STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's hockey team capitalized on three power-play goals to defeat Mercyhurst, 5-4, in Storrs on Friday night. The Huskies improved to 9-9-2 (6-7-1 AHA). Mercyhurst dropped to 10-9-1 (8-5-0 AHA).
Freshman Tyler Bouchard finished with two goals and an assist, all on the power play. Sophomore Jacob Poe tallied a career-high four assists from the blue line. Senior goaltender Matt Grogan stopped 22 shots to improve his individual record to 4-1-1 on the season.
UConn jumped out to a 4-0 lead, allowed three straight at the end of the second into the third, and held on for the 5-4 victory. Brant Harris tallied the eventual game-winning goal midway through the third period. The goal for Harris was assisted by linemates Jordan Sims and Sean Ambrosie. Harris and Sims extended their point streak to five games while Ambrosie has notched a point in seven straight.
The Connecticut power play, ranked No. 51 in the NCAA heading into the night, resulted in the first three goals of the game.
UConn opened the scoring 4:40 into the first period with Tyler Bouchard collecting a pass on the left of the net from Trevor Gerling down the half wall. Bouchard picked out the top left corner for his fourth goal of the year.
"We take that shot about 500 times a week in practice," said Bouchard. "I didn't get it as high as I wanted towards the corner, but it beat him and that's all that counts."
Bouchard returned the favor to Gerling at 11:09. Bouchard took a pass from Poe on the left side of the net and baited the defenseman in before finding Gerling at the top of the crease for the one-timer. The goal was Gerling's seventh of the year. Poe earned assists on both plays, his sixth and seventh.
After one period, UConn was ahead in shots, 10-4, and on the scoreboard, 2-0.
Tyler Bouchard led the power-play unit to three goals on Friday night.
Connecticut continued the success on the special teams in the second period, scoring once again with the man advantage at 2:58. Jacob Poe took the puck at the point after a cycle along the left wall and fired a shot towards goal. Bouchard screened starting goaltender Jordan Tibbett and deflected the puck in for his fifth goal of the season
Cody Sharib tipped home a Jacob Poe shot at 8:02 to make it 4-0 before the Lakers rallied for three straight.
Grant Blakely scored at 19:41 of the second period to start the rally.
Matthew Zay scored 4:00 into the third on the power-play, followed by Ryan Misiak with another power-play goal at 7:009.
Brant Harris crushed the rally with his sixth of the year at 8:34 when he crashed the net and stuff home the loose puck after passes from Sims and Ambrosie.
Paul Chiasson scored for MC to make it 5-4, but it was too late as UConn and Grogan shut the door the remaining 2:54.
The two teams will face off again on Saturday at Freitas beginning at 7:05 p.m. That game can be heard at WHUS.org with live stats and live video linked to UConnhuskies.com.