Jan. 24, 2014
WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The University of Connecticut got third period goals from junior Jacob Poe (Arlington, Texas) and freshman Brent Norris (Ottawa, Ontario) on the way to a 3-2 win at AIC Friday night in Atlantic Hockey action. Freshman goaltender Robby Nichols (Dallas, Texas) made a season-high 34 saves to earn the win as the Huskies improve to 11-7-4 overall and 9-4-3 in the AHA.
A scoreless first period featured two of the least penalized teams in the country combine for five power play chances over the first 20 minutes. The Huskies went 0-for-3 with the extra skater while the Yellow Jackets were 0-for-2.
AIC (6-16-1, 5-10-1 AHA) was the first to break through with the extra skater, converting their first of two 5-on-3 chances on the night. UConn freshman Ryan Segalla (Boston, Mass.) was called for hooking at 8:05, joining sophomore Patrick Kirtland (Cary, N.C.) in the box. The Yellow Jackets took just 21 seconds to convert as Jon Puskar blasted a shot on net from the point with Blake Peake at the right post to bang home the rebound for a 1-0 lead. For Peake it was his sixth goal this season.
The Yellow Jackets killed off the first four UConn power play chances but the Huskies found the equalizer on their fifth chance with the extra skater. AIC’s Alexander MacMillan was called for hooking at 14:37 and the Huskies made it 1-1 off the stick of senior Jordan Sims (Toronto, Ontario).
Sophomore Shawn Pauly (Bellingham, Wash.) won the face-off in the AIC zone with the puck finding its way to the stick of Poe along the right boards. Poe fed a pass to the middle where Sims collected and fired a slap shot past Leisner for his fifth on the year.
Heading into the third period tied 1-1, the Huskies posted a pair of goals off the sticks of Poe and Norris at 5:40 and 8:25 to take a 3-1 lead. With UConn on the power play, Poe skated in from the blue line and took a pass from Norris on the left circle. Norris rifled through traffic finding Poe who buried it at the right post for a 2-1 lead at 5:40.
Norris was next up for the Huskies just under three minutes later, scoring his fourth of the season. Just as an UConn power play came to an end, Segalla fired one on goal that was stopped by Leisner. Norris was sitting at the far post to clean up the rebound for a two-goal lead, 3-1.
The Yellow Jackets got their second 5x3 goal of th4e night at 17:32 to make it a one-goal game. Freshman Joona Kunnas (Vantaa, Finland) and sophomore Kyle Huson (Parker, Colo.) were sent off at 15:39 and 16:00. Jon Puskar scored his 11th of the season at 17:32 to put the pressure on the Huskies. UConn killed off the rest of the power play and kept AIC off the board when they pulled Leisner with just over a minute left for the extra skater.
UConn led 41-35 on shots in the win. Nichols earned his first Atlantic Hockey victory of the season. His 4-2 win over Sacred Heart back in November was a non-conference tilt.
The Huskies and Yellow Jackets will wrap up their season series tomorrow night from the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs. Opening face-off is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
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