Dec. 2, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The Connecticut men's hockey team earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory over conference rival RIT tonight at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. The Huskies improved to 5-7-2 (4-4-1 AHA) while RIT dropped to 5-5-2 (4-3-2 AHA).
Junior defenseman Tom Janosz blasted home the game-winning goal while sophomores Jordan Sims and Brant Harris also found the back of the net. Sophomore Cole Schneider finished the night with three assists.
Junior goaltender Garrett Bartus finished the night with 29 saves while RIT's Shane Madolora ended the night with 28 stops, including several highlight-reel saves.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal from Ben Lynch 11:26 into the first period. Brad McGowan fired a shot from the right side. Bartus made the save but the rebound bounced dangerously towards the left face-off circle where Lynch one-timed the game's opening goal into the empty net.
The Huskies equalized with a goal from sophomore forward Jordan Sims at 13:43. Sims took a pass from Schneider in the low slot and beat Madolora for his fourth tally this season.
After one period, the two teams went into the locker room tied, 1-1, with both teams putting 10 shots on frame.
Neither team was able to create the go-ahead goal in the second period but the Huskies generated several quality opportunities with Madolora coming up with three great saves to keep the score at 1-1.
3:52 into the second, Jordan Sims came down the right wall and sent a pass to Schneider in the slot. His one-time shot from just outside the creased was denied with a stick save.
With UConn on the power play at 8:50, Billy Latta faked a shot at the top of the box and sent a pass down to Brant Harris stationed at the right door step for what looked like an easy tap in. Madolora reached the stick out for his top save of the night.
Harris and Sean Ambrosie nearly gave Connecticut the lead with just 1:14 remaining as the duo came into the RIT defensive zone on a two-on-one. Harris sent a pass from the right side to Ambrosie streaking through the slot, but his shot was stuffed at the top of the crease.
UConn outshot RIT, 14-8, in the second period and went into the locker room ahead overall, 24-18.
With an RIT player in the box to start the final period, the Huskies quickly capitalized on the man-advantage to go ahead, 2-1. Cole Schneider sent a pass from the right point down to Sean Ambrosie stationed on the right side of the net. Ambrosie was spun to his backhand and found Harris at the top of the crease who stuffed home his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Tom Janosz extended the lead to 3-1 with the eventual game winner on a slap shot from the top of the right face-off circle. Cole Schneider sent the puck back along the wall from behind the net where a waiting Janosz blasted home his first of the season at 8:31.
The Tigers would cut the lead to one when Cameron Burt beat Bartus from up close at 13:54 but the UConn defense held strong the remaining six minutes to earn the critical two points in league play.
The two teams will play the second game of the two-game series on Saturday night beginning at 7:05 p.m. with the UConn pep band in attendance.