Feb. 11, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – University of Connecticut senior Matt Grogan (Gilbert, Ariz.) made a career-high 58 saves as the Huskies upset nationally No. 9 ranked Providence College, 3-2, Tuesday night at Schneider Arena. Senior Billy Latta (West Chester, Pa.) scored the game-winning goal at 12:44 in the third period as the Huskies notch the program’s first-ever win over a nationally ranked top-10 program and finish the season 2-1 against teams from Hockey East, their future home next season.
The Huskies last win over a ranked opponent came during the 2012 Atlantic Hockey playoffs. UConn beat then No. 19 ranked Air Force in game two of their three-game series, 3-1. UConn improved to 15-9-4 with the win while the #9 ranked Friars drop to 15-8-5.
Grogan's 58 save night sets a new UConn Division I (1998-present) record for saves in a game. The previous mark was 57, set by Garrett Bartus vs. Air Force (T, 2-2). It ties for second place on the all-time list.
The Huskies had the first crack with the extra skater when Kevin Hart was called for hooking just 1:29 into play. UConn failed to get a shot off and the Friar offense began to build momentum. Providence got a five-on-three power play chance at 6:35 and the Huskies looked as if they would kill it off before the Friars struck late with the extra skater.
Sophomore defenseman John Gilmour wound-up for a slap shot from the point and junior Ross Mauermann, right in front of the net, was able to deflect past Grogan, stick side for a 1-0 lead. For Mauermann, it was his team-leading 17th goal of the season.
The Huskies broke through to knot it at 1-1 at 17:01 as Ryan Tyson junior (Harleysville, Pa.) scored his fourth of the year. Tyson won a face-off in the Friar zone, drawing it back to sophomore Kyle Huson (Parker, Colo.) on the blue line. Huson blasted a shot on goal through traffic that deflected off of classmate Patrick Kirtland (Cary, N.C) leaving a rebound in the right slot where Tyson was able to put it home to tie it at 1-1.
Kirtland put the Huskies up 2-1 at 1:33 in the second period. UConn cycled the puck around the Friar zone getting it to Kirtland at left inside the blue line. Kirtland took two strides and ripped one from the point through traffic, beating Gillies low, glove side.
UConn extended their lead to 3-1 at 12:44 in the third period thanks to a turnover and break-away goal by Latta. The Huskies forced a Friar turnover right at the blue line as Providence looked to clear. Latta collected the puck and had just Gillies to beat. The senior forward drove the net hard and buried a back-hander past Gillies before the net came dislodged for a 3-1 lead on his team-leading 11th of the season.
The Friars made a late push, pulling Gillies in the final minute for the extra skater. Mauermann got the deficit to just a goal with 29 seconds left. Mauermann stuffed home a goal after a scrum in front of Grogan. The Husky defense locked down in the closing seconds, blocking another one last shot before the final horn sounded.
The Friars finished with a staggering 60-26 edge on shots but UConn came up with 19 blocked shots on the night.
Kirtland matched his career-high with two-points in the win, finishing with a goal and assist.
The Huskies return to the Atlantic Hockey schedule when the take on Holy Cross this weekend in a home-and-home series. UConn will host the Crusaders on Friday night at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum and travel to Worcester on Saturday night. Puck drop on both nights is at 7:05 pm.
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