March 3, 2012
STORRS, Conn - The UConn men's hockey squad blanked Canisius, 4-0, at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs to advance to the Atlantic Hockey Association Second Round next weekend. The opponent is still to be determined. UConn swept Canisius 2-0 in the best-of-three series.
Connecticut improved to 15-17-4 while Canisius ended its season at 10-22-4.
"I think this was one of our most complete games of the year," said UConn head coach Bruce Marshall.
"We played playoff type hockey and everyone did what they had to do tonight. Now we can't rest on our laurels. This was just one step. The next step is to go on into the playoffs and do it again in the next round, wherever we go."
Junior goaltender Garrett Bartus stopped 26 shots to extend the UConn program record with the fifth shutout of the season. Four different players scored for UConn.
"It's always great to get the shutout, but it's even better that we got the sweep this weekend. Hopefully we keep it going into the next round. It was really a total team effort tonight," said Bartus.
Sophomore Cole Schneider became UConn's first 20-goal scorer since Matt Scherer and Chris Myhro in 2006-07 when he netted the game-winning goal 7:57 into the first period.
Sophomore Brant Harris took a cross-ice pass from junior defenseman Alex Gerke and slid a pass from the right side through the slot which Schneider one-timed past Canisius goaltender Dan Morrison.
The assists were the 14th and 18th of the season for Harris and Gerke, respectively.
Freshman Ryan Tyson made it 2-0 with his fourth goal of the season just 1:28 later when he executed a perfect give-and-go through the neutral zone with classmate Brad Smith.
Coming through the neutral zone with speed, Tyson fed smith at the right wall. Smith returned the puck across the blue line and Tyson finished with a wrist shot under the blocker of Morrison. The assist was the second of the season for Smith. Junior defenseman Tom Janosz
earned his sixth assist of the season on the play after stripping a Canisius forward of the puck behind the UConn net.
Both teams managed 11 shots on goal in the opening period.
The second period saw Bartus come up with a great save at 17:48 while on the penalty kill. Canisius was able to set up a play and find Stephen Farrell on the back door. Bartus slid from right to left to deny Farrell of the easy tap in.
Bartus made another key save for the Huskies at 9:20 of the third period. Canisius defenseman Logan Roe took a pass in the left face-off circle and looked to have room on the left side of the cage before Bartus slid to his right to make the shoulder-stop.
Sophomore Jordan Sims made it 3-0 when he finished a rebound in front for his ninth tally of the season at 14:58. Sims blasted home the rebound off a shot from freshman Cody Sharib. Brant Harris also assisted on the play.
The Huskies put the game to rest with a shorthanded, empty net tally at 16:56. Harris fired the puck into the right side of the net after a pass from junior captain Sean Ambrosie. The goal was Harris' 17th of the season with Ambrosie earning his 19th assist.
UConn will have to wait until the remaining AHA playoff series are complete to determine its opponent for the next round. The second round of the AHA playoffs will be a best-of-three series beginning on Friday night.