Feb. 14, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut men’s hockey team was out shot 34-21 on the night and fell behind 2-0 through two periods on the way to a 3-1 loss at home to the College of the Holy Cross Friday night in an Atlantic Hockey Association match-up at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. The two teams will close out their season series tomorrow night from the Hart Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The loss drops the Huskies to 15-10-4 overall and 12-7-3 in the AHA while Holy Cross improves to 9-17-3 and 8-11-3 in the league. Senior goaltender Matt Grogan (Glibert, Ariz.) made 31 saves on the night
The Crusaders jumped on top at 14:57 in the first period as Castan Sommer got his fifth goal of the season. Sommer and teammate Adam Schmidt broke through the neutral zone for a two-on-two rush. Schmidt looked to shoot, but didn’t get much on his shot with Sommer picking up the loose puck, and skating across the front of the goal, he tucked his shot neatly into the left corner for a 1-0 lead.
Holy Cross kept the offensive pressure on and dominated the second period, outshooting the Huskies 16-5 in the stanza. The Crusaders finally broke through for their second of the night at 17:21, converting off a face-off in the Husky zone. Brett McKinnon won the draw and Matt Vidal got the puck behind the net where Mike Barrett picked it up. Barrett scooped a backhander at the near post and snuck it through past Grogan for his 10th of the year and a 2-0 lead.
UConn came out of the locker room for the third period and jumped on the Crusaders quickly, cutting the lead to 2-1 on the first shift, just 40 seconds in. Junior Tyler Cooke (Warwick, R.I.) created a turnover in the neutral zone and fed classmate Trevor Gerling (Seattle, Wash.) at the blue line. Gerling found senior Brant Harris (Estevan, Saskatchewan) who was all alone and at the top of the circle. Harris fired, beating Derek Kump, top-shelf, glove side, for his 11th of the season.
The Huskies got their third power play chance of the night just seconds later when Sommer was called for cross checking at 1:18. The Huskies best look came off the stick of Jacob Poe
(Arlington, Texas) who blasted a shot on goal from the point but Kump got just enough to deflect it wide.
Grogan came out for the extra skater with just under a minute left but the Huskies couldn’t find the equalizer as Schmidt tapped in a pass from Shayne Stockton for an empty net goal with 30 seconds left, producing the 3-1 final.
Kump, who was playing in just his second game this season, needed to make just 20 saves to earn the win.
The Huskies and Crusaders have split both meetings this season and will take the ice at the Hart Center Saturday evening for a 7:00 pm start.