.
In the third period, the Bulldogs outscored the Huskies 2-0 to seal the victory. Junior Pernilla Winberg and senior Kacy Ambroz tacked on the fifth and sixth scores of the night.
For the game, UMD outshot UConn 48-24. Paniccia made a career-high 42 save for Connecticut, while senior Jennifer Harrs started and made 21 saves and her senior classmate Lana Steck relieved in a two-save effort.
The Huskies return to action next weekend as the host Maine on October 21 and 22 for their Hockey East opener at Freitas Ice Forum.