STORRS, Conn. (February 14, 2009) - For the second night in a row, junior Chris Ochoa (Santa Monica, Calif.) recorded two goals for the University of Connecticut men’s hockey team, and for the second night in a row it wasn’t enough as the Huskies (6-24-1, 5-17-1 Atlantic Hockey) went on to fall 7-4 to Mercyhurst(16-13-3, 14-7-3). Ochoa accounted for much of the Husky offense scoring four-consecutive goals over the two-game series.
UConn scored the first goal of the game for the first time since January 30 when Ochoa scored for the Huskies less than a minute into the game. His goal was his third straight and he was aided by sophomore Andrew Olson (Alexandria, Minn.) who started the play off by stealing the puck from behind the net and getting a pass out in front for the Husky forward to score.
UConn then allowed three consecutive Mercyhurst goals over the course of two periods giving the Lakers the 3-1 advantage as Mike Gurtler, Matt Pierce and Phil Ginand all scored. But before the end of the second, UConn would cut into the lead when, at 13:24, they took advantage of a five-on-three opportunity and Ochoa netted his second goal of the game and fourth-straight goal for the Huskies. He received some help from freshman Chris Waterstradt (Tulsa, Okla.) and sophomore Brian Reagan (Ballwin, Mo.) who has recorded an assist in three-straight games since returning to the line up. The goal cut the lead to just one entering the second intermission.
At the beginning of the third period, Mercyhurst came out firing and got their fourth goal of the game when Steve Cameron got the puck past UConn netminder sophomore Brad McInnis (Anchorage, Alaska) who came into the game for the Huskies in the second period.
But UConn wouldn’t allow the lead to remain at two as sophomore Matt Turner (Colorado Springs, Colo.) netted his first goal of the year at 2:49 to bring the Huskies back into the game. Turner got some help from seniors Nick Schneider (Maplewood, Minn.) and Brendan Bayers (St. Louis Park, Minn.) who got their third and second assists of the season respectively on the play.
But the Lakers just kept at it and recorded three-straight goals for the second time during the game giving themselves a four-goal lead. UConn got another goal past Mercyhurst goaltender Ryan Zapolski when rookie Marcello Ranallo (Burnaby, B.C.) scored his sixth of the year but it wouldn’t be enough as the Huskies fell to the Lakers for the fourth time this season.
UConn is back in action on Tuesday, February 17 when they travel to Springfield, Mass. for their second meeting with American International. The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m.