Dec. 3, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey team fell at home tonight at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum to RIT, 2-1. The Huskies earned a split of the weekend series after defeating the Tigers on Friday night, 3-2.
UConn dropped to 5-8-2 (4-5-1 AHA) while RIT improved to 6-5-2 (5-3-2 AHA).
Connecticut outshot RIT, 29-17 but RIT goaltender Shane Madolora stopped 28 shots to earn the victory. UConn goaltender Garrett Bartus came up with 15 saves on the night.
"I thought we played pretty hard all weekend," said UConn Head Coach Bruce Marshall.
"It's disappointing that we didn't get four points, but obviously they are a proven team. They've been to the Frozen Four. I think we can build off it. We have one more game before exams that hopefully we can get some points from and we'll see where we are in the standings come break."
UConn went down 2-0 and battled back with a goal from Brant Harris but the comeback bid fell short in the end.
The Huskies opened quickly in the first period with four shots in the opening minutes but Madolora came up with the necessary saves.
The game was back and forth in the first but RIT scored the opening goal for the second-straight night. Jeff Smith took a pass in the slot from Brandon Thompson at the right corner and beat Bartus for his first goal of the season at 7:52.
The Huskies finished with an 8-6 edge in shots overall after 20 minutes.
Cole Schneider had two breakaways stoned on the night with the first coming 2:30 into the second period. A UConn defenseman chipped the back over the neutral zone into the path of the UConn sophomore. Schneider deked to his backhand trying to slide the puck through the five hole. The puck looked to go into the net but stopped dead on the goal line.
RIT then capitalized to go ahead 2-0 on a shot from Mark Cornacchia at 13:08 from the left face-off circle.
Connecticut cut the deficit to 2-1 with a power-play goal from sophomore Brant Harris at 19:06. Alex Gerke sent a pass from the right point down to Cole Schneider stationed on the left side. Schneider turned and found Harris at the top of the crease who buried his 11th goal of the season.
Both teams put eight shots on net in the second period and UConn went into the locker room with a slight 16-14 advantage overall with the score at 2-1.
Schneider had a golden opportunity to give UConn the game-tying goal with just 2:00 remaining when he stole the puck in the neutral zone from an RIT defenseman and came in all alone on Madolora. Schneider wristed a shot towards the left side but Madolora made the biggest save of the night to keep the score at 2-1 in favor of RIT.
Connecticut pulled Bartus for the remaining 1:30 but was unable to break through the RIT defense and the game ended with RIT ahead, 2-1.
UConn will be in action next with game three of a seven-game home stand against Bentley on Friday, December 9. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.
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