BOSTON, Mass. – UConn got four goals from four different players and freshman Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia) turned in 37 saves to lead the Huskies to a 4-0 win over No. 5/4 Boston University in Hockey East action at Agganis Arena Saturday night. The Huskies even their record at 4-4-5 overall and 2-2-1 in the league.
For Huska it was the rookie’s first career shutout, coming in his sixth collegiate game. He is now 2-2-2 in net this season.
The loss drops BU to 6-4-1 overall and 2-1-1 in Hockey East. Freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger made 16 saves in taking the loss. Neither team scored on the power play Saturday night, UConn going 0-for-4 and BU finishing 0-for-3.
UConn sophomore Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec) provided the game-winner, scoring his fifth on the season in the second period. Juniors Kasperi Ojantakanen (Helsinki, Finland) and David Drake (Naperville, Ill.) both scored their second goals of the season while classmate Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) picked up his first of the season in the win.
The Terriers finished with a 37-20 edge on shots on the night.
Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh – “I was proud of our team last night and am equally proud of them tonight. We had a 60 minute effort again tonight. I told the team this was probably the first time since I’ve been there that we went a weekend and played 120 minutes and had no lapses. Especially in this league. I think we were good in a lot of facets of the game and Adam (Huska) made some big saves early and that calmed us down a little bit. I was really proud of the team because we talked about playing on our toes and not sitting back especially in the third period. WE got that goal from David (Drake) right away then Corey (Ronan) got one and we kept on them. That’s a really good team and they are certainly going to make some noise in this league. I’m just really proud of how my team played.”
The Huskies picked up their first win in Agganis Arena in four tries and are now 1-2-1 at BU. The two teams split the season series for the second-straight year.
The shutout win is UConn’s fifth shutout against a Hockey East opponent since joining the conference in 2014-15.
The win is UConn’s second this season against a ranked opponent and second against a team ranked in the top-10. The Huskies are now 1-2-0 this season against teams ranked in the top-five.
Huska’s 37 save night marks the fifth time in his six appearances that he recorded 30 or more saves. He now owns a 2.60 goals against and .930 save percentage.
Ten different Huskies collected a point in the win led by junior Johnny Austin (St. Louis Park, Minn.) who collected a pair of assists in the win, matching his career-high. It was his third multipoint game and first since a two-assist game vs. BU on 10/27/15.
UConn saw its streak of eight-straight games with a power play goal come to an end, finishing 0-for-4 with the extra skater.
Ronan’s goal ended a streak of 14 games since his last goal. He last scored when he came-up with the overtime winner in a 5-4 victory at New Hampshire in last season’s regular season finale.
The two teams skated to a scoreless first period with BU holding an 11-5 edge on shots. The Huskies were 0-for-2 on the power play in the period and BU went 0-for-1.
The Huskies broke the scoreless streak midway through the second on El-Mir’s fifth of the season. BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy broke up an UConn rush into the zone but Austin stayed with the play and knocked him off the puck with a hard skating El-Mir there to pick it up. The sophomore rifled a wrist shot past Oettinger to the far post, top-shelf at 10:04 for a 1-0 lead.
UConn made it 2-0 at 16:08, scoring just as a power play chance expired. Austin fed freshman Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, Maine) through the neutral zone and he carried up the left side. Freeman centered a pretty pass to a waiting Ojantakanen on the doorstep who shoveled it home for his second on the year.
UConn kept the offensive pressure on to start the third period, taking two goals on the board in the first 5:44.
The Huskies got their third goal just 1:48 into the period as Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, British Columbia) fed Drake on the right wing who circled back and fired a shot from the deep right circle, beating Oettinger to the short side.
Another BU miscue deep in their zone led to the Huskies fourth goal as well. Sophomore Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill) avoided a BU defender behind the net and slid a pass to Ronan in front who buried it point blank for his first of the season and a 4-0 lead at 5:44.
UConn is back at home at the XL Center for two games next week starting Tuesday night hosting No. 3 ranked Boston College.