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UConn Takes Down No. 10 Providence, 3-1

Jan. 20, 2018

Final Stats

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The UConn men’s hockey team used a strong performance from their special teams, scoring twice on the power play while killing off all seven penalties on the way to a 3-1 win at No. 10 nationally ranked Providence Saturday night at Schneider Arena.

UConn senior Johnny Austin (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and junior Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) each scored on the power play while junior Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) iced the win with an empty netter as the Huskies snap a five-game slide and split the season Hockey East series with the Friars.  The Huskies are now 9-16-2 overall and 6-11-1 in the league.

Senior Tanner Creel (Arlington Heights, Ill.) made 26 saves to earn his first win of the season in goal for UConn.  The Huskies finished 2-for-4 on the power play and killed off all seven Friar power play chances.

UConn took a 1-0 lead on Austin’s first period tally after outshooting Providence 12-8 in the opening stanza.  Masonius made it 2-0 in the second before Providence’s Brian Pinho pulled his team within a goal.  The Huskies didn’t let up in the third and put the game away in the closing minute with Letunov’s empty net goal.



PC, now 16-8-2 overall and 9-5-2 in Hockey East, loses for the first time in the second semester.  The Friars got 19 saves from goaltender Hayden Hawkey. 

UConn played a great first period and carried a 1-0 lead into the locker room.  The Huskies held a 12-8 edge on shots and killed off a pair of penalties while Austin gave them a 1-0 lead with his fourth of the season. 

The Huskies struck on the second power play of the period as the puck found Austin just above the left face-off circle.  The senior defenseman blasted a shot that found its way through plenty of traffic in front of Hawkey to beat the goaltender at 10:44. 

Both teams found the back of the net in the second period.  Providence turned up their offensive output in the period, putting 14 shots on goal to UConn’s four.  The Huskies made it 2-0 at 8:05 with their second power play goal of the night.  Masonius picked-up a puck from Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec) and used a toe drag to evade a defender into the slot.  He ripped a wrist shot past Hawkey glove side, top-shelf, his second of the season.

Providence cut into the UConn lead at 14:19 on Pinho’s 11th of the season.  On a delayed penalty chance, Erik Foley settled the puck in the right corner and fed Pinho all alone in the slot who one-timed it past Creel to cut it to 2-1. 

UConn killed off a pair of Friar power plays in the third period and kept Providence on their heels all period, ending the final period with a 6-5 edge on shots. 

The Friars pulled their goaltender with just over a 1:30 to play and the Huskies put the game away on Letunov’s empty netter.  The junior picked a loose puck at the blue line and rifled a shot from the left boards for his seventh on the season and a 3-1 lead. 

The Huskies also ended a Providence six-game winning streak in the all-time series between the two schools.  UConn notched their first win over the Friars since joining the league in 2014-15 (1-6-1) and grabbed their first win at Schneider Arena since the 2013-14 campaign.

Masonius’ second period goal was his first in five games, since scoring in the win over Colgate.  It also marked the first game-winning goal of the junior defenseman’s career.

Austin also ended a five-game drought without a goal and scored his third power play goal of the season.  He leads the team with 11 power play points.  Letunov’s empty net goal marked the junior’s 30th career goal.