Jan. 23, 2014
The UConn Huskies return from Erie, Pennsylvania where they earned a pair of ties with first place Mercyhurst to take on the AIC Yellow Jackets in a home-and-home Atlantic Hockey series this weekend. The Huskies had to erase Mercyhurst leads in both games last weekend to come away with two points against the conference leading Lakers. UConn enters this weekend's slate alone in fourth place with 19 points. These two teams met back on November 23rd in West Springfield with the Huskies earning an 8-1 win and setting off a nine-game slide for AIC. Since the calender turned to 2014, the Yellow Jackets are 3-3-1 with wins over Air Force, Niagara and UMass on their ledger.
UConn vs. AIC All-Time Series... UConn leads the all-time series, 49-37-11. The Huskies are now 13-0-3 in their last 16 meetings with AIC thanks to an 8-1 win back on November 23rd. UConn is 15-5-1 against AIC in the Freitas Ice Forum and 11-0-1 since their last loss at home to the Yellow Jackets in 2005-06 (L, 5-2 - Dec. 2, 2005). The all-time series dates back to 1960-61, UConn's first season of play.
On Tap... UConn will head to Colorado to take on the Air Force Academy in a two-game series January 31st and February 1st.
- Senior Brant Harris notched a pair of assists at Mercyhurst and has reached 100-points for his career (49g/51a). Harris is the 27th player in UConn history to accomplish the feat and the sixth in the Division I era (1998-present).
- Harris is seven points away from tying Cole Koidahl (`03-'07) for the all-time Division I scoring Mark (Koidahl 41g-66a-107p)
- Senior Jordan Sims could be next to hit 100-points, coming into the weekend with has 95 career points (33g/62a) in 131 games. Senior Billy Latta has 88 career points (37g/51a) in 128 career games.
- Latta and Harris recorded back-to-back hat-tricks in wins over RIT, 6-2, and RMU, 5-1. There have been 27 players who have recorded a hat-trick in 2013-14.
- Latta has six power play goals, tied for third in the AHA and 9th nationally.
- Freshman Christian Neumann made his Husky debut at Mercyhurst and recorded his first collegiate point with an assist in the 3-3 tie. Neumann was paired with junior Jacob Poe defensively with Poe returning after missing three games with injury.
- 21 of the 26 Huskies to suit up this season have recorded at least a point with 17 scoring at least one goal on the year.
- UConn and AIC are two of the least penalized teams in the country. The Huskies average just 7.38 pim/pg while the Yellow Jackets averaged 7.41 pim/pg.
Last Time Out... UConn traveled to Atlantic Hockey leader Mercyhurst last weekend and came back with a two points in the standings thanks to a pair of ties with the Lakers. The Huskies had to come from behind in both games against the league leading Lakers. On Friday night, UConn trailed 1-0 and 2-1 but freshman Brent Norris scored both Husky equalizers while senior goaltender Matt Grogan turned away 38 shots in a 2-2 tie. In Saturday's series finale, the Lakers built a 3-0 lead in the early minutes of the second period before the Huskies came roaring back for a 3-3 tie. The Lakers scored on their first two-power play chances with Daniel Bahntge give his team a 3-0 lead 2:11 into the second. UConn used a time-out to regroup and head coach Mike Cavanaugh also changed goaltenders going to freshman Robby Nichols. The Huskies responded with their first goal at 4:17 as senior Jordan Sims scored his fourth of the season, coming on the power play. Sophomore Shawn Pauly cut the lead to 3-2 at 6:43 in the second, scoring his seventh of the season. The UConn special teams came up big in the third period, killing off a penalty seven minutes in to keep the score at 3-2 and then finding the equalizer on the power play at 17:07. Senior Billy Latta buried his sixth extra skater goal of the season to help send the Huskies home with a 3-3 tie.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets... AIC suffered through an early season nine-game losing streak but since the since the calender turned the Yellow Jackets are 3-3-1. AIC got a point last weekend with a 4-4 tie at Robert Morris and are 10th in the AHA standings with 11 points. The Yellow Jackets are back at home Friday night for the first time in five games but are just 2-5-0 in the Olympiac Ice Center this season. AIC enters this weekend last in the AHA and nation allowing 4.55 goals per game. They have allowed 100 goals this season, second to only Alabama-Huntsville's 113. AIC is the best in the country at blocking shots, coming into the weekend blocking an average of 18.27 shots per game. The Yellow Jacket offense features a pair of top-10 AHA goal scorers in senior Jon Puskar and junior Alexander MacMillan who are tied for seventh with 10 goals apiece. McMillan has five power play goals this season leading an effective power play unit that ranks fourth among AHA teams at 21.6% (16-74). Of his 10 goals this season, four have been game-winners, tops among league leaders. Freshman forward David Norris leads all AHA rookies in scoring this season with 20 points (3g/17a). His 17 assists is tied for seventh in the league.
Last Meeting with AIC... The Huskies took down AIC in their first meeting this season, scoring a season-high eight goals on a then season-high 38 shots. The Huskies finished three-of-eight on the power play and killed off all three Yellow Jacket power plays en route to the 8-1 road win at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. Seven different Huskies scored goals with freshmen Brent Norris and Sean Gaffney collecting their first collegiate goals in the win. The Huskies extended their unbeaten streak against AIC to 16-straight with the win (13-0-3) and picked up their first win in West Springfield in their last four-trips (1-0-3). Senior goaltender Matt Grogan made 17 saves in earning the victory in net while AIC netminder Hunter Leisner made 30 saves. UConn held a 38-18 advantage on shots.