March 7, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey team matched their best-ever conference win total in Atlantic Hockey with a 15-9-3 record in 2013-14, earning the #4 seed in the postseason playoffs and a bye into the quarterfinals. As the Huskies wait to find out who they will host in the quarterfinals on March 14th-16th, let's look back at this season, the Huskies last, in Atlantic Hockey.
Air Force (1-1-0) Jan. 31, 2014 at Air Force, W, 5-3; Feb. 1, 2014 at Air Force, L, 3-1
The Huskies closed out the month of January with a trip out to Colorado Springs and came home with an AHA split with the Air Force Academy. In game one, UConn skated to a 5-3 win, just their third win at Cadet Ice Arena in program history. UConn finished the night 2-of-3 on the power play while five different Huskies found the back of the net in the win. The Falcons took a 1-0 lead early in the second period but UConn scored three times, twice on the power play, in a span of 2:13 to take control of the game. Freshman Joona Kunnas and senior Billy Latta netted the Husky power play goals. Freshman goaltender Robby Nichols turned away a career-high 40 shots to earn his 4th victory of the year. In Saturday’s series finale, the Falcons jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead and kept the Huskies off the scoreboard until late in the third period. Junior Ryan Tyson pulled the Huskies to within 2-1, scoring his third goal of the season at the 14:06 mark. Air Force responded just 1:47 later, taking advantage of a power play opportunity as Cole Gunner scored his 12th of the year to put the game away. Chris Truehl made 21 saves in net to earn the win while UConn senior Matt Grogan notched 26 saves for the Huskies.
American International (3-0-0) Nov. 23, 2013 at AIC, W, 8-1; Jan. 24, 2014 at AIC, W, 3-2; Jan. 25, 2014 at UConn, W, 2-1
UConn swept all three meetings with AIC in 2013-14, extending their unbeaten streak to 18-straight (15-0-3) against the Yellow Jackets. The Huskies posted their most lopsided win of the year in the first meeting between the two schools, winning 8-1 at AIC. UConn finished three-of-eight on the power play and killed off all three Yellow Jacket power plays en route to the win in West Springfield in late November. Seven different Huskies scored goals with freshmen Brent Norris and Sean Gaffney collecting their first collegiate goals in the win. Senior goaltender Matt Grogan made 17 saves in earning the victory in net while AIC netminder Hunter Leisner made 30 saves. UConn held a 38-18 advantage on shots. The Huskies completed the season sweep over AIC with a pair of one-goal wins in a home-and-home in January. UConn came away with a 3-2 win at AIC in game one and returned home 2-1 victory and series sweep in game two. On Friday, freshman Robby Nichols got the start and turned in 34 saves to earn the victory. After trailing 1-0, power play goals by Jordan Sims and Jacob Poe and a goal by Brent Norris capped a three-goal rally to fuel the UConn offense. On Saturday, the Huskies fell behind 1-0 again in the opening period but Sims and Poe once again delivered. The duo scored their second goals of the weekend just 43 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead. Senior Matt Grogan was back in goal and turned away 20 shots to help fuel a strong defensive effort by the Huskies.
