Jan. 15, 2014
The UConn Huskies make their first road trip since the month of November when they head to Erie, Pennsylvania to take on Atlantic Hockey leader Mercyhurst in a weekend series. The Huskies are coming off an eight-game homestand where they went 6-2-0. UConn split their two-game set with Robert Morris last week, winning 5-1 and losing 6-1 at Freitas Ice Forum. UConn sits tied for third in the AHA standings with Air Force, both with 17 points. The Mercyhurst Lakers sit atop the AHA standings with an 11-1-1 mark and have won four-straight since the start of the 2014 calendar year. The Lakers lone league loss came at the hands of Canisius back on November 9th, a 4-3 loss in Buffalo. Since then, Mercyhurst has rattled off a 10-game unbeaten streak in conference play (9-0-1).
UConn vs. Mercyhurst All-Time Series... The Lakers lead the all-time series 33-13-2. The two teams split their two games in Storrs last season, UConn winning 5-4 and Mercyhurst shutting out the Huskies in game two, 5-0. The Lakers ended the Huskies season in the AHA semifinals, winning 4-1 on championship weekend in Rochester, N.Y. The Huskies do hold a 4-3-0 edge in post season meetings, beating the Lakers in the semifinals on the road to their 2000 MAAC Championship. UConn is just 3-19-1 on the road in the series with their last win in Erie coming in 2006-07, a 5-4 overtime victory.
On Tap… UConn will play a home-and-home series with the AIC Yellow Jackets next weekend. The Huskies won the first meeting this season, 8-1, on November 23rd in Springfield.
- The six goals allowed in the loss to RMU matches the most given up by the Huskies this season (L, 6-1 at Minnesota State, 10/19/13).
- UConn is 5-2-1 this season against the AHA’s western teams (Air Force, Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara, RIT, Robert Morris). The Huskies have trips to Mercyhurst and Air Force left on the schedule. UConn was 7-8-0 against the six western schools last season.
- Seniors Billy Latta and Brant Harris recorded back-to-back hat-tricks in wins over RIT, 6-2, and RMU, 5-1. There have been 26 players who have recorded a hat-trick in 2013-14.
- Latta has five power play goals, tied for second in the AHA and 11th nationally.
- Sophomore Kyle Huson scored his first goal of the year in the 6-1 loss to RMU. 17 of the 23 Huskies to suit up this season have now scored at least one goal.
- The Husky penalty kill (51-60/.850) killed off 27-straight penalties before allowing a second period power play goal in the 6-1 loss to RMU. UConn ranks first in the AHA and are tied for 13th in the nation on the penalty kill.
- The Huskies have allowed just 9 power play goals on the season, tied with Boston College and Cornell for second fewest in the country. Harvard has allowed just 8 pp goals.
- Seniors Brant Harris and Jordan Sims are closing in on 100-career points. Harris has 98 pts. (49g/49a) in 124 career games while Sims has 94 career pts. (32g/62a) in 129 games.
Last Time Out… The Huskies split their season series with Robert Morris, beating the Colonials in game one 5-1 but dropping game two, 6-1. Last Thursday, seniors Billy Latta and Brant Harris were responsible for all the scoring as the Huskies built a 5-0 lead into the third period en route to their fourth-straight win. Latta recorded the first hat-trick of his career, scoring a goal in each period including his fifth on the power play. Harris tacked on a pair of goals, one game after recording his first career hat-trick in a 6-2 win over RIT. UConn scored on their first two-shots of the game, chasing RMU goaltender Terry Shafer. Senior Matt Grogan made 22 saves in picking-up his eighth win of the season. The Colonials flipped the tables on the Huskies on Friday night, scoring three times in the first period en route to the 6-1 win. RMU got a pair of goals from Cody Wydo while Shafer rebounded with 25 saves to earn the win in goal. The Huskies saw their streak of 28-straight penalties killed off come to an end as David Friedmann scored on the power play in the second period.
Scouting the Lakers… Mercyhurst enters this weekend riding a four-game winning streak thanks to AHA series road wins at Holy Cross, 4-2 and 1-0, and at Army, 3-1 and 3-1. The Lakers return home to the Mercyhurst Ice Center for the first time since mid-December where they are 6-2-1 this season. The Laker offense is tops in the AHA and ranks eighth nationally averaging 3.54 goals per game. Three Lakers are in the top-10 in scoring in the AHA led by junior Matthew Zay and senior Daniel O’Donoghue who are one-two in the league. Zay has scored 32 points this season on 13 goals and 19 assists and ranks fourth nationally. O’Donoghue has scored 10 goals and assisted on 20 others for 30 points, tied for sixth in the nation. Junior Ryan Misiak is sixth in the AHA with 25 points on seven goals and 18 assists. Senior defenseman Nick Jones is second among the league’s defensemen in scoring with 18 points (5g/13a). The Lakers lead the country with eight shorthanded goals this season, led by Zay who has collected three. Between the pipes, junior Jimmy Sarjeant has won 13 games, tops among the league’s netminders and fourth in the national rankings. He sports a .930 save percentage and a 2.42 goals against average, second and third, respectively, among league leaders.
Last Meeting with Mercyhurst... UConn saw an early 1-0 lead in last season Atlantic Hockey semifinals as Mercyhurst scored four-unanswered to eliminate the Huskies and move on to the title game at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. UConn took a 1-0 lead just 7:36 into the game as Trevor Gerling buried his 12th of the season. Cody Sharib and Shawn Pauly set up Gerling up the left wing, who fired on net with the buck just trickling past Jordan Tibbett. The goal was reviewed by the referees, the first official review in AHA Championship history, and was upheld. The Laker penalty kill stymied a 5-on-3 opportunity for the Huskies last in the first, holding UConn without a shot. Mercyhurst tied the game midway through the second on a Zac Frischmon goal and Paul Chiasson produced the game-winner at 15:59, tipping home a Nick Jones blast past UConn goaltender Matt Grogan. Ryan Misiak posted a third period power play goal and Chiasson added an empty-netter in the final two minutes to ice away the win. Grogan made 29 stops for the Huskies while Tibbett stopped 31 in the win. The loss ended the Huskies season at 19-16-1, their first winning campaign since the 1999-2000 season.
Husky Hat Tricks... Seniors Brant Harris and Billy Latta recorded consecutive hat-tricks in wins over RIT and Robert Morris, the first three goal games in each of their careers. Harris notched the first UConn hat trick since Brad Cooper scored three in a 5-3 win at home over Bentley on February 25, 2012, finishing with three goals and an assist in a 6-2 win over RIT. Just one game later, Latta scored three to lead the Huskies past Robert Morris, 5-1. There have been 28 hat tricks recorded in Divsion I college hockey this season by 26 different players. The only two players to record a pair of hat tricks this season hail from Atlantic Hockey in RMU’s Cody Wydo (vs. Penn State & Canisius) and Bentley’s Alex Grieve (vs. RMU & RIT).