TEMPE, Ariz. – The UConn Huskies got a pair of goals each from senior Patrick Kirtland (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and freshman Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) on the way to a 5-2 win at Arizona State Tuesday evening in Tempe, Arizona. The Huskies improve to 6-12-2 overall on the season with the win.
The Huskies got a 20 save effort from sophomore Tanner Creel (Arlington Heights, Ill.) who made his first career start for UConn earning the win in goal. The Huskies finished the night 2-for-6 on the power play and put a season-high 41 shots on net in the win. Sophomore Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) scored the Huskies other goal Tuesday night.
After a scoreless first period where the Huskies put 15 shots on the board they jumped out early on ASU to start the second. UConn grabbed a 1-0 lead just 53 seconds into the period as Kirtland got a deflection in front of the net off a shot from Kyle Huson (Parker, Colo.) from the left wing.
The Huskies made it 2-0 as the power play combo of Thompson and Max Letunov (Moscow, Russia) struck at 6:15 of the period. Letunov set up Thompson in the slot and he buried a one-timer in the bottom left corner for his eight goal of the season, all on the power play. Letunov notched his 11th power play assist.
UConn’s Ronan made it 3-0 at 17:33 in the second, burying a wrist shot stick side past David Jacobson for his fifth on the season. Sophomore Jeff Wight (Coquitlam, British Columbia) won the face-off in the zone and Ronan picked up the puck, walked in and fired through traffic. The Sun Devils cracked the scoreboard late in the period, scoring on the power play. After Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) was sent off for a cross check at 18:36, Jordan Masters buried a one-time attempt from the left circle just eight seconds in to the power play to cut the lead to 3-1.
Thompson gave the Huskies back a three-goal lead in the opening minute of the third. The freshman took a feed from Letunov and cut through center ice, beating the defense and then Jacobson down low for his second of the night and a 4-1 lead.
ASU’s Ryan Belonger was called for a five-minute boarding major and a disqualification at 5:50 giving the Huskies a five minute power play opportunity. The Huskies made it 5-1 at 7:02 as Jesse Schwartz (Toronto, Ontario) fired on net from the left circle and Kirtland got the deflection in traffic right in front of Jacobson for his second on the night.
The Sun Devils tacked on a second power play goal off the stick of Masters at 15:54. ASU finished 2-of-7 on the power play in the loss that drops them to 5-15-0 on the year.
UConn stays in Arizona for this weekend’s Desert Hockey Classic at the Gila River Arena in Glendale. The Huskies will face Michigan Tech on Friday night and then either host ASU or Yale on Sunday. Opening face-off on Friday is scheduled for 7:00 pm eastern standard time.