Jan. 20, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey team rallied from a four-goal deficit against Robert Morris to make it 4-3 with under three minutes remaining but failed to find the equalizer as the Huskies dropped to 10-11-2 (9-7-1 AHA).
UConn's four-game winning streak came to an end while Robert Morris improved to 11-9-3 (9-4-3 AHA)
Connecticut made a furious comeback after allowing four goals in the first 35 minutes of action. Goals from Jordan Sims, Sean Ambrosie and Billy Latta made it 4-3 but RMU goaltender Eric Levine made 31 saves on the night to earn the victory.
"We were better than we were playing. The guys realized that. We threw 40 minutes away and they realized that this was it. The guys knew they had enough in the tank to get it done. We had chances at the end too but we can't throw away 40 minutes," said UConn head coach Bruce Marshall.
The Huskies carried the action in the opening minutes but it was Robert Morris who opened the scoring at 12:53 and went on to put home four unanswered tallies. The Colonials came into the UConn zone on a three-on-two break. As Cody Wydo sent a pass through the slot from right to left, a UConn defender tipped the puck slowly into the slot, allowing RMU's leading scorer Cody Crichton an easy go-ahead goal with Bartus out of position on the tip.
UConn's best chance of the period came off the stick of Billy Latta, but his shot went high from the slot with four minutes remaining.
Robert Morris ended the period with a slight edge in shots, 6-5.
The Colonials added to the lead following a breakdown from UConn in the neutral zone. Robert Morris forward Trevor Lewis gained possession in the neutral zone before sending a pass through the slot to Tom Brooks. Brooks one-timed a shot from the bottom of the left face-off circle under the bar for the 2-0 advantage at 5:40.
Colin South made it 3-0 at 9:30 before Cody Wydo gave Robert Morris a 4-0 lead with a power-play goal at 15:09.
UConn got on the board at 17:00 with a Jordan Sims wrist shot from the left side of the slot under the goaltenders arm for his sixth goal of the season. Assists on the play went to Miles Winter and Billy Latta, their eighth and 14th of the season, respectively.
Connecticut pulled starting goaltender Garrett Bartus for Matt Grogan at the start of the third period. Grogan blanked Robert Morris for 20 minutes to allow UConn to get back into the contest. The Huskies made a game of it at 9:52 with Sean Ambrosie's fifth goal of the season. Billy Latta outworked a Robert Morris defender in the right corner and sent the puck into the slot. Ambrosie one-timed his shot past Levin's blocker to make it 4-2.
UConn had their chances in the remaining minutes and earned a 5-on-3 at 16:20 with two penalties in a 10 second span against Robert Morris.
Ambrosie had a one-timer from the top of the crease at 3:05 stoned by Levine before Billy Latta cut the deficit to one at 17:18. Ambrosie sent a pass to Latta at the high slot who ripped a one-timer past Levine for his seventh goal of the season. Ambrosie earned his 12th assist on the play.
The comeback would fall short, however, as Alex Gerke was denied from the left side and several bouncing pucks in front failed to find their way past Levine in the last minute.
The two teams will finish the weekend series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. in Storrs.