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UConn and Merrimack College will wrap up their Hockey East season series Tuesday night at the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies met the Warriors way back on October 18th in the program's first-ever Hockey East game, a 2-1 overtime win for Merrimack at home. The Huskies are looking to rebound from a 10-1 loss on Saturday night at No. 13 nationally ranked Providence. The Warriors are coming off a 4-2 loss at home vs. Boston College on Friday. UConn and Merrimack sit in eighth and ninth place, respectively, in the Hockey East standings, just two points apart.
UConn vs. Merrimack All-Time Series... The UConn and Merrimack series dates back to the 1960-61 season, the Huskies first year as a varsity program. The Warriors hold a 23-2-1 edge in the all-time series and since the Huskies joined the Division I ranks in 1998-99, sport a 9-2-1 mark. The two teams have met twice this season with Merrimack winning 2-1 in overtime at home in the first meeting as Hockey East foes. The two teams played to the series' first tie, 2-2, in the opening round of the Liberty Hockey Invitational at the Prudential Center. The Huskies advanced to the tournament title game with a 2-1 shoot-out victory.
- In Saturday's 10-1 loss at Providence, the 10 goals allowed by the Huskies were the most this season and the first time a UConn team has allowed double digit goals since a 10-1 loss at Northeastern in 2002-03. That loss also marks the last time the Huskies lost a game by nine-goals or more.
- The UConn power play is ranked 12th in Hockey East converting at .122 percent (12/98). The Huskies have scored 12 power play goals, tied for third fewest in the nation.
- UConn has given up five shorthanded goals this season, the most in Hockey East. Boston University and Northeastern have both allowed four. They are also one of seven teams in the country who haven't scored a shorthanded goal this season.
- Sophomores Evan Richardson and Brent Norris have recorded points in each of the last two games. Richardson scored UConn's lone goal on Saturday and has a goal and two assists in the last two. Norris has a goal and an assist over the last two games.
- The Huskies have gone to overtime nine times this season producing seven ties. UConn's seven ties are tied for the most in the nation with AIC and Canisius. The seven ties match the program's high mark set in 2001-02 (13-16-7) and 2003-04 (12-16-7).
Scouting the Warriors... The Merrimack Warriors dropped their only game last weekend, falling at home to No. 11 ranked Boston College, 4-2. The Warriors fell out of this week's USCHO.com Top-20 poll after being ranked 18th last week. Merrimack has lost two-straight coming in and are 1-4-1 over their last six. Merrimack freshman Brett Seney leads the team in scoring with 24 points on 11 goals and 13 assists. Seney is ranked fourth among league rookies in scoring. Senior goaltender Rasmus Tirronen is fifth in the league in goals against with a 2.17 gaa. The Warriors are second in Hockey East and sixth in the country killing penalties at .889 percent (104/117).
Last Meeting with Merrimack... UConn got goals from freshmen Spencer Naas and Kasperi Ojantakanen and 38 saves from sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols on the way to a 2-2 tie with Merrimack in the opening game of the Liberty Hockey Invitational at the Prudential Center on October 31st. The Huskies advanced to the championship game thanks to a 2-0 shootout win. The Huskies held 1-0 and 2-1 leads against the Warriors but were plagued by penalties in allowing a pair of power play goals. UConn took a season-high nine penalties on the night as Merrimack finished two-of-eight on the power play. The Warriors outshot the Huskies 40-22 with 18 shots coming on the power play. Naas gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead after the first period but Merrimack's Vinny Scott got a late second period goal to tie it at 1-1. Ojantakanen made it 2-1 just 23 seconds into the third but Merrimack responded again with the tying goal at 6:29.
Last Time Out... Providence College junior Nick Saracino recorded a hat-trick to lead the No. 13 nationally ranked Friars to a 10-1 win over UConn on Saturday night from Schneider Arena. Seven other Friars also found the back of the net as the Huskies allowed double digit goals for the first time since the 2002-03 season in the loss. Providence finished the game two-for-four on the power play, scoring twice on 5-on-3 opportunities, while also adding a pair of shorthanded goals. The Huskies were outshot 43-25 on the night and their lone goal came off the stick of sophomore Evan Richardson who scored in the third period for his fifth on the year. The Friars came out flying offensively, outshooting the Huskies 6-0 in the first three minutes of action. Providence finally capitalized on the early offensive barrage at 5:03 as senior captain Ross Mauermann scored on a wrap-around, marking his 100th career point. UConn got a late power play chance in the first but allowed a pair of shorthanded goals just 37 seconds apart to head to the locker room down 3-0. The Friars tacked on five more in the second period to blow the game open on the way to a lopsided win.
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