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Huskies Set for Weekend Series with UNH

Jan. 25, 2018

Game Notes at New Hampshire Get Acrobat Reader

TV:  ESPN3 (Friday); WCTX MyTV9 (Saturday)
Radio:  WHUS 91.7 FM
Audio Stream:
Video: (Friday); HuskyVision on (Saturday)
Live Stats: (Friday); Gametracker on (Saturday)
Twitter: @UConnMHOC    

The Last Meeting
New Hampshire2
February 25, 2017
Hartford Conn. - XL Center
UConn Sweeps UNH, 4-2; Huskies Head to Northeastern for Playoffs
UConn honored their senior class before the game and senior Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, British Columbia) scored the game-winner to send the Huskies home with a Hockey East weekend sweep over New Hampshire, 4-1, Saturday night at the XL Center.

Ice Chips ...
UConn heads to New Hampshire on Friday night to open a weekend home-and-home Hockey East series with the Wildcats.  The two teams will close the series on Saturday afternoon from the XL Center, a game that will be carried live on WTNH-8 News sister station MyTV9.

The Huskies have won four-straight over UNH in the all-time series and are 4-4-0 against the Wildcats since joining Hockey East in 2014-15.  UConn is currently sitting in seventh place in the league standings with 13 points, two points ahead of UNH and UMass in eighth.

UConn ended a five-game losing skid last time out thanks to a 3-1 win at No. 10 ranked Providence.  UConn used strong special teams, scoring twice on the power play while killing off all seven Friar power play chances.  The win also ended a six-game slide against Providence in the all-time series and gave the Huskies their first win over the Friars since joining the league.

UConn's special team units rank among the best in Hockey East.  The Husky power play has scored 23 goals and ranks fourth at .207 percent (23-111).  The penalty kill is third in Hockey East, killing at a .817 percentage (89-109).

Senior defenseman Johnny Austin scored his fourth goal of the season in the win and has 18 points (4g/14a), all career-high marks.  Austin is fourth among league blue liners in scoring.  He leads the team with 11 power play points (3g/8a). 

Junior Maxim Letunov added to his team lead in points this season, scoring his seventh goal of the season, an empty netter, in the win at PC.  Letunov has 21 points (7g/14a), tied for ninth in the league in scoring and tied for eighth in assists (14).

Senior goaltender Tanner Creel started both games against Providence last weekend.  UConn starter Adam Huska will not be available for the Huskies with an upper body injury.  There is no time table for his return at this time.

Creel turned in 26 saves on Saturday night to earn his first win in six appearances this season.  Creel has a 3.94 goals against and an .863 save percentage.

Sophomore Alexander Payusov scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season in last Thursday's loss to Providence.  He sits tied for ninth in the league in goals scored. 

Last Season vs. UNH ...
GAME 1 (Feb. 24, 2017)
UConn got a pair of goals from junior Kasperi Ojantakanen on the way to a 5-3 win over New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center in the opening game of a weekend Hockey East series.  The Huskies snapped a four-game losing streak and ended a six-game winless streak, with the win.  New Hampshire needed just 15 seconds to grab a 1-0 lead but the Huskies responded and scored four-straight, two in the first from sophomore Tage Thompson and Ojantakanen, one in the second from junior Spencer Naas and one in the third from freshman Philip Nyberg to take a 4-1 lead.  UNH responded with goals at 12:30 and 16:28 to cut the UConn lead to 4-3 but the Huskies answered, fending off the Wildcats with an extra skater in the closing seconds by adding an Ojantakanen empty netter for a 5-3 win.  Naas finished his night with a goal and two assists while the Huskies ripped 50 shots on net in the win and were 1-for-3 on the power play.  Freshman goaltender Adam Huska stopped 41 shots to earn the win.  UNH was 1-for-6 on the power play in the loss.  Goaltender Danny Tirone made 45 saves for UNH. 

GAME 2 (Feb. 25, 2017)
UConn honored their senior class before the game and senior Evan Richardson scored the game-winner to send the Huskies home with a Hockey East weekend sweep over New Hampshire, 4-1, at the XL Center.  UConn got first period goals from sophomores Max Kalter and Tage Thompson while Richardson picked-up the game-winner in the second and junior Corey Ronan tacked on an empty net tally in the closing seconds.  New Hampshire got first period goals from Liam Blackburn and Tyler Kelleher, on the power play, to send the game into the first break tied at 2-2.  The Huskies kept the Wildcats in check the rest of the way and outshot UNH 38-16 on the night.  UConn goaltender Rob Nichols needed to make just 14 saves to earn the win in goal.  UNH goaltender Danny Tirone made 34 saves for the Wildcats.

Scouting the Wildcats ...
The New Hampshire Wildcats come into the weekend winless in their last nine outings (0-6-3) dating back to December 6.  The Wildcats went up to Maine last weekend and came away with a pair of ties on the weekend, 2-2 and 3-3.  On the season, senior Michael McNicholas leads the team with 22 points coming on five goals and 17 assists.  Freshman defenseman Max Gildon is among the league's top-rookie and blue line scorers with 18 points on seven goals and 11 assists.  Gildon shares the team lead in goals scored with Jason Salvaggio and Ara Nazarian.  Senior goaltender Daniel Tirone has a 2.69 goals against average with a .908 save percentage.  Tirone leads Hockey East and is fourth in the country with four shutouts.  Defensively, the Wildcats have the top penalty killing unit in the league at .874 (90-103) percent and allow just 2.71 goals per game. 

Last Time Out ...
The UConn men's hockey team used a strong performance from their special teams, scoring twice on the power play while killing off all seven penalties on the way to a 3-1 win at No. 10 nationally ranked Providence Saturday night at Schneider Arena.  UConn senior Johnny Austin and junior Joseph Masonius each scored on the power play while junior Maxim Letunov iced the win with an empty netter as the Huskies snap a five-game slide and split the season Hockey East series with the Friars.  Senior Tanner Creel made 26 saves to earn his first win of the season in goal for UConn.  The Huskies finished 2-for-4 on the power play and killed off all seven Friar power play chances.  UConn took a 1-0 lead on Austin's first period tally after outshooting Providence 12-8 in the opening stanza.  Masonius made it 2-0 in the second before Providence's Brian Pinho pulled his team within a goal.  The Huskies didn't let up in the third and put the game away in the closing minute with Letunov's empty net goal.  The Friars got 19 saves from goaltender Hayden Hawkey.