HAMILTON, N.Y. – The UConn men’s hockey team battled back from down 3-2 after two periods to come away with a 4-4 tie Friday night at Colgate in a non-conference match-up. The Huskies got goals from four different players as junior David Drake (Naperville, Ill.) led the way with a goal and an assist. UConn is now 2-0-1 to start the season while Colgate moves to 0-1-2.
The Huskies held a 45-27 edge in the shot department but went 0-for-8 on the power play. UConn senior goaltender Rob Nichols (Dallas, Texas) made 23 saves while Colgate’s Colton Point stopped 41 shots in his collegiate debut.
In addition to Drake’s two-point night, freshman Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, Maine) collected a pair of assists, his first collegiate points. The Huskies also got goals from senior captain Derek Pratt (Mount Hermon, Mass.), grad student Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.) and sophomore Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.), his team-leading fourth on the season.
The Raiders built a 3-2 lead in the first and kept the Huskies at bay in the second before UConn tacked on a pair in the final 20 minutes. Colgate finished one-of-six on the power play and also added a shorthanded goal on the night.
The Huskies are 2-0-1 to start a season for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign.
The 4-4 tie is the first tie in the all-time series between the two schools. Colgate now leads, 5-2-1 all-time.
This was the first tie against a non-conference opponent since the 2014-15 season when the Huskies and Rensselaer skated to a 1-1 tie at the XL Center. That season, UConn also tied Penn State, 2-2.
Friday marked the first game this season the Huskies entered the third period trailing. Last year, UConn was 2-15-2 when trailing heading into the third and 0-14-0 in 2014-15.
Grad Student Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.) scored his first goal as a Husky. Morgan spent the past three seasons at Maine, where he scored 17 career goals.
Drake scored his first goal since his first game his freshman season, a 2-1 loss at Merrimack. The goal ended a stretch of 58 games without a goal, the longest among active Huskies.
Pratt scored his first career goal in his 72nd career game for UConn. He came into the night with four career points on four assists.
The Raiders scored on the power play, at even strength and shorthanded in the first period.
Freshman Bobby McMann opened the scoring just 1:24 in, his first collegiate goal. Junior Evan Peterson scored the other two Colgate goals, at 14:03 to tie it at 2-2 and shorthanded at 17:02 to take a 3-2 lead.
The UConn defense took care of the scoring in the first period as juniors Pratt and Drake both scored their first goals of the season.
On an odd-man rush, Pratt burst up the left wing to bury a rebound off a Freeman shot at 6:00 to tie the score at 1-1. Drake gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead at 11:33, burying a slap shot top shelf from just outside the right circle. The puck got loose from a scrum in front of Colton Point and bounced it way out to Drake’s stick.
Shots were even at 12-12 in the period. The Huskies went to the penalty box three times in the period. In last weekend’s sweep of Alabama Huntsville, UConn killed off all nine penalties they took.
The Huskies titled the ice in the second period to the tune of a 16-3 shot advantage but came up empty on the scoreboard.
UConn finished 0-for-3 on the power play in the second, generating six shots with the man advantage.
UConn’s Morgan tied the game at 3-3 at 5:38 in the period with his first goal as a Husky. Sophomore Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill.) poked at a puck in front of the net and Morgan chipped the loose puck at the left post over Point.
The Huskies took a 4-3 lead just over two minutes as Thompson buried his fourth on the season on a 4-on-4 opportunity. Drake fired on net from the high slot with the rebound finding a crashing Thompson in the left circle who buried it at 7:43.
The Raiders pulled even at 4-4 at the 10:55 mark. Nichols made an initial save but couldn’t coral the rebound and Derek Freeman poked it just inside the right post.
Both teams registered 12 shots in the period and both were 0-for-3 with the extra skater.
The Huskies got off the only shots in the overtime but Point stopped all five UConn chances including three-straight in the closing seconds off the sticks of Thompson, Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) and Alexander Payusov (Montreal, Quebec).
The Huskies continue their road trip heading to Rochester Saturday night to face former Atlantic Hockey foe RIT at the Blue Cross Arena. The Tigers hold a 19-10-1 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools.
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