Army (2-1-0) Nov. 1, 2013 at UConn, W, 4-2; Feb. 21, 2014 at UConn, L, 4-3; Feb. 22, 2014 at Army, W, 3-1
The Huskies won the 2013-14 season series with Army, 2-1. The Huskies and Black Knights met in the AHA opener for both teams back on November 1st with UConn posting a 4-2 win at home. Junior Trevor Gerling had a hand in all four goals, recording a career-high four points. The Huskies got out of the gates quickly in the first period, outshooting Army 16-6 and scoring a pair of goals just 16 seconds apart off the sticks of sophomore Shawn Pauly and Gerling, who finished with two goals and two assists on the evening. The Black Knights flipped the tables on UConn in the second period, outshooting the Huskies 14-4 and tacking on a pair of goals. UConn put the game away in the third period, capitalizing on their third power play opportunity of the night with a Billy Latta goal. Senior Matt Grogan would finish with 24 saves while holding Army off the scoreboard for the final 31:36 to earn his first victory in net of the season. The Huskies hosted Army in the final regular season game at Freitas Ice Forum this season and opened up a 2-0 lead on goals by Brent Norris and Shawn Pauly in the first period. Army stormed back to tie it at the first intermission and took a 3-2 lead in the second period. UConn’s Trevor Gerling knotted the game at the 11:40 mark of the second period. The Huskies were 16-0-1 on the year when leading or tied heading into the third period but Army ended that streak as C.J. Reuschlein scored a power play goal 2:18 into the third for the game-winner. The Huskies fired off a season-high 45 shots but Army freshman goaltender Parker Gahagen stood tall making 42 saves. In the final meeting of the season, UConn jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3:40 in as freshman Sean Gaffney scored his third of the season. The Husky lead grew to 2-0 at 3:34 in the third as rookie Brent Norris scored an UConn withstood a late Army rally for a 3-1 win. Freshman goaltender Robby Nichols turned away 27 shots to secure his seventh victory of the season.
Bentley (1-2-0) Nov. 15, 2013 at UConn, L, 3-0; Feb. 7, 2014 at UConn, W, 3-0; Feb. 8, 2014 at Bentley, L, 4-1
The Bentley Falcons won the season series, 2-1, in a series that featured a pair of shutouts. The first meeting took place on November 15th with the Falcons scoring a pair of third period power play goals en route to a 3-0 shutout win in Storrs. The Huskies had three shots go off the post in the first period as Bentley took a 1-0 lead on a Michael Reardon goal at 6:04 of the first. UConn saw more solid scoring chances miss the mark in the second period, hitting the post twice more. UConn came up empty on four power play opportunities on the night but Bentley got power play goals from Andrew Gladiuk and Alex Grieve just over two minutes apart to take a 3-0 lead at 2:39 in the third period. Branden Komm made 30 saves for his first shutout of the season. The Huskies answered that shutout loss with a 3-0 win of their own when the two teams met again on February 7th behind 28 saves from freshman Robby Nichols. 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. In the final meeting of the season, 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 in Watertown, Mass. Jared Rickord, Justin Breton and Brett Switzer all beat Nichols, who was pulled at the end of the period. Senior Matt Grogan finished the night with 20 saves while keeping the Falcons off the board over the final two periods. 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.
Canisius (0-1-1) Nov. 29, 2013 at Canisius, L, 3-1; Nov. 30, 2013 at Canisius, T, 2-2
The Canisius Golden Griffs took three of the four AHA points in a two-game series played over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Canisius opened the holiday weekend series with a 3-1 win. The Golden Griffs took a 1-0 lead just 2:02 into play on a Patrick Sullivan goal. UConn tied it early in the second a sophomore Shawn Pauly scored his third of the year. Canisius netminder Tony Capobianco kept UConn off the board from there and Canisius got goals by Braeden Rigney and Stephen Miller to grab the win. In game two, Canisius held a 2-1 lead late in the third period looking for a weekend sweep. The Huskies battled back and got the tying goal at 18:35 to come away with a 2-2 tie to salvage a point on the weekend. The Huskies got a power play opportunity at 18:27 in the third, pulled the goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage and came up with the tying goal just seconds later. Senior Brant Harris banged home a rebound at 18:35 for his first power play goal of the season and third goal since returning to the line-up to produce the 2-2 final. Freshman netminder Robby Nichols posted 18 saves while Capobianco turned in 36 saves in the tie. The Husky power play struggled over the two games, finishing just 1-of-10.
