Alex Gerke notched a hat trick for Connecticut tonight.
Nov. 16, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - Behind a five-point night from junior defenseman Alex Gerke, the UConn men's hockey program recorded an 8-3 victory over AHA rival Sacred Heart tonight at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.
The win improves UConn's record to 4-4-2 (3-2-1 AHA) while Sacred Heart continues the early season struggles at 0-11-0 (0-7-0 AHA). Garrett Bartus finished with 19 saves.
"This was one we really needed to have tonight," said Head Coach Bruce Marshall. "Saturday against Yale is a non-league game. It'll be a challenge and good experience for us, but this was a big one for us."
Gerke finished the night with three power play goals and two assists to lead Connecticut. The Huskies notched five power-play goals on the night.
"They were all back door tap-ins really. I have to thank the guys for those tonight. They were all pretty easy for me... I knew their goalie was really aggressive and liked to come out. They left the back door open and that worked out perfectly the way we were running the power play," said Gerke.
UConn fell behind 1-0 just 1:58 into the opening period but stormed back with the equalizer from Brant Harris on the power play at 5:33 to start a stretch of six unanswered tallies.
After allowing the game's opening goal, Connecticut dominated the action the rest of the way. UConn outshot the Pioneers 19-6 in the first period and 48-22 overall.
UConn put the game away with five straight goals to start the second period, beginning with Gerke's first of the night just 37 seconds in. Joe Budnick would make it 3-1 with his first collegiate goal 32 seconds later.
The Huskies made it 5-1 with two power-play goals in a 2:09 stretch. Gerke struck again with the man advantage at 12:14 followed by freshman Cody Sharib's fourth goal of the season at 14:23.
Freshman Jacob Poe went on to notch his first collegiate goal at 17:48 for UConn's largest lead of the night at 6-1.
Sacred Heart scored at the end of the second and again at the start of the third to make it 6-3 but Connecticut finished the final period with two goals to close the scoring at 8-3.
Senior Marcello Ranallo scored at 7:49 before Gerke completed his hat trick at 12:15, yet again on the power play. UConn faces No. 9 Yale in New Haven on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.