STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut men’s ice hockey team scored four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 win over Robert Morris in the first of a best-of-three Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series at the Freitas Ice Forum, Friday night. The Huskies, seeded fourth, improved to 18-13-4 on the season, while the fifth-seeded Colonials dropped to 20-13-4.
After UConn killed off RMU’s first power play opportunity of the night, the Colonials broke the scoreless tie on their second chance. Sophomore Cody Wydo gathered the puck, from senior linemate Adam Brace, in the slot and slipped it into the net for the game’s first goal at the 11-minute mark of the first period.
The Huskies answered with a power play goal of their own at the 13:16 mark. Junior Jordan Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.) sent a pass behind the net to senior Sean Ambrosie (Moorhead, Minn.), who threw the puck in front for junior Brant Harris (Estevan, Sask.) to bury it for his team-leading 15th of the season.
Early in the second period, UConn took its first lead of the night and quickly added to it less than a minute later. At 4:55, freshman Joey Ferriss (Novi, Mich.) found the puck, off a feed from sophomore defenseman Jacob Poe (Arlington, Texas), in front of the net, turned and fired for the goal. Just 50 second later, senior defenseman Alex Gerke (Tomah, Wis.) took a shot from the left point that was tipped into the top-right corner of net by freshman Shawn Pauly (Bellingham, Wash.).
The two teams were scoreless in the third period until senior Evan Carriere (Ottawa, Ont.) won the puck in the neutral zone and slid it into an empty net to extend the Connecticut lead to 4-1.
Senior Matt Grogan (Gilbert, Ariz.) made 19 saves in net for the Huskies. For Robert Morris, senior Eric Levine stopped 20 shots as his Colonials were outshot 24-20.
UConn racked up 10 penalty minutes to just four for RMU.
The win improved the Huskies to unbeaten in their last six games, while also ending the Colonials nation-leading seven-game unbeaten streak to enter the weekend.
The two teams will face-off for game two at 7:05 pm Saturday night.