The UConn Huskies will close out the non-conference portion of their schedule on Friday night with a trip to West Point to face former Atlantic Hockey foe Army. The Huskies are looking to rebound off a 4-1 loss to Colorado College Tuesday night at the Webster Bank Arena. UConn is 2-6-3 in non-conference action this season. Army welcomes the Huskies to Tate Rink after splitting a weekend series with AIC last weekend. The Black Knights lost at home in overtime, 3-2, but rebound for a 4-3 win on the road the next night.
UConn vs. Army All-Time Series... Army leads the all-time series, 29-28-8, dating back to the first meeting during he 1968-69 season. Since the beginning of UConn’s Division I era (1998-99), the Huskies own a 22-16-6 lead in the series. The Huskies went 2-1-0 against Army in their final season of play in Atlantic Hockey in 2013-14. The two teams met once in the post season, when the #2 seeded Black Knights ended the #3 seeded Huskies championship hope with a 3-1 in the AHA semifinals in Rochester, N.Y.
- The Huskies host #6/5 UMass Lowell Saturday night at the XL Center. The Huskies are 2-1-1 at home in the Hartford arena this season. It has been 48 days since UConn last played in the XL Center.
- Freshman Spencer Naas has four goals over the last four games. Naas has three game-winners and had a pair of goals in the UMass win, his first career multi-goal and multi-point game. Naas leads all UConn rookies with 10 points (7g/3a). His seven goals are tied with senior Trevor Gerling for the team lead.
- After falling to Colorado College 4-1 on Tuesday night, the Huskies have now played 10 games this season where they have been held to one goal or less. UConn is averaging 1.84 goals per game, last in Hockey East and 52nd nationally
- The UConn special teams have struggled in the second half of the season. Over the last four games, the UConn power play is 1-for-16 (.063) while the penalty killing unit has allowed six goals and killed off 11 of 17 power plays (.647).
- On the year, UConn’s power play is 7-for-70 (.100) ranked 11th in the league and 54th nationally.
- Goaltender Rob Nichols has made 30 or more saves in four-straight games and in 10 of the 19 games this season. He has faced 605 shots, the third highest total in the nation.
- Nichols has played 97.2% of the minutes this season (1162:52), seventh highest nationally.
Scouting the Black Knights... The Army Black Knights ended a four-game winless streak with a 4-3 win at AIC last time out. Army sits at 5-13-2 overall and at 5-11-2 in Atlantic Hockey play. Freshman Tyler Pham posted four points in last weekend’s split with AIC to earn his second AHA Rookie of the Week award this season. Pham lead the team in points (19), goals (7) and assists (12). Pham is tied for eighth among Atlantic Hockey’s leading scorers this season. Classmate Conor Andrle has 11 points on the season on two goals and a nine assists. Goaltender Parker Gahagen has appeared in 13 of Army’s 20 games and owns a 3.15 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
Last Meeting with Army... The UConn Huskies and Army Black Knights split a late season Atlantic Hockey series last February. Army opened the weekend with a 4-3 win in Storrs but the Huskies rebounded for a 3-1 win on the road the following night. In game one, UConn honored their four seniors before the final regular season game at Freitas Ice Forum this season. The Huskies opened up a 2-0 lead on goals by Brent Norris and Shawn Pauly in the first period but Army stormed back to tie it at the first intermission. Trailing 3-2, UConn’s Trevor Gerling knotted the game at the 11:40 mark of the second period to send the game to the final 20 minute session at three goals apiece. The Huskies were 16-0-1 on the year when leading or tied heading into the third period but Army ended that streak as C.J. Reuschlein scored a power play goal 2:18 into the third for the game-winner. The Huskies fired off a season-high 45 shots but Army freshman goaltender Parker Gahagen stood tall making 42 saves. On Saturday night, UConn jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3:40 in as Sean Gaffney scored his third of the season. The Husky lead grew to 2-0 at 3:34 in the third as Norris netted his second of the weekend. UConn withstood a late Army rally to rebound for a 3-1 win as freshman goaltender Rob Nichols turned away 27 shots to secure his seventh victory of the season.
Last Time Out... The Colorado College Tigers scored three times on the power play Tuesday night on their way to a 4-1 win over the UConn Huskies in a non-conference match-up at Webster Bank Arena. The Tigers finished 3-for-5 on the power play and got goals from four different skaters on the way to ending a seven-game winless streak with the win. UConn went 0-for-6 with the extra skater and were outshot 35-24 on the night. Sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols made 31 saves, eclipsing the 30 save mark for the fourth-straight game and 10th time this season. The Tigers scored their first power play goal of the night at 16:20 in the first period but the Huskies answered right back, scoring off the ensuing face-off just 18 seconds later. Freshman Corey Ronan hit a streaking Spencer Naas who beat his defender and shoveled a backhanded shot past Tyler Marble for his seventh on the year. The Tigers took the lead for good with a power play goal at 8:43 in the second and tacked on their third just 3:18 into the third. Down 3-1 in the final period, UConn got three-straight power play chances but came up empty. Colorado College goaltender Tyler Marble made 23 saves in goal to register his third win on the year. Jacob Slavin scored a goal and had two assists while Zach Aman scored a goal and dished an assist in the win.
UConn vs. Atlantic Hockey...
- UConn was one of the inaugural members of the Atlantic Hockey Association and played in the conference for 11 season (2003-2014).
- This season, the Huskies faced off against their former conference twice, taking on Sacred Heart (L, 2-0) and Army.
The Huskies best-ever finish in the league came in 2012-13 when they posted a 19-14-4 mark.
- In their 11 seasons, UConn posted a 122-145-29 conference mark.
- The Huskies twice posted 15 conference wins in a season, 2006-07 and 2013-14.
- UConn advanced to the AHA semifinals four times but never appeared in a league championship game.