Holy Cross (2-1-0) Nov. 12, 2013 at UConn, W, 4-3; Feb. 14, 2014 at UConn, L, 3-1; Feb. 15, 2014 at Holy Cross, W, 5-0
UConn won the season series with Holy Cross, 2-1. In the first meeting on November 12th in Storrs, the Huskies fell behind 3-2 in the third period but battled their way back to a 4-3 victory. UConn junior Cody Sharib tied the game at 11:07 in the third and sophomore Shawn Pauly netted the game-winner at 15:31. The Crusaders held a 14-4 edge on shots over the first 20 minutes but could not crack senior goaltender Matt Grogan. UConn got out to a 2-0 lead in 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 thanks to back-to-back goals by Matt Vidal and Nick Finn. Sharib and Pauly provided the offense for the comeback and the UConn 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. The two teams would split their weekend series in February, with Holy Cross winning 3-1 in Storrs and the Huskies getting a 5-0 shutout in Worcester. In game one, the Huskies were outshot 34-21 and fell behind 2-0 through two periods on goals by Castan Sommer and Mike Barrett. Down 2-0 to start the third period, senior Brant Harris scored his 11th goal of the season just 40 seconds into the third period but that would be all the offense the Huskies could muster, giving up a late empty netter in the loss. In the series finale, sophomore Joey Ferriss scored twice and freshman Robby Nichols stopped all 38 shots he faced as the Huskies rebounded for a 5-0 win over the Crusaders. Ferriss was joined by juniors Cody Sharib and Jacob Poe and freshman Brent Norris in the scoring column.
Mercyhurst (0-0-2) Jan. 17, 2014 at Mercyhurst, T, 2-2; Jan. 18, 2014 at Mercyhurst, T, 3-3
UConn traveled to Atlantic Hockey leader Mercyhurst and came back with a two points in the standings thanks to a pair of ties. The Huskies had to come from behind in both games against the league leading Lakers. In game one, UConn trailed 1-0 and 2-1 but freshman Brent Norris scored both Husky equalizers while senior goaltender Matt Grogan turned away 38 shots to earn a 2-2 draw. In the series finale, the Lakers built a 3-0 lead in the early minutes of the second period before the Huskies came roaring back for a 3-3 tie. The Lakers scored on their first two-power play chances with Daniel Bahntge giving his team a 3-0 lead 2:11 into the second. UConn used a time-out to regroup and head coach Mike Cavanaugh also changed goaltenders going to freshman Robby Nichols. The Huskies responded with their first goal at 4:17 as senior Jordan Sims scored on the power play and sophomore Shawn Pauly cut the lead to 3-2 at 6:43 in the second. The UConn special teams came up big in the third period, killing off a penalty seven minutes in to keep the score at 3-2 and then finding the equalizer on the power play at 17:07. Senior Billy Latta buried his sixth extra skater goal of the season to send the game to overtime. Nichols stopped 12 shots in keeping the Lakers off the scoreboard for the 3-3 tie.
Niagara (2-0-0) Dec. 6, 2013 at UConn, W, 3-2; Dec. 7, 2013 at UConn, W, 2-1
The Huskies swept an AHA home series with Niagara, 3-2 and 2-1. The sophomore class played a major role in the two wins as Shawn Pauly scored in both games and assisted on both game-winning goals. Classmate Tyler Bouchard was credited with the game-winning goal in the 2-1 win while fellow sophomores Patrick Kirtland and Joey Ferriss each had an assist on the weekend. The Huskies entered the weekend as the least penalized team in the country but over the two games were whistled for 14 total penalties. The UConn penalty kill was up to the task however, killing off all 13 Niagara power play opportunities. In game one, UConn’s Matt Grogan made 30 saves in net. Junior Trevor Gerling provided the game-winning goal, scoring on the power play at 5:58 in the third period. In game two, UConn fell behind 1-0 on a first period goal by Niagara’s Mike Conderman. The Huskies battled back with a goal by Pauly in the second and the game-winner by Bouchard at 7:14 in the third on the power play for the weekend sweep. Grogan would make 21 saves to secure his second win of the weekend. Niagara goaltender Jackson Teichroeb made 30 stops in the loss.
