March 2, 2013
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's ice hockey team clinched a bye to the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament with a 4-0 shutout of Sacred Heart at the Webster Bank Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies finished the regular season 17-13-4 overall, securing their first winning record since the 1999-00 season, and 14-10-3 in the AHA, while the Pioneers enter the postseason at 2-28-4 and 2-21-4.
UConn's seed in the AHA Tournament is still to be determined, awaiting the results of league games Saturday night, but the Huskies will host a best-of-three quarterfinal series at the Freitas Ice Forum between March 15 and 17. It is the team's second bye in the last three seasons.
Connecticut matched a season-high with 46 shots on net, but the offensive wasn't able to get one past SHU senior goaltender Steven Legatto until there was 1:28 left in the second period. Freshman Joey Ferris (Novi, Mich.) broke the scoreless tie with just his second goal of the season on an assist from sophomore defenseman Jacob Poe (Arlington, Texas). Poe totaled three assists in the game.
In the third period, the Huskies began to pull away and struck early when sophomore Trevor Gerling (Seattle, Wash.) scored just 1:12 into the frame, assisted by Poe and freshman Shawn Pauly (Bellingham, Wash.).
Midway through the period, freshman Tyler Bouchard (Glastonbury, Conn.) notched a power play goal to go up 3-0 and at the 15:22 mark junior Billy Latta (West Chester, Pa.) scored his seventh of the year to ice the victory.
Senior goaltender Matt Grogan (Gilbert, Ariz.) made 33 saves to earn his second career shutout; the first coming against Bentley on February 9. Legatto totaled 42 stops for the Pioneers.