ROCHESTER, N.Y. (January 9, 2009) - Despite a two-point effort from freshman Pat McAuley (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), the University of Connecticut men’s hockey team could not overcome a late two-goal deficit and fell to RIT 5-3 in their first game of the weekend series Friday.
A four-goal third period boosted RIT (11-9-1, 10-4-1) past UConn (4-15-1, 3-8-1) as the Huskies fell for their fourth-straight game. RIT capitalized on a late power-play opportunity and a couple of plays that drew the UConn goalie junior Beau Erickson (Hinton, Iowa) out of the goal to gain the two-goal advantage and win their sixth-straight game, a school record at the Division I level.
Taking advantage of an offensive onslaught, UConn got out to an early lead in the first period when McAuley scored his fourth goal of the season tapping in the rebound of his fellow linesman freshman Corey Jendras’ (Abingdon, Md.) shot. Sophomore Jeff Sapieha (Calgary, Alberta) also added an assist on the play racking up his fifth of the season as the first line did its job and got UConn out to a 1-0 lead.
But before the end of the first the game would be tied up at one-all after a slew of penalties gave RIT a 4-3 advantage on the ice. The Tigers fired off six shots in less than a minute and just as Jendras came out of the box, the seventh shot got past Beau Erickson to tie up the game.
The second period saw a few opportunities but no goals, but it was in the third period that the game was broken open. After RIT went ahead 2-1, UConn was able to come back and tie the game up on their first power play goal of the night. Sophomore Andrew Olson (Alexandria, Minn.) won the faceoff with senior Sean Erickson (Eden Prarie, Minn.) scooping up the win. Sophomore Jason Krispel (Cypress, Calif.) dished out his fifteenth assist of the season back to Olson who sent the puck into the net for the Huskies second goal of the game, and his eighth goal of the season.
RIT wasn’t done yet though. They sent two straight goals past Beau Erickson to earn the two-goal lead, that could not be overcome. The Huskies cut the lead to one at 17:12 in the third as freshman Chris Waterstradt (Tulsa, Okla.) scored UConn’s second power play goal of the night with some help from McAuley and sophomore Matt Miller (Bayonne, N.J.).
With just over a minute left in the game, the Tigers regained that two-goal lead and it would remain the same until the end of the third period.
UConn will be back in action Saturday in their final game against RIT during the 2008-09 regular season at 7:05 in the Ritter Arena. Catch the action on UConnHuskies.com.