STORRS, Conn. - Behind 21 saves from Matt Grogan and two third period goals, the UConn men's hockey team downed AHA rival AIC, 3-1, in Storrs on Friday night. UConn improved to 10-11-2, 7-8-1 AHA. Tom Janosz scored the game-winning goal early in the third and Brant Harris added an insurance tally late in the period to ensure the victory. UConn outshot AIC, 48-22.
Friday's game was played in front of 1,114 fans at the Freitas Ice Forum.
With the victory, UConn has not lost in 14 straight games to AIC (5-14-3, 2-11-3 AHA). The two teams will face off again on Saturday in the finale of the season series. UConn previously defeated AIC, 7-2, on December 29 in Storrs.
With the score tied 1-1 at 3:22 of the third period, Tom Janosz collected a rebound just inside the blue line and smashed home his first goal of the season into the top right corner for the game winner.
"The puck bounced out to me at the point and I just let it rip," said Janosz. "That's kind of a defenseman's dream to have a puck roll right out to you like that.... That's probably the hardest shot I've ever hit."
Connecticut outshot AIC in the first, 16-7, and had several quality opportunities denied by Meisner or AIC skaters. At 3:09 Brant Harris picked off an AIC pass at the offensive blue line and came in all alone on Meisner. Harris' shot towards the top-right corner was stuffed from the slot. Harris and linemate Sean Ambrosie were dangerous the whole game. Harris finished with eight shots while Ambrosie tallied 10.
Sean Ambrosie and Sean Pauly combined for a pair of chances at 18:40, forcing an excellent block by an AIC defenseman. Ambrosie fired a shot from the left side that was saved. The rebound popped in front where Pauly one-timed what looked like a certain goal before an AIC skater deflected the shot high.
UConn outshot the Yellow Jackets yet again in the second, 17-8, with both teams netting a goal. Connecticut took the lead at 15:15 with a power-play goal from Billy Latta, his second goal in as many games.
Sean Ambrosie sent a pass from the right end line up to Brant Harris in front of the crease. Harris' one-timer was saved but Latta pounced on the rebound for his third goal of the year. Harris and Ambrosie recorded their seventh and 13th assists of the year on the play, respectively.
AIC responded just 2:42 later with a shot from Chris Porter snapped into the top right corner over the glove of Grogan at 17:57.
Following Janosz's blast, Harris added a crafty goal to give UConn a 3-1 advantage. Harris collected the puck behind the net on the left side and shot off the goalies shoulder and in.
"I waited for the goalie to cheat a bit and then picked my spot," said Harris. "It was a bit flucky, but our lined played great all night and it was a good time for it."
Connecticut closed out the contest by outshooting AIC 15-7 in the final period.