STORRS, Conn. - Behind a 45-save shutout from Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ontario), the UConn women's hockey team downed a ranked opponent for the first time since March 6, 2010, defeating No. 7 Boston College, 2-0, at Freitas Ice Forum on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, UConn improves to 8-19-2 (5-10-1 WHEA) and snaps a 10-game losing streak to the Eagles (20-5-3, 14-2-1 WHEA).
Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.) and Stephanie Raithby (London, Ontario) paced the Husky offense with a goal apiece and Chuli stopped all 45 shots she saw to knock off the top-scoring team in the league. It marked the second shutout of the season for Chuli, and snapped an 11-game unbeaten streak and seven-game winning streak for Boston College.
On the afternoon, BC held a 45-37 advantage in shots on goal, but the Huskies had an 18-12 edge in the third period. The Eagles went 0-for-5 on the power play thanks to an exceptional effort from the UConn penalty kill, which now sits at 87.0 percent (100-for-115) on the season. The Huskies were 0-for-1 on their lone power play opportunity, which came at the tail end of the contest. Corinne Boyles made 35 saves for Boston College in the setback.
The Eagles controlled play early in the first period, holding a 6-3 edge in shots-on-goal in the first five minutes of play. After Erin Burns (Listowel, Ontario) was called for holding at 1:42, BC unleashed a flurry of shots at Elaine Chuli but the Husky goalie was able to kill the power play, turning away three attempts, including an acrobatic kick-save on a shot headed for the bottom left of the net.
The Eagles nearly broke through in the waning minutes of the first period as Melissa Bizzari flipped a shot towards the net from the left circle that Chuli snared with her glove to preserve the tie. After 20 minutes, the Eagles held a 12-to-8 edge in shots. UConn's best chance in the first period came with just under 11 minutes remaining when Snodgrass redirected Burns' shot from the point but Boyles turned the shot away and was able to fall on the ensuing shot from Michela Cava (Thunder Bay, Ontario).
The Huskies opened up the scoring 6:19 into the second period when Campero netted her 10th goal of the season. Brittany Berisoff (Kelowna, British Columbia) started the scoring play by throwing the puck on net to the stick of Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.). From there, Snodgrass chopped a shot towards goal, which Campero was able to redirect in midair past Boyles to put the Huskies on top, 1-0.
Boston College nearly drew even at 17:02 after Haley McLean fired a shot that rebounded off Chuli's pad back toward Andie Anastos who unsuccessfully tried to slip a shot past the sprawling Connecticut goalie.
With 13:50 remaining in the game, Snodgrass was called for a trip, giving the Eagles their fourth power play opportunity of the afternoon, but the Husky defense again thwarted the top power play in the league, allowing just one shot during the penalty kill.
The Huskies doubled up their lead 10:41 into the third period, when Raithby collected Margaret Zimmer's (St. Charles, Ill.) rebound in the middle of the left circle and deposited a shot past Boyles for her fourth goal of the season. With the score, Raithby has found the back of the net in three of UConn's last four home games.
Boston College kept up its pressure throughout the latter stages of the third period, but Chuli was there for every attempt the Eagles made. The Huskies went on their first power play at 17:50 of the third, and used the advantage to milk the clock towards the final whistle. After UConn penalty with 28.4 seconds left, BC called timeout and pulled Boyles for a brief 6-on-4 advantage but couldn't solve Chuli and the Huskies held on.
UConn returns to action tomorrow afternoon with crucial league points on the line at New Hamspshire. Puck drop from UNH's Whittemore Center is set for 2 p.m.