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Huskies Over Brown, 6-4, for Fifth-Straight Win

Feb. 3, 2018

Final Stats

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The UConn men’s hockey team got goals from six different Huskies Saturday night on the way to a 6-4 win at Brown University, their fifth-straight victory on the season.  The Huskies were led by sophomores Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, Maine) and Wyatt Newpower (Hugo, Minn.) who each had a goal and an assist in the win.

The Huskies improved to 13-16-2 overall with the win and closed out their non-conference schedule 4-5-1.  Brown drops to 6-13-4 overall with the loss.

UConn held one goal leads four times Saturday night before Freeman buried what would be the game-winner at 12:02 in the third period, coming on the power play.  Junior Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) put the icing on the win with an empty net goal with 27 seconds left.


 

 

Sophomore Alexander Payusov (Montreal, Quebec) scored his team-leading 11th goal in the first followed by a shorthanded tally by freshman Brian Rigali (Libertyville, Ill.) and a power play goal by Newpower to close out the first.

Senior Jesse Schwartz (Toronto, Ontario) scored his ninth on the season in the second period to give the Huskies a 4-3 lead headed into the third. Brown’s goals came off the stick of Tommy Marchin and Max Gottlieb in the first on the power play, Zach Giuttari in the second and Tyler Bird in the third.

The Huskies held a 34-31 edge on shots with senior Tanner Creel (Arlington Heights, Ill.) making 27 saves in earning the win. Brown netminder Luke Kania stopped 28 in the loss.  Both teams were 2-of-5 on the power play. 

1st:
Special teams dominated the first period for both teams as the Huskies took a 3-2 lead into the locker room.  UConn opened the scoring at 9:04 as Payusov picked-up his team-leading 11th goal on the season.  Off an offensive zone face-off, senior Spencer Naas (Minnetonka, Minn.) blasted a shot that was blocked in front.  The puck found senior Derek Pratt (Mount Hermon, Mass.) on the blue line who got it on net and Payusov found the rebound, tucking it inside the left post for a 1-0 lead.

Just 25 seconds after the goal, Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec) took a five-minute major for boarding and the Bear sandwiched a pair of goals around an UConn shorthanded tally.  The Bears tied the score at 1-1 at 10:36 as Marchin hit on a one-timer at the right post, his eight on the year.

UConn’s Rigali picked a loose puck and got free with Letunov for a two-one-one chance.  The defenseman stuck to Letunov as Rigali ripped one past Kania for his second goal in as many nights and his first career shorthanded score at 12:37.  Brown struck again at 13:01 for their second power play goal with Gottlieb blasting one top-shelf from the blue line to knot it at 2-2.

The Huskies made it 3-2 at 17:27, scoring a power play goal of their own on a 5-on-3 chance.  Junior Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) fed the puck to Freeman at the point who set up Newpower for the one-timer, his third goal on the season. 

2nd:
The Huskies and Bears traded goals in the second.  Brown tied the game at 8:51 with Giuttari creating some room in the slot before beating Creel to the glove side for his third of the season to knot it at 3-3.

UConn jumped back in front at 16:20 and grabbed a 4-3 lead on Schwartz’s ninth on the year.  Senior Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) dug the puck out from behind the net and got it to classmate Kasperi Ojantakanen (Helsinki, Finland) in the corner.  Ojantakanen found Schwartz in the slot who slid a shot through traffic to beat Kania to the right post. 

3rd:
Brown tied the game for the fourth time on the night, 3:01 into the final stanza.  Off an offensive zone draw, Gottlieb teed up a slap shot from the point and Bird caught a deflection in front of Creel for his sixth of the season, tying the game at 4-4.

UConn got a power play with 9:22 left and Freeman delivered with his sixth goal on the season to take the lead back.  Masonius fed Freeman in the left circle and the sophomore snipped one past Kania to the stick side for a 5-4 lead at 12:02.

The Bears pulled the goaltender with 1:04 left for the extra attacker but UConn’s Letunov picked a puck off the half boards and fired from mid-ice to seal the win with an empty netter, his ninth on the season. 

Notes:
The Huskies have won three-straight over Brown in the all-time series.  The Bears hold a 5-4-1 lead all-time.

UConn’s fifth-straight win marks the first five-game win streak under head coach Mike Cavanaugh and the first since the 2010-11 season.

The Huskies scored their sixth shorthanded goal of the season on Saturday night, tops in Hockey East with UMass Lowell and one behind Northern Michigan for tops in the NCAA.

Naas picked-up a point in his fifth-straight game with an assist, matching his career-long point streak set back in 2015.  Both Freeman and Newpower matched their career-highs with two points.  Freeman extended his point streak to four-straight (1g/3a), a career-best mark.

Letunov’s goal gives the junior a team-high 23 points. It also marked the 90th point of his career coming in his 100th career game.

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