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- UConn will take part in the Desert Hockey Classic this weekend at the Gila River Arena, home to the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. This will be the fifth different NHL arena the Huskies have played in. The Huskies open the tournament against Michigan Tech on Friday.
- UConn rebounded from a pair of losses in the Mariucci Classic with a 5-2 win at Arizona State Tuesday night.
- Senior Patrick Kirtland recorded a career-high two goals in the win at ASU, snapping an 11-game streak without a goal. Kirtland has had a point in each of the three games on this current road trip (2g-2a-4p). He has 10 points (4g/6a) on the season.
- Freshman Tage Thompson also scored twice in the win over the Sun Devils and now leads the team with nine goals. He has scored a point in each of the last three games (2g-2a-4p) and has scored in seven of the last nine. Thompson has collected nine of his 16 points this season over the last nine games (5g-4a-9p).
- Thompson scored his eighth power play goal of the season in Tuesday’s win, tying him with New Hampshire’s Dan Correale for the most in the NCAA. Thompson’s nine goals this season is tied for eighth among league scores and first among HEA rookies.
- Freshman Max Letunov is on a streak of eight-straight games registering a point (2g-7a-9p). Letunov assisted on both Thompson goals Tuesday night and leads the club with 22 points (8g-14a).
- Letunov’s 22 points is ranked fourth in Hockey East and tied for eighth among the nation’s top-scorers. He is second to Boston College’s Collin White in scoring among HEA rookies.
- Freshman Joseph Masonius is tied for ninth among Hockey East defensmen in scoring with 11 points (4g-7a). He is tied for seventh among league rookies in scoring.
- Senior Shawn Pauly missed five games earlier this season with a knee injury. Since his return to the lineup, he has posted five points (1g-4a) over the last six games.
Scouting Michigan Tech... The Michigan Tech Huskies open the New Year at the Desert Hockey Classic and come in with an 11-7-2 record. The Huskies sit in third place in the WCHA standings with a 9-6-1 mark. Michigan Tech is coming off an appearance in the Great Lakes Invitational where they beat Michigan State, 3-2 in overtime, and lost to Michigan 4-2. Michigan Tech received votes in both national polls this week. The Huskies have one of the best power plays in the nation converting at .250 (17-68). Senior Alex Petan leads the offense with 19 points on 10 goals and nine assists. Junior Tyler Heinonen has a team-high 11 goals, tops in the WCHA. In net, senior Jamie Phillips has played all but one game and owns a 2.23 goals against with a .913 save percentage.
UConn vs. the WCHA... The Huskies are 6-35-0 all-time against teams playing in the WHCA. UConn is 1-2-0 against the league this season, splitting a series at Alabama Huntsville and falling to Ferris State at the Mariucci Classic. UConn has faced Alabama Huntsville more than any other team in the league, going 3-9-0 against the Chargers. The Huskies own wins over Alaska Anchorage (1-6-0), Alaska (1-4-0) and Bemidji State (1-3-0) but are winless against Bowling Green (0-3-1), Ferris State (0-7-0) and Minnesota State (0-5-0). The Huskies have never faced Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech or Northern Michigan.
Last Time Out... The UConn Huskies got a pair of goals each from senior Patrick Kirtland and freshman Tage Thompson on the way to a 5-2 win at Arizona State Tuesday evening in Tempe, Arizona. The Huskies got a 20 save effort from sophomore Tanner Creel who made his first career start for UConn earning the win in goal. The Huskies finished the night 2-for-6 on the power play and put 41 shots on net in the win. Sophomore Corey Ronan scored the Huskies other goal Tuesday night. After a scoreless first period, the Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second. Kirtland got his first on a deflection just 53 seconds into the period. Thompson scored his nation-leading eighth power play goal, coming off a feed from Max Letunov. The duo would strike again in the third period for Thompson’s second goal of the night, giving the rookie a team-high nine goals on the season. Kirtland finished the UConn scoring, deflecting a Jesse Schwartz shot in front on the power play to put the Huskies up 5-1. For Kirtland, it was his first career two-goal game. The Sun Devils scored twice on the power play, both coming from freshman Jordan Masters. The Huskies held a 41-22 edge on shots. Goaltender David Jacobson made 36 saves in taking the loss.
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