STORRS, Conn. (January 25, 2008) - Goalie Beau Erickson (Hinton, Iowa) made 40 saves for his first career shutout Friday, as the University of Connecticut men's hockey team defeated the league leading Rochester Institute of Technology 3-0. Andrew Olson (Alexandria, Minn.) scored two power play goals for the Huskies, who improve to 8-13-2 overall and 7-8-2 in the Atlantic Hockey Association. RIT is 12-9-3 and 10-6-3.
The first period was highly competitive as both teams opened things up trying to score the opening goal. The Tigers were able to put 15 shots on net during the stanza, but Erickson was up to the task in stopping them all to keep the game scoreless after one.
RIT took back-to-back penalties within 17 seconds of each other early in the second period to give Connecticut 1:43 on a five-on-three power play. The Huskies were able to take advantage at the 2:15 mark when Olson was able to score off a rebound of a Steve Bergin (Groton, Mass.) shot. The power play continued as a five-on-four advantage, and at the 3:37 mark, Olson scored again on a similar play, this time off the rebound of a Justin Hernandez (Farmington Hills, Mich.) shot.
The Huskies penalty kill came up huge later in the second period. When Nick Schneider (Maplewood, Minn.) and Matt Miller (Bayonne, N.J.) both went into the box, the Tigers had a five-on-three opportunity of their own. Just as Schneider came out of the box, Jordan Behler (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) went in to continue the five-on-three advantage. However the Huskies would not fold as they played strong defense in front of Erickson, giving the Tigers only hard angle shots that Erickson was able to snag. Just as those penalties had expired, Michael Coppola (Old Brookville, N.Y.) went into the box, giving UConn one more penalty to kill off. The Huskies were able to do just that, and stayed out of the box for the rest of the period. From the 8:34 mark to the 15:09 mark, a span of 6:35, the Huskies were on the penalty kill for 6:25 of that time, yet did not give up a goal.
In the third period, the Huskies were able to score their final goal when Chris Ochoa (Santa Monica, Calif.) took a pass from Hernandez in the left circle and was able to hit a slap shot that beat the RIT goalie high. Erickson made 13 saves in the third to complete his shutout.
For the game the Tigers out shot UConn 40-23. Olson, Ochoa and Jason Krispel (Cyrpess, Calif.) tied for the team lead with four shots each. The Huskies penalty kill forced RIT into an zero-for-nine performance on the power play.
UConn concludes its weekend series with RIT tomorrow. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the Freitas Ice Forum.