BURLINGTON, Vt. – UConn sophomore goaltender Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia) made a season-high 39 saves to lead the Huskies to a 4-1 Hockey East win at the University of Vermont Tuesday night. Four different Huskies found the back of the net in the win as UConn takes the season series from the Catamounts
The win ends the Huskies six-game winless streak (0-5-1), dating back to a 5-1 win at home over these Catamounts on November 3. UConn is now 4-10-2 overall and 3-6-1 in Hockey East. UVM falls to 3-9-1 overall and 1-5-1 in league with their fourth-straight loss.
The Huskies opened the game building a 3-0 lead in the first period thanks to goals by seniors Jesse Schwartz (Toronto, Ontario) and Kasperi Ojantakanen (Helsinki, Finland) and sophomore Philip Nyberg (Linkoping, Sweden).
UVM cut the lead to 3-1 in the third period with an Alex Esposito power play goal as the Catmounts mounted an offensive charge with 20 shots in the period. The Huskies held on and junior Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill.) added an empty net goal with 21 seconds left to seal the win.
Huska turned away 19 in the third period alone as he claimed his fourth win on the year. Vermont’s Stefanos Lekkas made 34 saves in taking the loss.
— UConn Men's Hockey (@UConnMHOC) November 22, 2017
The Huskies put a big first period on the board, scoring three times while outshooting the Catamounts 17-8. Coming into Tuesday night, UConn had been outscored 19-5 in first periods and had held a first period lead just three times.
Schwartz opened the scoring at 2:02, getting position in front of the net to sneak one past Lekkas off a feed from Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.), his fourth of the season. The Huskies made it 2-0 at 6:18 as Ojantakanen picked-up his third goal of the year and first in nine games. Junior Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury, Mass.) took a feed from Johnny Austin (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and whipped around the net looking for a wrap-around. His shot went wide but Ojantakanen was waiting to one-time it home from the left circle.
The Huskies made it 3-0 on their first power play chance of the night. Nyberg knocked down a clear attempt by UVM, collected the puck and snapped a shot from the top right circle off the post and past Lekkas for his first of the season at 14:17.
Vermont put plenty of offensive pressure on over the final 10 minutes of the second period but the Huskies kept the Catamounts off the board and killed off the only penalty of the period. UVM had a 12-11 edge on shots in the second.
Vermont finally cashed in on a power play and cut the UConn lead to 3-1 at 5:27. The Catamounts got a breakout up ice and Jarrid Privitera fed a cross ice pass to Esposito on the right wing who settled the puck and deposited it into the top right corner for his second on the season.
The Huskies tacked on an empty net goal to seal the win at 19:39 as David Drake (Naperville, Ill.) shuffled the puck to Kalter just inside the blue line in the UConn zone and he fired down the ice for the clicher, his fifth on the season.
The Huskies win the season series from UVM, 2-1. This was UConn’s first win at Gutterson Field House since the 1964-65 season, a 10-5 win (Jan. 26, 1965). UVM still leads the all-time series, 23-5-1.
Schwartz’s four goals on the season marks a new career-high for the senior. Ojantakanen’s third goal of the season was his first since Oct. 21 vs. Boston University, a span of nine games. Austin picked-up his team-leading ninth assist on the season and now has 10 points (1/9), tied for the team lead.
Nyberg’s first goal of the season makes him the 17th Husky this season to find the back of the net.