Ice Chips …
The UConn Huskies will open up a Hockey East home-and-home series with the No. 10 nationally ranked Providence Friars on Thursday night from the XL Center. The Huskies and Friars will take the ice again on Saturday at Providence’s Schneider Arena.
The Huskies have lost five-straight and are 0-5-1 against the Friars since joining Hockey East in 2014-15. UConn is 0-3-1 against PC at home in the XL Center and their lone win in the all-time series came on the road, a 3-2 win in 2013-14.
Thursday’s game will be broadcast around the state of Connecticut on WCTX MyTV9 as part of a two-game package with WTNH News 8. The Huskies match-up with New Hampshire on Saturday, January 27 will also be carried on MyTV9.
The Huskies are coming off a 3-0 loss at Merrimack on Friday night, a loss that saw UConn produce a season-low 16 shots on goal. The Huskies were swept by Merrimack in the season series for the first time since joining Hockey East in 2014-15.
UConn dropped their fourth-straight, three by way of shutout, since starting the second half of the season. Friday’s loss marked the fifth time this season UConn has been held scoreless, the most shutout losses in a season since 2009-10 when they were blanked seven times.
Junior Maxim Letunov leads the Husky offense with 20 points on the year (6g/14a). Letunov is tied for ninth in the league in scoring and tied for eighth in assists . He has 10 power play points (3g/7a).
Senior defenseman Johnny Austin has 17 points on three goals and 14 assists, all career-high marks. Austin is third among league blue liners in scoring and is tied for 17th among all scorers. He shares the team lead with Letunov with 10 power play points (2g/8a).
The UConn power play ranks fourth in Hockey East, converting at .204 percent (21-103).
Sophomore goaltender Adam Huska ranks seventh in the nation playing 93.1 percent of the minutes this season. Huska is fifth in Hockey East with a 2.52 goals against average and sixth with a .914 save percentage.
Last Season vs. Providence ...
GAME 1 (Feb. 8, 2017)
The UConn men’s hockey team fell behind 2-0 in the first period on the way to a 4-1 loss at the XL Center to the No. 11 ranked Providence Friars. The Huskies got a shorthanded goal from Karl El-Mir in the second period but where outshot 38-22 on the night and finished 0-for-6 on the power play. Freshman goaltender Adam Huska turned in 34 saves for the Huskies. Providence got a pair of goals from rookie Vimal Sukumaran while Scott Conway scored a goal and picked-up an assist in the win. Brian Pinho provided the game’s first goal, scoring just 27 seconds into the game. Goaltender Hayden Hawkey made 21 saves to earn the win.
GAME 2 (Feb. 10, 2017)
The UConn men’s hockey team got two goals from grad student Brian Morgan and a career-high 48 saves from senior goaltender Rob Nichols but came up a goal short in a 4-3 loss at No. 11 Providence College. The Friars got a hat-trick from sophomore Erik Foley to sweep the Hockey East season series. Providence outshot the Huskies 52-18 on the night and were 2-of-6 on the power play. UConn’s Nichols made 21 of his 48 saves in the second period and also stopped a third period penalty shot. Morgan’s first goal of the night gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead and Spencer Naas made it 2-1 in the opening minute of the second period. Morgan’s second goal on the night came at 7:42 in the third period to tie the game up at 3-3. Foley provided the Friars with the game-winner at 13:04, scoring on the power play to complete his hat trick. Friar goaltender Hayden Hawkey made 15 saves to earn the win in net.
Scouting the Friars ...
The Providence Friars come into the week ranked No. 10 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today national polls and are 5-0-1 since starting the second half of the season by winning the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh. Last weekend, the Friars dealt Boston College a 4-1 loss on the road and skated to a 2-2 tie at Boston University. The Friars have been close to perfect at home this season, going 8-2-0. Junior Erik Foley is the team’s top point producer with 13 goals and 15 assists on the season. Sophomore defenseman Jacob Bryson is among the league’s top-scoring blue liners with 17 points (1g/16a). As a unit, the Friars have the stingiest defense in the league allowing 2.21 goals per game. They are backstopped by junior Hayden Hawkey who boasts a 2.19 goals against and a .915 save percentage with three shutouts. His 15 wins puts him first in the league and third nationally.
Last Time Out ...
The UConn Huskies produced a season-low 16 shots on goal as they suffered a 3-0 Hockey East loss Friday night at Merrimack College. The Warriors sweep the season series from UConn and send the Huskies to their fourth-straight loss. The Huskies were shutout for the third time in the last four games since starting the second half of the season on December 30th. Sophomore Adam Huska made 35 saves in taking the loss. Merrimack junior goaltender Craig Pantano stopped all 16 shots he saw in recording the first shutout of his career. After two scoreless periods, Merrimack’s Ludvig Larsson ended the drought and produced the game-winner with a power play goal just 1:52 into the third period. MC sophomore Tyler Drevitch followed with his first career goal and classmate Cole McBride added an empty net goal late for close out the scoring. The Warriors held the Huskies to just one shot in the first period and finished the night with a 38-16 advantage on the shot chart.
Three UConn Games Headed for ESPN3 in February ...
The Hockey East Association and ESPN announced a multi-year agreement that will annually see 10 regular season games and the three games of the Hockey East Tournament championship weekend be made available to stream live on ESPN3. The Huskies will have three upcoming home games in February featured as part of the package. The Huskies match-ups with Boston College (Feb. 2), Boston University (Feb. 16) and UMass (Feb. 22) will be carried on ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network.
Huskies and WTNH News 8 Agree to Broadcast Deal ...
The University of Connecticut and WTNH News 8/WCTX MyTV9 have announced a partnership to broadcast live, two upcoming men’s hockey games throughout the state of Connecticut. The Huskies’ match-ups with nationally ranked programs Providence on Thursday, January 18 and New Hampshire on Saturday, January 27 will be aired live on WTNH’s sister station, WCTX MyTV9. The Huskies made their debut on WCTX MyTV9 earlier this season, knocking off No. 16 nationally ranked Colgate, 4-2.
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