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UConn fans can follow the Huskies all season on the official athletics website UConnHuskies.com, on Twitter @UConnMHOC, on Facebook at facebook.com/UConnMHOC and now on Instagram at UConnMHOC. Be sure to use the hashtags #AllAboard and #IceBus
- UConn returns home to the XL Center for the first time since Dec. 11th after finishing a seven-game road trip that kicked-off 2016. The Huskies finished the road swing 3-3-1 and are coming off a win and tie at Maine last weekend.
- The Huskies are 3-0-2 in their last five Hockey East games and sit in sixth place in the standings with 10 points.
- Junior Rob Nichols was named this week’s Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. Nichols stopped 82 of the 83 shots he faced at Maine. On Friday night, he stopped a career-high 44 shots to post his second-straight shutout in a 1-0 win. It is the first time in UConn history the Huskies and a goaltender posted consecutive shutouts.
- Freshman Max Letunov has had a point in three-striaght games and in 11 of the last 12. He leads the club with 25 points (9g-16a) and is averaging 1.09 ppg, ninth in Hockey East
- Letunov’s 25 points is ranked sixth in Hockey East and ranks second among league rookies. His 16 assists is tied for first among HEA rookies and seventh overall.
- Freshman Tage Thompson is second on the club with 18 points, fifth among HEA rookies. He has scored a point in nine of the last 13 games, collecting 11 points over that stretch (5g-6a-11p).
- UConn’s power play is seventh in the league and 23rd nationally at 18.9% (18/95). Thompson has eight power play goals this season, tying him with New Hampshire’s Dan Correale for the most in the NCAA. Letunov’s 12 assists on the power play is tied for first in the league with UNH’s Tyler Kelleher.
Last Meeting with Vermont... UConn goaltender Rob Nichols turned in 34 saves but the Huskies fell for the sixth-straight game, losing at Vermont 2-1 back on November 13th. The Huskies and Catamounts each scored second period power play goals but Vermont’s Dan Senkbeil provided the game-winner at 9:05 in the third. Vermont finished with a 36-21 edge on shots including a 17-5 advantage in the final period. Mike Santaguida turned in 20 saves to pick up the win in goal. Trailing 1-0, the Huskies pulled the game even when they converted on their first power play chance. Tage Thompson put home a rebound of a Joseph Masonius shot at 16:32. UVM came up with the game-winner at 9:05 as rebound off a Craig Puffer shot came out high into the slot where Senkbeil collected and buried in the top right corner for the 2-1 final.
Scouting the Catamounts... Vermont comes into the weekend at 3-7-2 in the league, tied for eighth in the standings with eight points. The Catamounts saw a four-game winning streak snapped at home last weekend by Providence, 3-1 and 6-4. UVM will be without head coach Kevin Sneddon Friday night after he was suspended by Hockey East for one game as a result of inappropriate behavior directed towards game officials in last Saturday’s game against Providence. Junior Mario Puskarich leads the team with 20 points and 14 assists. Sophomore Jarrid Privitera is the team’s top-goal scorer having put 10 in the net this season. Vermont’s rookie goaltender Pucky Munson has become the backbone of the Catamount defense, ranking fourth in Hockey East with a 2.12 goals against average and fifth with a .926 save percentage. He has posted three shutouts in his nine games played this season.
Last Time Out... UConn freshman Max Letunov scored on the power play at 2:52 of the third period, providing the tying goal as the Huskies come away with a 1-1 tie Saturday night at Maine, taking three of four points on the weekend. Letunov scored his ninth goal of the season and his first on the power play. The Huskies got 38 saves from junior Rob Nichols in net on the night. The Huskies finished one-of-six on the power play and killed off both Maine chances with the extra skater. The Black Bears finished with a 40-34 edge on shots. 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, beating the goaltender top-shelf, stick side for a 1-0 lead. The goal ended a streak of 162:21 without a goal for Nichols dating back to the 4-2 loss to Michigan Tech in the Desert Hockey Classic three games ago. UConn got their fourth power play chance of the night just 2:06 into the third period and Letunov came up with the tying goal 46 seconds later. Letunov broke free on a rush and weaved his way through the Maine defense to go one-on-one with goaltender Matt Morris. He went to his backhand to beat Morris to the low right post for the equalizer. 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.