DURHAM, N.H. - The UConn men's hockey team scored three times in the final 3:17 to comeback and beat the New Hampshire Wildcats Friday evening, 4-2, in a Hockey East match-up from the Whittemore Center. UConn seniors Jesse Schwartz (Toronto, Ontario), Spencer Naas (Minnetonka, Minn.) and Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) all found the back of the net in the closing minutes to fuel the Huskies comeback.
UConn, now 10-16-2 overall and 7-11-1 in Hockey East, will host the Wildcats tomorrow afternoon from the XL Center in Hartford in a game available across the state on WTNH-8 sister station MyTV9.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead after the first thanks to freshman Zac Robbins (Glenview, Ill.) who scored his first collegiate goal. UNH stormed back in the second period with a pair of goals off the sticks of Charlie Kelleher and Anthony Wyse to take a 2-1 lead into the final stanza.
The UConn comeback began with 3:17 to go as Schwartz took a feed from freshman Adam Karashik (Ridgefield, Conn.) and buried one short side to tie it up a 2-2. Naas provided the game-winner at 18:55, taking a feed and burying one top-shelf. With 35 seconds left, UConn took a penalty and the Huskies faced a 6-on-4 chance but the defense chipped the puck out of the zone and Ronan chased it down and put it home in the empty net to seal the win.
The Huskies held a 28-26 edge on the shot chart while neither team scored on the power play. UConn's Tanner Creel (Arlington Heights, Ill.) made 24 saves to earn the win. Danny Tirone stopped 24 for UNH.
The Huskies struck for the game's first goal at 9:42 as Robbins came up with a great tip in front. Senior David Drake (Naperville, Ill.) forced a turnover in the UNH zone and chipped the puck to junior Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill.) at the point. Kalter wheeled and fire on net where a crashing Robbins perfectly redirected in front for a 1-0 lead and his first collegiate goal.
The Wildcats came up with a pair in the second period, including one late with just 25 seconds late to lead 2-1 heading into the third.
UNH picked-up a rebound off Creel and cycled the puck behind the net where Ara Nazarian fed Kelleher in the left corner. Kelleher wheeled and swung an off-angle shot on Creel that just found a crease on the near post to beat the goaltender for his third on the year, tying the game at 11:02.
With just 25 seconds left, the Wildcats kept possession in the zone and fed the puck over to Wyse atop the left circle. Wyse weaved a shot through a load of traffic in front of Creel to find the back of the net for his fourth of the season and a 2-1 lead.
The Husky comeback started at 3:17 left in the frame, with Karashik feeding a pass down to the left circle for Schwartz, who buried on the short side past Tirone, his eighth of the season. Naas provided the game-winning goal with 1:25 left to go. Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) fed the puck to Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, Maine) on the goal line who shuffled it to Naas in the left circle. Naas buried one top-shelf to the far post, past Tirone stick side, his seventh of the season.
With 31 seconds left, Karashik was called for elbowing, giving UNH the chance to pull the goaltender for a 6-on-4 chance. The Husky defense dug in and broke up a play, chipping the puck into the neutral zone where Ronan chased it down and glided in for the empty net goal, his second of the season.
— UConn Men's Hockey (@UConnMHOC) January 27, 2018
The Huskies make it five-straight over UNH in the all-time series. The Wildcats continue to lead, 14-5-0.
Both Masonius and Kalter each had a pair of assists in the win, matching their career-highs. It was the second multi-point games this season for Masonius, eighth of his career, and first for Kalter, fifth of his career.
Robbins goal makes him the 20th Husky this season to find the back of the net.
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