Senior Captain Billy Latta
Feb. 13, 2014
UConn takes on the College of Holy Cross in a home-and-home Atlantic Hockey series as the battle for playoff positioning heats up with just six games left. The Huskies hope to ride the momentum of Tuesday night's 3-2 upset win over nationally No. 9 ranked Providence, a future Hockey East opponent. UConn enters this weekend's series tied with Air Force for third place in the AHA standings, both with 27 points on the year. The Huskies are just a point behind Bentley for second place and three points behind AHA leader Mercyhurst. The Crusaders come into the weekend in a three-way tie with RIT and AIC for 8th place (17pts) after splitting with Sacred Heart last week.
UConn vs. Holy Cross All-Time Series... The all-time series between UConn and Holy Cross dates back to the 1966-67 season is tied at 50-50-2. The two teams have met every season with the exception of the 1978-79 and 1979-80 campaigns. The Huskies took the first meeting this season, 4-3, on their home ice back in November.
On Tap... UConn will host their final regular season home game of the season next weekend when they face the Army Black Knights in an AHA home-and-home series. The Huskies host Army on "Senior Night", Friday, February 21st and head to West Point on Saturday, February 22nd.
UConn recorded its first-ever win against a nationally top-10 ranked team in beating #9 Providence Tuesday night, 3-2.
The Huskies finished the season 2-1 against teams from their future home, Hockey East - L at Boston University, 4-1; W vs. UMass, 2-1; W at #9 Providence, 3-2.
The Huskies and Crusaders both own wins over top-10 teams this season - Holy Cross knocked of then #7 Boston College on the road, 5-4, in November.
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, UConn (27pts) and Air Force (27pts) in third and Robert Morris (26pts) in fifth.
Senior Matt Grogan posted a career-high 58 saves to beat Providence. His 58 saves sets a new UConn Division I record and is the tied for the 2nd highest save total all-time.
Freshman Robby Nichols recorded his first career shutout, making 28 saves in a 3-0 win over Bentley last Friday night.
The Husky penalty kill (.835) ranks 2nd in the AHA and is tied for 19th in the nation.
The Huskies rank 6th in the nation in blocked shots (16.39 blk/pg) and Holy Cross ranks 3rd (16.93)
Last Time Out... The Huskies got a career-high 58 saves from senior Matt Grogan on the way to a 3-2 upset win over #9 ranked Providence Tuesday night. UConn fell behind 1-0 but scored three-straight goals en route to the program's first-ever win over a nationally ranked top-10 opponent. The Friars outshot the Huskies 60-26 but Grogan proved up to the task, setting a new UConn Division I record for saves in a game. Down 1-0 in the first, UConn tied the game just before the end of the period as junior Ryan Tyson scored on a rebound for his fourth of the season. Sophomore Patrick Kirtland notched his fourth of the year at 1:33 in the second to give UConn a lead they would never lose. Senior Billy Latta extended the lead to two-goals, creating a turnover and scoring on a break-away at 12:44 in the third period. Providence's two-goals came off the stick of Ross Mauermann.
Scouting the Crusaders... Holy Cross is coming off a split with Sacred Heart last weekend, each winning on their home ice. The Crusaders are 2-1-1 in their last four and have won four of their last seven heading into this weekend. Holy Cross has struggled at home in the Hart Center this season, beating Sacred Heart 6-1 last Saturday to improve to just 2-8-2 on the year. Senior forward Adam Schmidt leads the Crusaders with 11 goals and 20 points on the year. Sophomore Matt Vidal had 19 points and has dished out a team-leading 14 assists on the season. Freshman Mike Barrett is among the league's top-rookie scorers, posting 14 points on nine goals and five assists. In goal, junior Matt Ginn has played in all but one game this year, posting a 2.89 goals against average and a .913 save percentage.
Last Meeting with Holy Cross... The Huskies fell behind 3-2 in the third period but battled their way back to a 4-3 victory over Holy Cross in the first meeting this season on November 12th. UConn sophomore Shawn Pauly netted the game-winner at 15:31 in the third to complete the come-back win. The Crusaders held a 14-4 edge on shots over the first 20 minutes but could not crack senior goaltender Matt Grogan. UConn burst out of the locker room to start the second with freshman Joona Kunnas and sophomore Joey Ferriss posting goals. Holy Cross answered with a goal just before the end of the second period and took a 3-2 lead at 8:47 in the third. The Huskies stormed back starting with their top-line getting into the act at 11:07. Junior Cody Sharib tied it at 3-3 and Pauly gave the Huskies the lead back for good at 15:31 burying the game-winner. UConn's defense locked down Holy Cross from there with the highlight coming at 3:11 when Grogan kept the lead safe by stopping a penalty shot. He finished the night with 27 saves in earning the win.