Robert Morris (1-1-0) Jan. 9, 2014 at UConn, W, 5-1; Jan. 10, 2014 at UConn, L, 6-1
The Huskies and Colonials split their two meetings in Storrs, both posting lopsided wins. In game one, seniors Billy Latta and Brant Harris were responsible for all the scoring as the Huskies came away with a 5-1 win. Latta recorded the first hat-trick of his career, scoring a goal in each period including his fifth on the power play. Harris tacked on a pair of goals, one game after recording his first career hat-trick in a 6-2 win over RIT. UConn scored on their first two-shots of the game, chasing RMU goaltender Terry Shafer. Senior Matt Grogan made 22 saves in picking-up his eighth win of the season. The Colonials flipped the tables on the Huskies in the second meeting, scoring three times in the first period en route to the 6-1 win. RMU got a pair of goals from Cody Wydo while Shafer rebounded with 25 saves to earn the win in goal. The Huskies saw their streak of 28-straight penalties killed off come to an end as David Friedmann scored on the power play in the second period.
RIT (2-0-0) Jan. 3, 2014 at UConn, W, 2-1; Jan. 4, 2014 at UConn, W, 6-2
The Huskies swept both games of their home AHA series with RIT, 2-1 and 6-2. In game one, UConn got goals from junior Trevor Gerling and sophomore Shawn Pauly and got a strong defensive effort along with 32 saves by senior Matt Grogan in a 2-1 win. The Huskies were outshot 33-21 but built a 2-0 lead early in the third period while Grogan made 13 of his 21 saves over the final 20 minutes to preserve the win. Both RIT and UConn were whistled for just one penalty apiece in the game. In the series finale, the UConn offense exploded for six goals, two on the power play, for a 6-1 win over the Tigers. Senior Brant Harris led the way matching his career-high with four points including the first Husky hat-trick in two seasons. Harris scored in each period and twice on the power play to help the Huskies build a 5-0 lead in the third period. Gerling notched his second goal of the weekend while freshmen Ryan Segalla and Brett Skibba both recorded their first collegiate goals in the win. The Huskies killed off all five RIT power play opportunities. Grogan made 26 saves in game two to record both wins in the series.
Sacred Heart (2-2-0) Nov. 2, 2013 at UConn, W, 4-2; Dec. 29 at XL Center, L, 3-0; Feb. 28, 2014 at SHU, W, 4-3 (ot); Mar. 1, 2014 at SHU, L, 2-1
The Huskies and Pioneers split their four meetings in 2013-14. In the first meeting this season, senior forward Billy Latta scored two of UConn’s three power play goals to lift the Huskies to a 4-2 victory over Sacred Heart at home in a non-conference match-up between the instate rivals. Sophomore Patrick Kirtland and junior Jacob Poe had the other UConn goals in the win. UConn freshman goaltender Robby Nichols posted 30 saves in his collegiate debut for the Huskies. In the opening round of the annual UConn Hockey Classic, the Pioneers got 29 saves from Alex Vazzano as they earned their first shutout win in three seasons, beating the Huskies 3-0 at the XL Center. Sacred Heart struck for three goals in the second period from freshman Coltyn Hansen, senior Chad Filteau and junior Ben Lake. Vazzano posted 14 of his 29 saves in the third period to keep the Huskies in check and preserve the shutout win. In the final AHA weekend of the regular season, the Huskies and Pioneers split a pair of games at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The Pioneers held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 but couldn’t hold off the Huskies in the closing minutes. Latta provided the game-tying goal with 37 seconds left in the third and the game-winner with 42 seconds left in overtime for a 4-3 UConn win. In the series finale, goals be Evan Japser and Drew George provided all the offense SHU would need in a 2-1 win over the Huskies. Vazzano made 25 saves to grab his second win over UConn on the season.