Feb. 6, 2014
The UConn Huskies take on the Bentley Falcons in a home-and-home Atlantic Hockey series this weekend. The Falcons and Huskies sit second and third in the AHA standings, seperated by just a point. UConn is coming off a split at Air Force last weekend, winning 5-3 and losing 3-1, and sit in third place with 25 points. Bentley traveled to first place Mercyhurst last weekend and came away one a point after a 2-2 tie in game one. The Falcons are a point in front of UConn for second with both teams chasing the first place Lakers who have 30 points on the year.
UConn vs. Bentley All-Time Series... The Huskies lead the all-time series with Bentley, 24-20-3. Bentley won the first meeting this season, shutting out the Huskies 3-0 in the Freitas Ice Forum. The Falcons hold a 7-3 edge over the Huskies in the last 10 meeting between the two schools. UConn and Bentley have met just once in the postseason, a 2-1 Husky win in the first round of the 2010 Atlantic Hockey playoffs. UConn is 13-9-1 against the Falcons when playing in Storrs and 11-11-2 at Bentley.
On Tap… UConn will get a glimpse into their Hockey East future when they travel to nationally No. 8/9 ranked Providence College Tuesday night.
The Huskies finished the regular season 6-3-3 against the Atlantic Hockey western pod teams (Air Force, Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara, RIT, Robert Morris)
Senior Billy Latta scored his 7th power play goal of the season in the 5-3 win over Air Force. His seven power play goals is tied for 3rd in the AHA and 7th in the nation.
Freshman Robby Nichols stopped a career-high 40 shots in the win at Air Force and is unbeaten on the season (4-0-2).
Sophomore Patrick Kirtland and freshmen Joona Kunnas and Sean Gaffney ended double-digit scoring droughts with goals in the win over Air Force. Koonas ended a 17-game streak, Kirtland stopped a 14-game drought and Gaffney scored his first in 13-games.
The UConn power play (.223) ranks 3rd in the AHA and 9th in the nation.
The Husky penalty kill (.821) ranks 2nd in the AHA and 27th in the nation.
The Huskies have given opponents 84 power plays opportunities this season, 4th fewest in the country. On the flip side, UConn has had 94 power plays, tied for 48th in the nation.
Senior Jordan Sims is closing in on the 100-point plateau, entering the Bentley series with 97 career points (35g/62a) in 135 games. Senior Billy Latta has 90 career points (38g/52a) in 132 career games.
Senior Brant Harris is four points away (50g-53a-103p) from tying Cole Koidahl (‘03-’07) for the all-time Division I scoring mark (Koidahl 41g-66a-107p).
Last Time Out… The Huskies split a pair Atlantic Hockey games at Air Force last weekend. UConn skated to a 5-3 win in Friday night’s series opener, registering just their third win at Cadet Ice Arena in program history. UConn finished the night 2-of-3 on the power play while five different Huskies found the back of the net in the win. The Falcons took a 1-0 lead early in the second period but UConn scored three times, twice on the power play, in a span of 2:13 to take control of the game. Freshman Joona Kunnas and senior Billy Latta netted the Husky power play goals. Freshman goaltender Robby Nichols turned away a career-high 40 shots to remain unbeaten on the season. On Saturday night, the Falcons jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead and kept the Huskies off the scoreboard until late in the third period. Junior Ryan Tyson pulled the Huskies to within 2-1, scoring his third goal of the season at the 14:06 mark. Air Force responded just 1:47 later, taking adavantage of a power play opportunity. Cole Gunner scored his 12th of the year to put the game away. Chris Truehl made 21 saves in net to earn the win while UConn senior Matt Grogan notched 26 saves for the Huskies.
Scouting the Falcons… The Bentley Falcons come in sitting in second place in the AHA standings with 26 points. The Falcons are second in the league in scoring (3.35 gpg) and in scoring defense (2.58 gpg) and own the AHA’s top-special teams. Bentley has converted on 27.0 percent (27-100) of their power play chances this season, tied for second in the nation. On the flip side, the Falcon power kill unit ranks tops in Atlantic Hockey and 13th nationally at 85.1 percent (97-114). The Falcon offense sports four of the top-10 scorers in the AHA in senior Brett Gensler, juniors Alex Grieve and Steve Weinstein and sophomore Andrew Gladiuk. Gensler is second in the league and sixth in the nation with 37 points (17g/20a) this season. Grieve and Weinstein are tied for fifth in the AHA with 32 pts apiece. Weinstein’s 32 assists has him tied with Greg Casey of St. Lawerence for tops in the nation. Gensler, Grieve and Gladiuk all have 17 goals htis season, third among league leaders and sixth nationally. Gladiuk has scored 12 power play goals this season, tying him with Minnesota State’s Jean-Paul Lafontaine for most special team scores in the country. In net, senior Brenden Komm is third in the AHA in both goals against average (2.36) and save percentage (.927).
Last Meeting with Bentley... The Bentley Falcons scored a pair of third period power play goals en route to a 3-0 shutout win over UConn in Storrs on November 15th. The Huskies were shut out for the first time this season and saw a four-game unbeaten streak come to end with the loss. The Huskies had three shots go off the post in the first period as Bentley took a 1-0 lead on a Michael Reardon goal at 6:04 of the first. UConn saw more solid scoring chances miss the mark in the second period, hitting the post twice more. Junior Jacob Poe ripped a shot from the high point that struck the cross bar in the early moments of the period. Patrick Kirtland again saw a chance for a goal dashed late in the period as batted loose puck missed the mark of the right post. The Huskies came up empty on four power play opportunities on the night but Bentley would not fail when they had the extra skater twice in the early moments of the third. Andrew Gladiuk and Alex Grieve scored just over two minutes apart to take a 3-0 lead at 2:39 in the third period. Branden Komm would 30 saves for his first shutout of the season while UConn’s Matt Grogan also had 27 saves in taking the loss.