UConn women’s hockey ranked for the first time in program history

For the first time ever, UConn women’s hockey is nationally ranked. The Huskies are ranked 10th in the USCHO poll after finishing the first half of the season 14-4-2. Their first game after the winter break is scheduled for Friday, January 7 in Vermont.

UConn received eight points in the poll, which tied the team with Harvard. The Huskies are one of two Hockey East programs (along with No. 3 Northeastern) – and one of three Connecticut programs (No. 2 Quinnipiac and No. 7 Yale) to be ranked.

This is the highest ranking ever achieved by a UConn hockey team. Last season, the Huskies’ men’s team first appeared in the USCHO poll, placing 20th overall in early February.

UConn won his first seven games of the season and even after losing he rebounded with four more straight wins. Two of the Huskies’ losses also came at the hands of No.2 Quinnipiac and No.3 Northeast, so they settled matters against smaller teams on the schedule.

UConn presents a heavy veteran roster with three graduate students returning for their fifth year at Storrs, two graduate transfers and five seniors. Senior forward Viki Harkness leads the team with 16 points on seven goals and nine assists while graduate forward Natalie Snodgrass has six goals, eight assists and ridiculous 94 shots – 18 more than the next closest player and 10th in the country.

The Wabick twins – Morgan, a forward and Taylor, a defender – each have 14 points as fifth-year players, while senior forward Danielle Fox (5-8-13) and Mercyhurst transfer Summer-Rae Dobson (8 -4-12) also have double-digit point totals. Second-year forward Jada Habisch (8-2-10) is the only subclass with at least 10 points.

That core – especially the likes of Snodgrass, Harkness, Fox and the Wabicks who have been in the program for four or five years – has helped the Huskies take a big step forward this season.

“They had options. They could have gone elsewhere. You get that extra year and they could have gone elsewhere, ”head coach Chris MacKenzie told the UConn blog in December. “It wasn’t even a question. They wanted to come back. If they weren’t playing here, they weren’t playing. They like UConn, they bleed him.

Now in his ninth season at the helm, MacKenzie has made quite a splash in the Hockey East playoffs with two league appearances in the past four seasons. But both times the Huskies have failed. The coach thinks this year is different, however.

“[The veteran players are] lead the team and we make the line changes. That’s it, ”MacKenzie said. “They lead the team. I am therefore up for the ride.

“I did and it usually makes for a championship,” he added when asked if he had ever been on a team like this. “So we’ll see. When they take ownership like that, it makes my life easier and I just have to worry about hockey, nothing else.

UConn currently sits third in the conference standings, 10 points behind Northeastern with one game in hand and two points behind Boston University with two games in hand.

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