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Huskies Head to #9 Providence Tuesday Night

Freshman Brett Skibba

Feb. 10, 2014

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The UConn Huskies play their final non-conference game of the season taking on nationally No. 9 ranked Providence College Tuesday night.  The Huskies split their Atlantic Hockey weekend series with Bentley, winning at home 3-0 but losing on the road, 4-1.  The Friars have been off since a loss at Boston College on January 31st, 2-0.  Providence closes their non-conference schedule as well and are 5-0-1 at home against non-league opponents this season.  This will be UConn's third game this season against a team from Hockey East, the Huskies new home in 2014-15.  UConn fell at Boston University, 4-1, and beat UMass, 2-1, earlier this season.

UConn vs. Providence All-Time Series...  UConn and Providence have met just twice previously on the ice with the Friars holdings a 1-0-1 edge.  Tuesday night's meeting will be the first since the 2004-05 season.  The Huskies and Friars skated to a 2-2 tie in their first-ever meeting in 2001-02.  The Friars won the last meeting, 4-3, in 2005.  Both games were played at Schneider Arena.

On Tap...  The Huskies will take on the College of the Holy Cross in a home-and-home series next weekend.  UConn will host the Crusaders on Friday night in Freitas Ice Forum on Friday night and travel to Worcester on Saturday.  The Huskies beat Holy Cross, 4-3, in their first meeting this season in Storrs.

Quick Hits...

  • The Huskies are tied with Air Force for third place in the Atlantic Hockey Association standings with 27 points.
  • Just four points separate first place and fifth place in the AHA standings.  Mercyhurst is in first place (30pts) followed by Bentley (28pts) in second, the Huskies and Falcons in third and Robert Morris (26pts) in fifth.
  • Freshman Robby Nichols recorded his first career shutout, making 28 saves in a 3-0 win over Bentley on Friday night.
  • Nichols earned the first back-to-back starts of his career in the Bentley series but was pulled after the first period of Saturday night's 4-1 loss after allowing three goals on 10 shots.  It was Nichols' first loss of the season (5-1-2).
  • The UConn power play (.206) ranks 5th in the AHA and 15th in the nation.
  • The Husky penalty kill (.837) ranks 2nd in the AHA and 18th in the nation.
  • The Huskies rank 8th in the nation in blocked shots - 16.30 blk/pg.
  • Senior Jordan Sims sits at 99 career points heading into the Providence game Tuesday night.  Sims has 36 goals and 63 assists in 137 games.  Senior Billy Latta has 92 career points (38g/54a) in 134 career games.
  • Senior Brant Harris is two points away (51g-54a-105p) from tying Cole Koidahl (`03-'07) for the all-time Division I scoring mark (Koidahl 41g-66a-107p).

Last Time Out...  The Huskies split their home-and-home Atlantic Hockey series with Bentley over the weekend with each team winning on their home ice.  On Friday night, UConn got 28 saves from freshman Robby Nichols on the way to a 3-0 win over the second place Falcons in Storrs.  The Huskies jumped up 2-0 in the first period on goals by seniors Jordan Sims and Brant Harris and added a second period score off the stick of freshman Brent Norris.  Nichols made 11 of his 28 saves in the third period to claim his first career shutout and the first for the Huskies this season.  On Saturday night, Bentley wasted little time in jumping out in front, scoring 1:54 into the game on the way to a 3-0 first period lead.  Jared Rickord, Justin Breton and Brett Switzer all beat Nichols, who earned the starting nod.  The Huskies went back to senior Matt Grogan to start the second period and he finished the night with 20 saves while keeping the Falcons off the board.  Junior Trevor Gerling scored an early unassisted goal in the third period but the Huskies couldn't muster any more offense on the way to a 4-1 loss.  Bentley goaltender Brendan Komm made 33 saves to earn the win.  On the weekend, UConn was 1-13 on the power play but also killed off all eight Bentley power play chances.

UConn Against Hockey East...  The Huskies are 18-95-6 all-time when facing teams from the Hockey East Association.  Boston College is the only program from the league that UConn has never faced.  This season, the Huskies are 1-1 against their future conference, losing at Boston University, 4-1, and beating UMass, 2-1, at home in the UConn Hockey Classic.  The Huskies have faced the Minutemen more than any other team from the league, with UMass holding a 24-9-2 edge in a series that dates back to 1960-61.

Scouting the Friars...  The Providence Friars come into Tuesday night's match-up ranked No. 9 in both the and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week.  The Friars open a stretch of four-straight at home in Schneider Arena where they are 9-3-1 this season.  Junior Ross Mauermann leads the Friars with 31 points on 15 goals and 16 assists.  He is tied for the lead in the nation with five game-winners this season.  Mauermann was recently named a semifinalst for the Walter Brown Award, given annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.  Sophomore goaltender Jon Gillies sports a 2.24 goals against average and a .927 save percentage and a 12-5-4 record this season.  The Providence penalty kill unit currently ranks 7th in the nation at .868 percent.

Last Meeting with Providence...  In their last meeting back in the 2004-05 season, the Friars dealt the Huskies a 4-3 loss at home in Schneider arena.  Providence out shot the Huskies 43-17 on the night with UConn goaltender Brad Smith making 39 saves.  After skating to a 1-1 first period, the Friars took over in the second putting three on the board off the sticks of James Pemberton, Torry Gajda and Tom Gallagher.  The Huskies rallied in the third as Chris Uber scored at 4:21 and Bill Magnuson scored UConn's second power play goal of the night at 18:22.  Matt Scherer finished with a goal and two assists in the loss.