Jan. 28, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. - The UConn men's hockey team earned a season sweep of the Holy Cross Crusaders with a 3-0 victory tonight at The Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. UConn improved to 12-12-2 (11-8-1 AHA). Holy Cross dropped to 10-13-3 (8-8-3 AHA).
"Biggest thing about this weekend for us is that we got four points, because we've played more games than some of the other teams around the league. Now when we are off next weekend, if teams are splitting their series, we can maintain our position in the standings to stay in line for a home playoff," said UConn head coach Bruce Marshall.
Junior goaltender Garrett Bartus earned the victory, making 31 stops. On the first shot of the third period, Bartus broke the UConn Division I career saves record, recording his 2,432nd save in a Connecticut uniform. Next on the records list for the junior netminder is the UConn career saves record for any division (2,793), held by J.T. Marcoux who manned the net from 1984-1988.
"I think that means we give up a lot of shots... but he makes all the saves I guess," added Marshall. "He puts in the work, he's diligent, he watches film, he's on the ice with coach Berard all throughout the week. These type of records are good for when you are older and you look back. Right now he needs to keep his focus and keep playing well down the stretch."
With tonight's result, the Huskies have also set a record for most shutouts in a season with four. The Huskies came into tonight's game ranked No. 18 in the nation allowing just 2.56 goals per game.
"I think there's many layers to a shutout. Obviously having a goaltender like Bartus playing well is one of them. I think this is a team effort with guys committing together to the system. They are buying into it. We are comfortable in our play. We kept a lot of shots to the outside tonight and kept Bartus in line to see the puck," added Marshall.
Connecticut saw goals from Sean Ambrosie, Miles Winter and Cole Schneider.
Holy Cross had the better of the action in the game's opening 10 minutes, including a pair of power-plays, but failed to generate any quality scoring chances. UConn consistently limited the Holy Cross shots to the perimeter in the opening 20 minutes.
Connecticut junior captain Sean Ambrosie put UConn ahead, 1-0, with a power-play goal at 16:03. With the Huskie set up on the left side of the net, Brant Harris sent the puck to Alex Gerke in the slot from the red line. Alex Gerke tipped the puck in the slot over to Ambrosie who chipped home his sixth goal of the season. Gerke tallied his 13th assist with Harris earning his ninth of the year.
Each team generated eight shots in the opening period.
Miles Winter opened a two-goal lead for UConn with a perfectly-placed wrist shot into the top-left corner at 6:10 of the second period. Gerke caused a turnover in the UConn defensive zone and sent the puck up the left wall. Freshman Ryan Tyson crossed the blue line on the left side and dropped the puck to an oncoming Winter who snapped a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Holy Cross goaltender Derek Kump for his fifth goal of the season. The assist was the first of the year for Tyson and the 14th for Gerke.
Both teams exchanged chances in the opening minutes of the third period. Jordan Sims fired a shot from the left face-off circle off the far post just 50 seconds in. Holy Cross responded 20 seconds later with a shot off the cross bar from the right side.
Connecticut appeared to make it 3-0 at 8:16 when Cole Schneider was brought down on a breakaway, but managed to put the puck past Kump. The referee's called off the goal and awarded UConn a power-play.
Schneider would eventually make it 3-0 with an empty-net goal in the final seconds of the third period, his 13th of the season.
UConn will travel to face Princeton of the ECAC on Tuesday, January 31 in the last non-conference game of the season. The game will begin at 7 p.m. Fans can follow the action on the radio at 91.7fm and over the internet at WHUS.org.