Nov. 4, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey program hit the road for the first of two games at Atlantic Hockey foe Mercyhurst and fell in overtime to the Lakers, 4-3. Connecticut dropped to 3-3-1 (2-1-0 AHA) while Mercyhurst improved to 3-4-0 (2-0-0 AHA).
Junior Garrett Bartus finished with 30 saves on the night while his counterpart from Mercyhurst, Max Strang, stopped 27 shots for the victory.
The Huskies rallied from two goals down to start the third period and force overtime. With the score at 3-1 entering the period, UConn came out and outshot the Lakers in the third stanza, 12-3.
Senior Daniel Naurato cut the score to 3-2 with his first of the season at 5:08 with the assist going to junior Alex Gerke, his third helper of the season. The two teams would skate scoreless for the next 13 minutes as it looked like Mercyhurst would escape with the 3-2 result.
Connecticut pressured the Lakers throughout the remaining time in the third and finally found the equalizer off the stick of leading scorer Brant Harris at 18:31. Harris put home his seventh of the season with just 1:29 remaining with assists credited to sophomore Billy Latta and Gerke. Latta earned his third assist on the year with Gerke notching his second of the night and fourth of the season.
The Huskies were undone in the extra period with a power-play goal by Kevin Noble just 2:02 into the action. Connecticut was called for the infraction 39 seconds into overtime leading to the deciding goal.
Connecticut and Mercyhurst battled scoreless throughout the first period until 18:29 when Tyler Shiplo beat bartus to open the scoring.
The Huskies found the equalizer at 8:26 of the second period. Seniors Corey Jendras and Marcello Ranallo combined on the power play with Jendras scoring his first of the season on Ranallo's first assist of 2011.
Mercyhurst answered back at 10:47 with Grant Blakely giving Mercyhurst its second lead of the night with an even-strength goal.
Connecticut allowed another late goal in the second to go down, 3-1. With just 1:37 remaining in the second period, Mercyhurst forward Daniel Bahntge beat Bartus to take the two goal lead heading into the third period.
The two teams turn around for the rematch on Saturday night beginning at 7:05 p.m.
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