DURHAM, N.H. – UConn sophomore Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) scored at 3:08 in overtime as the Huskies scored four-straight goals to come back and beat New Hampshire 5-4 Saturday night at the Whittemore Center in the regular season finale. The win clinched the #8 seed for UConn and a Hockey East first round playoff series at home in the XL Center next weekend.
The Huskies trailed 4-1 heading into the third period and rallied for three-straight to force overtime where Ronan won it for the weekend sweep. Senior Joey Ferriss (Novi, Mich.) scored twice in the third period to help fuel the comeback.
UConn finishes the regular season at 6-12-4 in Hockey East and will move on to a first round playoff match-up with the University of Vermont starting Friday night at XL Center. The Catamounts swept the season series with UConn, winning at home 2-1 and in Hartford, 4-2.
UNH jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead thanks to a pair of power play goals by Michael McNicholas and Matias Cleland. UConn freshman Tage Thompson (Rocky Hill, Conn.) got the Huskies on the board at 11:51 of the second working his power play magic. Classmate Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) took the puck at the point and fed Thompson in the left circle where he one-timed his shot by Danny Tirone for his 13th on the season. The Wildcats got the goal back late in the period as Maxim Gaudreault blasted a slap shot in the top right corner at 19:18 to close the period up 4-1.
Ferriss started UConn’s third period rally just 2:40 into the period, backhanding a shot off a feed from freshman Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill.) from behind the net to cut the lead to 4-2. The Huskies pulled within 4-3 on their second power play goal of the night at the 10:26 mark. Junior Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, British Columbia) blasted a shot from the point with the rebound bouncing in front before sophomore Spencer Naas (Minnetonka, Minn.) collected it and fired it home for his eighth.
UConn pulled Nichols with 1:10 left and the Huskies quickly found the tying goal. Masonius carried behind the net and centered a perfect pass to Ferriss camped out in front of the net who buried it at 18:57 knotting the game at 4-4.
Ronan made the comeback complete with 1:52 in overtime, collecting a loose puck in traffic and cutting across the front of the net, lifting a backhanded shot past Tirone for the game-winner. Ronan made his return to the line-up last night after missing eight straight games and delivered two goals on the weekend to help UConn sweep.
Nichols finished the night with 35 saves, making 11 in the third period and overtime to keep UNH off the scoreboard.
The Huskies will move on to the post season and a best-of-three series with Vermont next weekend, March 4-6. Check back to UConnHuskies.com for game times and ticket information.