Dec. 7, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut men’s hockey team completed a weekend sweep of Niagara Saturday afternoon, beating the Purple Eagles 2-1 in Atlantic Hockey Association action at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. The Huskies were down 1-0 after the first period but goals by sophomores Shawn Pauly (Bellingham, Wash.) and Tyler Bouchard (Glastonbury, Conn.) lifted the Huskies past Niagara to claim all four AHA points on the weekend.
The Huskies improve to 6-5-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the AHA and are now off until they host the UConn Hockey Classic at the XL Center on December 29th and 30th.
UConn put the pressure on Niagara early in the first period and held a 17-8 edge on shots after one but couldn’t solve Niagara goaltender Jackson Teichroeb. The Huskies went 0-for-2 on the power play in the opening 20 minutes but would go on to finish 1-of-7 on the night.
The Purple Eagles (3-11-1, 3-4-1 AHA) opened the scoring at 10:24 a Mike Conderman scored his fourth of the season. Kevin Patterson threw a shot on goal from just inside the blue line on the right wing and Conderman was able to deflect through traffic beating Grogan.
The Huskies got the equalizing goal at 1:49 in the second period off the stick of Pauly. Sophomore Patrick Kirtland (Cary, N.C) carried the puck into the zone and fed Pauly on the left wing. Pauly left fly with a wrister that found a home in the top shelf, glove side for his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
The UConn game-winner would come at 7:14 in the third as the Huskies finally capitalized on a power play chance. Pauly cycled the puck to junior Jacob Poe
) at the point who fired a shot through traffic on goal. Bouchard was able to get a deflection to beat Teichroeb for the game-winner and his fourth of the season.
The Huskies were whistled for six penalties on Saturday and killed off all five of Niagara’s power play opportunities, none bigger than in the closing minutes of the game. Senior Jordan Sims (Toronto, Ontario) was sent off for tripping at 17:30 and Niagara would pull Teichroeb for a 6-on-4 advantage. UConn fended off every scoring chance before the Purple Eagles would be whistled for too many skaters on the ice in the closing seconds to seal the game.
Senior netminder Matt Grogan (Gilbert, Ariz) made 21 saves in earning the win. Teichroeb turned away 30 Husky shots in a losing effort. UConn would hold a 32-22 edge on shots.
The Huskies will next face Sacred Heart in an AHA meeting in the UConn Hockey Classic on December 29th. The Quinnipiac Bobcats and UMass Minutemen will face-off in the other match-up in Hartford.