HARTFORD, Conn. – The UConn men’s hockey got a goal and an assist from senior Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, British Columbia) but AIC goaltender Zackarias Skog turned in 36 saves in his collegiate debut as the Yellow Jackets and Huskies skated to a 2-2 tie at the XL Center Friday night. The Huskies are now 2-1-3 on the season while AIC moves to 0-1-1.
UConn went 1-of-9 on the power play Friday night, including 0-for-5 in the third period. The Huskies held a 38-18 edge in shots overall with 19 coming on their power play. UConn senior Rob Nichols (Dallas, Texas) finished the night with 16 saves and improved to 2-0-2 on the year.
In addition to Richardson’s goal, sophomore Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec) found the back of the net for the third time this season. The Yellow Jackets got goals from Jared Pike and Shawn McBride on the night.
Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh – ““I thought we started the game pretty well. Even when they got their goal in the first, I loved our bounce back goal. That second period was tough, a lot of penalties and it made it really hard to get into any kind of flow. But the story of the game tonight was really us going 0-5 on the power play in the third. We just didn’t convert. It’s disappointing we didn’t come out with the win tonight.”
The Huskies run their unbeaten streak against AIC to 19-straight (15-0-4), dating back to the 2007-08 season.
UConn is now 1-3-2 against teams from their former conference, Atlantic Hockey, since joining Hockey East in 2014-15. The Huskies are 0-0-2 this season with a game left against Sacred Heart in November.
Richardson picked-up his third multi-point effort in six games this season. He now has four for his career and the Huskies are 1-1-2 in those games.
El-Mir’s third goal this season matches his goal output from his freshman campaign where he had three in 21 games.
Sophomore Max Kalter has had an assist in four of the six games this year.
UConn was without sophomore Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) on Friday night. Letunov was served a five-minute major and disqualification for boarding in Wednesday’s loss at Quinnipiac and by NCAA rule, was ineligible to dress for Friday’s game. He can return to the line-up next week.
The Huskies dominated in the shot department in the first period, putting 14 on net to AIC’s three.
UConn opened the scoring at 9:14 with their second power play goal in as many games. Richardson picked-up a pass from junior Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) out of the left corner and buried a wrist shot from the slot, top-shelf, fourth his fourth on the season.
AIC tied the game late in the first as Jared Pike picked-up his first of the season at 18:49, putting a wrist shot past Nichols glove side.
The Huskies answered right back at 19:19 as Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill.) broke UConn out on a rush and dished to Richardson on the left wing. Richardson shoveled the puck over to El-Mir for a one-time in the right circle for his third on the season.
The Yellow Jackets found the equalizer at 15:08 in the second period on the power play. Shawn McBride notched his first on the season, flicking a wrister off a feed from Austin Orszulak in front. From there, Skog made it stand up, stopping 14 shots in the third period to send the game to overtime.
AIC finished 1-for-3 in the second on the power play. Seven penalties were whistled in the second period, four on UConn and three on AIC.
UConn outshot AIC 14-2 in the third period but couldn’t crack Skog. The Huskies got five power play chances in the third and fired 10 shots on net in the period.
AIC got a power play 3:16 in overtime as Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) was called for interference. The Yellow Jackets forced Nichols to make a pair of saves with under a minute to play to preserve the tie for UConn.
The Huskies head back out on the road to open the Hockey East schedule with a two-game series at Notre Dame next Thursday and Friday, October 27 and 28.