Feb. 24, 2012
WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - With a 3-3 tie at AIC in West Springfield, Mass., the UConn men's hockey program earned home ice in the AHA playoffs for the second straight season. UConn earned one point in the league standings to improve to 12-17-4 (11-12-3 AHA).
UConn junior goaltender Garrett Bartus increased his NCAA-leading save total to 980 with 44 stops to earn the crucial point. AIC goaltender Ben Meisner stopped 31 shots on the night.
With tonight's tie, UConn will now host Canisius in the AHA Opening Round in a best-of-three series beginning on Friday, March 2 at 7:05 p.m.
The majority of the action took place in a wild second period that saw four goals in 5:06- two from each team.
AIC took a 1-0 lead 7:19 into the second period with a goal by Blake Peake. The Huskies responded with a goal from leading scorer sophomore wing Cole Schneider at 9:39. The goal was Schneider's 18th tally of the season. Classmate's Brant Harris and Jordan Sims assisted on the goal.
AIC took the lead once again at 12:00 with Peake putting AIC ahead, 2-1, with his second of the night.
It only took 25 seconds for the Huskies to respond with Sean Ambrosie notching a power-play goal at 12:25 to even the score at 2-2. Harris notched his second assist of the night with Schneider also assisting on the score.
Freshman defenseman Jacob Poe gave UConn its first and only lead of the night at 8:02 of the third period. Poe finished his third goal of the season with assists going to classmate Ryan Tyson and senior assistant captain Marcello Ranallo.
The Huskies looked to escape with the 3-2 victory until Steve Mele put home the game-tying goal at 18:42 of the third period, sending the game into overtime.
AIC outshot UConn, 18-4, in the third period, forcing 17 saves from Bartus.
Neither team was able to break the deadlock in the extra session as the game finished tied, 3-3.
The two teams will finish the season series tomorrow night at Freitas Ice Forum when UConn will celebrate Senior Night. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 p.m.