UConn will open a Hockey East series with Maine on Thursday night returning to the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. The Huskies last played in Bridgeport during the 2014-15 season when they visited the Park City arena five times that year. UConn is 3-4-0 all-time at Webster Bank Arena.
Following Thursday night’s game, the two teams will head to Boston’s legendary Fenway Park for the 2017 Capitol One Frozen Fenway. Friday will feature an open practice at 1:30 pm and media session followed by Saturday’s match-up.
The Huskies and Black Bears will meet in game one of the doubleheader with opening face-off now scheduled for 1:30 pm. Northeastern and New Hampshire will meet in game two.
The Huskies saw their five-game unbeaten streak come to an end last Saturday at the hands of Yale, 4-2. The five-game unbeaten streak was their longest since joining Hockey East (2014-15) and tied the longest under head coach Mike Cavanaugh. The Huskies had a 3-0-2 streak in 2013-14.
Junior Spencer Naas continued his hot streak with a goal in the loss to Yale. Naas extended his scoring streak to three-straight games. His 11 goals is second on the team and over his last three games, Naas has five points (4g/1a). In his last seven, Naas has six goals and an assist.
Grad Student Brian Morgan ended a nine-game streak without a goal scoring in the first period against Yale. Morgan will face his former team this weekend. In his three years with the Black Bears, he appeared in 103 games, scoring 17 goals with 15 assists for 32 points.
Sophomore Max Kalter had an assist on the Naas goal, his 11th on the season, extending his point streak to three-straight games.
Both Tage Thompson and Adam Huska returned to the UConn lineup last Saturday after playing in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships. Thompson helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the tournament with a goal and four assists.
Recently added freshman defenseman Philip Nyberg (Linköping, Sweden) made his UConn debut in the two games in Arizona, Since joining the team, Nyberg has a pair of assists to his credit over three games.
SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS
The Maine Black Bears come in at 7-10-3 ovrerall but just 1-6-1 in Hockey East. Last weekend, Maine hosted the U.S. National Development team in an exhibition, falling 6-2. Senior Cam Brown is the team’s leading point producer with three goals and 18 assists on the year. Freshman Chase Pearson, a Detroit Red Wings prospect, leads the club with 10 goals, four coming on the power play. In goal, sophomore Rob McGovern has a 2.98 goals against and a .909 save percentage, ranking 10th among Hockey East leaders.
LAST MEETING WITH MAINE
The Huskies took the season series with a win and a tie at Maine last year. In game one, UConn goaltender Rob Nichols stopped 44 shots to guide the Huskies to a 1-0 win. Nichols became the first goaltender in school history to post consecutive shutouts. Senior Shawn Pauly provided the only scoring on the night, netting the game-winner in the first period. The Black Bears held a 44-19 advantage on shots. UConn killed off all four Maine power plays in the win. In game two of the series, UConn’s Maxim Letunov scored on the power play at 2:52 of the third period, providing the tying goal as the Huskies came away with three of four points on the weekend. The Huskies got 38 saves from junior Rob Nichols in net on the night. After a scoreless first period the Black Bears broke the scoreless tie with a shorthanded goal at 9:04. Maine’s Steven Swavely picked off a pass in the UConn zone and took off on a break-away chance. Swavely ended Nichols’ bid for a third-straight shutout for a 1-0 lead. UConn scored on their fourth power play chance of the night early in the third period as Letunov came up with the tying goal. The Huskies got two more power play chances in the third period but couldn’t come up with the go-ahead score. In the overtime the Black Bears got three shots on net to UConn’s two before the final horn.
HUSKIES AT WEBSTER BANK ARENA
The Huskies are 3-3-0 all-time when playing in Bridgeport as they return to Webster Bank Arena for the first time since 2014-15.
UConn played five games at the arena in 2014-15, beating then No. 14 Quinnipiac, 4-1, while losing to Colorado College, 4-1, and Notre Dame, 6-1. The Huskies also played in the Frozen Holiday Classic at the arena, beating Union, 3-2, and falling to UMass Lowell in the championship game, 3-1. UConn beat Sacred Heart, 4-0, in 2012-13 and lost to the Pioneers, 2-1, in 2010-11 in Atlantic Hockey match-ups at the Bridgeport arena.
The Huskies will take part in Capitol One Frozen Fenway 2017, facing the Maine Black Bears. Three members of the UConn program have past experience with Frozen Fenway.
Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh was an assistant coach at Boston College when the Eagles played at the first ever Frozen Fenway event in 2010, a 3-2 loss to Boston University. He was on the bench again in 2012 when Boston College beat Northeastern, 2-1 at the historic park.
Assistant coach Joe Pereira skated for the BU Terriers in the 2010 game against BC. Then a junior, Pereira scored BU’s first goal of the second period to give the Terriers a 2-0 lead on the way to a 3-2 victory.
Grad student Brian Morgan, a transfer from Maine, played for the Black Bears in the 2014 Frozen Fenway event. Morgan had a pair of shots and finished as a +1 as Maine topped Boston University, 7-3.
Tickets are on sale now for Capitol One Frozen Fenway 2017. The Huskies will be part of a doubleheader on Saturday, January 14 when they take on the Black Bears prior to New Hampshire and Northeastern taking the ice in the night cap.
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