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UConn Opens Hockey East Playoffs Friday Night at XL Center

March 3, 2016

Game Notes - HEA Playoffs Get Acrobat Reader

The Last Meeting
January 22, 2016
Hartford, Conn. - XL Center
UConn Falls to Vermont, 4-2, at XL Center
The UConn men’s hockey team got goals from freshmen Max Letunov (Moscow, Russia) and Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) but a Brendan Bradley goal with under five minutes to play in the third broke a 2-2 tie and helped send the University of Vermont to a 4-2 Hockey East win over the Huskies Friday night at the XL Center.

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Ice Chips…

  • In just their second season playing in Hockey East, the Huskies will host their first playoff series this weekend taking on the No. 9 seed Vermont. UVM swept the season series with UConn, winning at home 2-1 and at the XL center, 4-2.
  • UConn swept their home-and-home series with New Hampshire last weekend to earn the No. 8 seed. The Huskies posted a 4-1 win at home and erased a three-goal deficit at UNH to win 5-4 in overtime.
  • Freshman Joseph Masonius earned Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week after leading all Hockey East defensemen with a four points (1g/3a) in last weekend’s sweep of UNH.
  • Sophomore Corey Ronan returned to the UConn lineup last weekend after missing eight-straight games with a hand injury. Ronan scored a shorthanded goal in Friday’s win and the overtime game-winner on Saturday night.
  • Senior Joey Ferris ended a 12-game goal scoring drought by putting two third period goals on the board in the comeback win at UNH last Saturday.
  • Junior Rob Nichols made a combined 71 saves against UNH to earn his 9th and 10th wins on the season.
  • Freshmen Max Letunov and Tage Thompson both carry five-game point scoring streaks into the post season. Letunov has had at least a point in 21 of the last 23 games. He is averaging 1.15 points per game, fifth in Hockey East and is tied with BC’s Colin White (39pts) in the league in scoring among rookies. His 18 power play assists leads the nation.
  • Thompson has had a point in 18 of the last 24 games and scored his NCAA leading 12th power play goal in last Saturday’s win.
  • The UConn power play is seventh in the conference and 17th nationally at .199 (28-141). UConn’s 28 power play goals are the 12th highest total in the NCAA.

Last Time Out... UConn sophomore Corey Ronan scored at 3:08 in overtime as the Huskies scored four-straight goals to come back and beat New Hampshire 5-4 last Saturday night at the Whittemore Center in the regular season finale. The Huskies trailed 4-1 heading into the third period and rallied for three-straight to force overtime where Ronan won it for the weekend sweep. Senior Joey Ferriss scored twice in the third period to help fuel the comeback. UNH scored twice on the power play in the first period and took and 3-0 lead early in the second period. UConn’s Tage Thompson got the Huskies on the board with his NCAA leading 12th power play goal midway through the second. Down 4-1 to start the third, Ferriss got the comeback started with his first just 2:40 in. Spencer Naas connected on the power play at 10:26 before Ferriss tied it with 1:03 left. Rob Nichols stopped 35 shots to grab the win in goal.

Season Series vs. Vermont... The Huskies were swept in the season series with Vermont, falling 2-1 on the road and 4-2 at home. In game one back in November, goaltender Rob Nichols made 34 saves but UVM’s Dan Senkbeil scored midway through the third period to fuel a 2-1 win. Vermont goaltender Mike Santaguida made 20 stops for the Catamounts. UConn freshman Tage Thompson scored the Huskies lone goal. In game two in Hartford, Vermont’s Brendan Bradley scored with under five minutes to play to break-up a 2-2 game and send the Catamounts on to a 4-2 win. UConn’s Max Letunov scored the game’s first goal and Tage Thompson tied it at 2-2 with a power play goal in the third before Bradley to UVM up for good. UConn’s Tanner Creel made 30 saves in taking the loss.  

Scouting the Catamounts... The Vermont Catamounts earned the No. 9 seed in the playoffs finishing the season with a 6-13-3 Hockey East mark. The Catamounts come into the weekend having lost four-straight and have scored just three total goals over their last four games. Junior Mario Puskarich is the team’s top-point producer with nine goals and 17 assists on the season. Jarrid Privitera has a team-high 10 goals. In goal, junior Mike Santaguida and freshman Packy Munson have split time. Munson has a .240 goals against and a .917 save percentage. He has eight wins with three shutouts on his ledger. The Catamounts are 11th in the league in scoring averaging 2.09 goals per game and rank seventh in scoring defense allowing 2.69 goals per game.

Hockey East Playoffs... The Huskies are the No. 8 seed in this year’s tournament field and host No. 9 seeded Vermont. Here is how the rest of the field shakes out:

- No. 1 seed Boston College, No. 2 seed Providence, No. 3 seed Notre Dame and No. 4 seed UMass Lowell all have byes in the first round and will host best-of-three quarterfinal series next weekend.

- No. 5 seed Boston University hosts No. 12 seed UMass

- No. 6 seed Northeastern hosts No. 11 seed Maine

- No. 7 seed Merrimack hosts No. 10 seed New Hampshire

- The semifinals and championship games will once again be played at TD Garden in Boston. The semifinals are scheduled for March 18th and the title game on march 19th.