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UConn Set for Hockey East Playoff Debut

Junior Patrick Kirtland
March 4, 2015

Hockey East Playoff Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

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Twitter - UConnMHOC

The UConn Huskies make their Hockey East postseason debut at the #9 seed and travel to #8 seed New Hampshire for an opening round best-of-three series. The Huskies were swept by UNH just two weeks ago, losing at home, 4-1 and on the road, 5-1. UConn closed out their regular season snapping a four-game slide with a 4-0 win at home over UMass. The Wildcats enter the playoffs on a five-game win streak after a sweep of Merrimack in the regular season's final weekend.

The Last Meeting
New Hampshire6
February 21, 2015
Durham, N.H.
UConn Swept by New Hampshire, 5-1
New Hampshire senior Matt Willows scored a pair of goals and added an assist to lead the Wildcats to a 5-1 win over the UConn Huskies at the Whittemore Center to earn the Hockey East series sweep. The Huskies dropped their fourth-straight game and were swept for the second-consecutive weekend as they fall to 9-17-7 overall and 6-11-4 in Hockey East.

UConn vs. New Hampshire All-Time Series... New Hampshire remained perfect in the all-time series at 12-0-0, after sweeping the season series with the Huskies. UNH posted a 4-1 win in Hartford and a 5-1 win at home in the first meetings between the two schools as Hockey East member. Prior to this season's games, the Huskies and Wildcats hadn't met on the ice since the 2002-03 season.

Quick Hits...

- The Huskies ended the month of February and regular season with a 4-0 win over UMass, sweeping the season series with the Minutemen. It was UConn's first Hockey East series sweep. UConn finished the month 2-5-2 and were outscored 38-13 and where just 1-for-30 on the power play (.083).

- Senior Trevor Gerling has four points (2g/2a) in his last three games. Gerling finished February with 6 points (4g/2a) in 9 games to lead the team.

- Sophomore Rob Nichols was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season after posting 29 saves for 4-0 win over UMass, his fourth shutout of the season.

- Nichols is second in the nation with 982 saves. That total ranks third all-time and during the Division I era (1998-present) in the UConn record book for single season saves. He can become just the second goalie in UConn history to reach 1000 saves in a season.

- Freshman Spencer Naas leads the team with 12 goals on the year including five game-winners. The Huskies are 7-2-2 on the season when Naas finds the back of the net. His 12 goals are two away from tying the UConn Division I record for rookie goals scored set by Andrew Olson (2007-08).

2014-15 Season Series with UNH...

UNH 4 - UConn 1

Feb. 20, 2015 at XL Center

New Hampshire got a goal and two assists from junior Dan Correale on the way to a, 4-1 win at the XL Center. UConn's lone goal came off the stick of senior Cody Sharib. The Wildcats came out flying to start the second period and scored on their first two shots of the period. Sophomore Tyler Kelleher scored 1:44 into the period and UNH made it 2-0 just 37 seconds later as junior Brett Pesce scored. The Huskies drew the night's first power play at 4:38 and cut the UNH lead in half by breaking a streak of 28-straight power plays without a goal on Sharib's sixth of the year. New Hampshire made it 3-1 at 11:48 in the third as Correale got on the board. UConn pulled Nichols with just over a minute left looking to spark some offense but came up empty as UNH tacked on an empty netter with five seconds left off the stick of Matt Willows. UNH held a 28-21 edge on shots on the night. UConn's Nichols made 24 saves in taking the loss.

UNH 5 - UConn 1

Feb. 21, 2015 at Whittemore Center

New Hampshire senior Matt Willows scored a pair of goals and added an assist to lead the Wildcats to a 5-1 win and weekend sweep of the Huskies at the Whittemore. UConn senior Trevor Gerling scored the Huskies lone goal while sophomore Rob Nichols made 39 saves in net. The Huskies were outshot 44-25 in the loss with both teams finishing 0-for-2 on the power play. UNH led 1-0 after the first period and grabbed a 2-0 lead at 9:12 in the second. The Huskies got on the scoreboard late in second on Gerling's goal but the momentum shift was short lived as the Wildcats answered just 42 seconds later. UNH put the game away in the third period as Willows scored twice while the Wildcats outshot the Huskies 13-7 in the final stanza.

Playoff Picture...

- UConn will play in their first Hockey East postseason, drawing the #9 seed.

- The other three opening round best-of-three match-ups are as follows:

#12 UMass at #5 Notre Dame

#11 Merrimack at #6 Northeastern

#10 Maine at #7 Vermont

- The winners will move on to the quarterfinals with the lowest remaining seed headed to the #1 seed, and so on.

- The top-four seeds received byes in the opening round of the playoffs and will host quarterfinal best-of-three series March 13th-15th.

- Boston University won the regular season title and is the #1 seed.

- Providence, the preseason favorite, and Boston College tied for second place. The Friars are the #2 seed and BC is the #3 seed.

- UMass Lowell is the #4 seed.

UConn Division I Playoff History...

- During their years in Atlantic Hockey (2003-2014), the Huskies advanced to the semifinals of the AHA playoffs four times but never advanced to the league's championship game.

- The Huskies made semifinal appearances in 2012-13, 2010-11, 2006-07, 2005-06

- UConn won six playoff series in the AHA playoffs and posted a 11-15 record in the AHA postseason.

- UConn began play in Division I in 1998-99 and was a member of the MAAC until 2003.

- The Huskies won the program's lone conference championship during the 1999-00 season.

- UConn posted a 5-3 postseason record in the MAAC playoffs.