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Huskies Tangle with Merrimack in Home-and-Home

Feb. 2, 2017

Game Notes at Merrimack Get Acrobat Reader

Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 at Lawler Rink (North Andover, Mass.)
Radio: WHUS 91.7 FM
Audio Stream:
Video: MerrimackAthletics.TV
Live Stats:
Twitter: @UConnMHOC

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at XL Center (Hartford, Conn.)
TV: None
Radio: WHUS 91.7 FM
Audio Stream:
Video: HuskyVision
Live Stats: GameTracker
Twitter: @UConnMHOC

The Last Meeting
February 6, 2016
Andover, Mass.
UConn Ties Merrimack 2-2 as Letunov Sets Husky Rookie Record
UConn freshman Max Letunov (Moscow, Russia) found the back of the net for the sixth-straight game and the 15th time this season as the Huskies come away with a 2-2 tie at Merrimack Saturday night in a Hockey East match-up.


UConn and Merrimack hit the ice this weekend for a home and home series starting Friday night at Lawler Rink in North Andover, Mass. The Huskies will host the Warriors on Saturday afternoon at the XL Center in a 3:05 pm matinee.

The Huskies currently sit tied for seventh in the Hockey East standings with Providence, both with 6-6-2 league records and 14 points. Merrimack is in 10th heading into the weekend with a 4-7-3 record and 11 points. Just six points separate third place and 10th place in the current standings.

The Huskies ended the month of January with a 3-1 win at home over No. 11 Vermont one week ago. Freshman goaltender Adam Huska made 34 saves to lead the Huskies who got goals from sophomore Karl El-Mir and juniors Johnny Austin and Kasperi Ojantakanen in the win.

Huska picked up his sixth win on the season and improved to 6-2-2 in Hockey East games. On the season, he has started 15 games with a 2.74 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. He currently ranks fourth among Hockey East goalies in save percentage and is 17th in the NCAA rankings.

Senior goaltender Rob Nichols has appeared in 12 games with 11 starts this season and is seventh in Hockey East with a 2.46 goals against and ninth with a .913 save percentage.

The UConn penalty killing unit ranks second in Hockey East and ninth in the nation, killing at an .861 percentage (99-115). UConn enters the weekend having killed off seven-straight penalties and 15 of the last 16 power plays over the last five games The Huskies are 8-3-1 this season when not allowing a power play goal.

Sophomore Maxim Letunov picked-up an assist in the Vermont win, his team-leading 18th on the season, and a point streak of three-straight games heading into the weekend. Over his last nine games, Letunov has 11 points (2g/9a).

Sophomore Tage Thompson has scored 17 goals and is tied for second in Hockey East and tied for fourth in the nation. His 17 goals marks the highest total by a Husky since the 2011-12 season when Cole Schneider led the team with 23 goals and Brant Harris had 18.

The Merrimack Warriors come into the weekend fresh off a Hockey East sweep of last week’s No. 1 ranked team, Boston University, winning 3-1 at home and 4-1 on the road. Junior goaltender Collin Delia led the way, making 67 saves on the weekend to earn Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors. Merrimack is 10-13-3 overall this season and has been tough at home posting a 7-6-1 mark at Lawler Rink. Junior Brett Seney has 20 points (8g/12a) to lead the team in scoring while senior Hampus Gustafsson has a team-high 10 goals on the year.

UConn and Merrimack skated to a pair of ties in their Hockey East series last season. In the first meeting at the XL Center in December, UConn got a late power play goal from Joseph Masonius and a stop by Rob Nichols on a breakaway in the final seconds to help the Huskies to a 3-3 tie with No. 19 ranked Merrimack. UConn built a 2-0 lead after second period goals by sophomores Jesse Schwartz and Jeff Wight but saw their lead erased by three-straight Merrimack goals in the third. Merrimack came into the game dead last in the nation on the power play, converting just 2-of-47 attempts but doubled their season total in the third period, scoring twice on back-to-back power plays. In the return meeting at Merrimack in February, UConn’s Maxim Letunov found the back of the net for the sixth-straight game as the Huskies came away with a 2-2 tie. The Huskies held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 but couldn’t hold off a Merrimack team who scored the tying goal with the extra skater on the ice with 56.5 seconds left. Sophomore goaltender Tanner Creel posted a career-high 43 saves, stopping 32 over the final two periods and overtime.