2016-17 Preseason Prospectus
Hockey East Weekend Preview
Live State - Gametracker
Audio Stream - www.sports.whus.org
Twitter - @UConnMHOC
GAMEDAY - The UConn Huskies will take on St. Francis Xavier Saturday afternoon in an exhibition game in their only on-campus appearance this season at the Mark E. Edwards Freitas Ice Forum. Opening face-off is scheduled for 2:05 pm and admission is free.
The Huskies are entering their third season of play in Hockey East this season and will kick-off the season next weekend with a two-game home series against Alabama Huntsville at the XL Center.
FOLLOW THE HUSKIES - UConn fans can follow the Huskies all season on UConnHuskies.com, on Twitter (@UConnMHOC), on Facebook (facebook.com/UConnMHOC) and on Instagram (UConnMHOC). Be sure to use the hastags #IceBus and #UConnNation
PRESEASON POLLING - On Tuesday at Hockey East Media Day at TD Garden in Boston, the league annonuced the results of their annual preseason coaches' poll and the UConn Huskies were tabbed to finish seventh among the 12 teams.
The Huskies have outperformed their preseason slot in each of their first two seasons in the league. In their debut season, the Huskies were picked last and came in tied for ninth place. Last year, UConn was picked ninth in the poll and finished eighth, earning the program's first-ever home playoff series.
The Boston University Terriers were picked as the preseason favorite, earning 10 first place votes. Defending HEA Tournament Champion Northeastern, with one first place vote, and Notre Dame came in tied for second in the poll while UMass Lowell earned the remaining first place vote and were tabbed fourth.
HUSKY CAPTAIN - Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh announced last spring that junior defenseman Derek Pratt (Mount Hermon, Mass.) has been elected captain for the 2016-17 season. Pratt was an alternate captain during his sophomore season.
Pratt has been a mainstay on the Huskies' blue line during his first two seasons in Storrs. He has played in 69 games in his first two years, leading the Huskies in blocked shots in each season. Last year, he blocked 71 shots, an average of 2.09 per game to rank fourth among Hockey East defensemen and tied for 27th nationally.
SCORING TANDEM RETURNS - The offense returns the team’s top-scoring tandem in sophomores Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) and Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.). The duo combined for 72 points last season and rewrote the UConn record book in rookie scoring. Letunov became the first Husky to garner Hockey East all-conference accolades after posting a 40-point season on 16 goals and 24 assists. He set new UConn Division I rookie scoring records for points, goals and assists. His standout rookie campaign earned him a spot on the Hockey East All-Rookie team and a Hockey East Second Team All-Star nod.
Paired with Letunov on the Huskies’ top-line for most of the season, Thompson finished with 32 points on 14 goals and 18 assists. He was the Huskies top-weapon on the power play finishing the year with 13 power play goals to lead the nation. Thompson got better as the season got longer, finishing with at least a point 14 of the final 18 games including five-straight to end the year.
NEW FACES - Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh has seven new faces on the roster this season. Graduate student Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.) comes to Storrs after three seasons at Maine and is joined by six freshmen in defensmen Bryan Nelson (Upton, Mass.) and Wyatt Newpower (Hugo, Minn.), forwards Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, Maine), Justin Howell (Saint Paul, Minn.) and Alexander Payusov (Montreal, Quebec) and goaltender Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia).
TICKETS ON SALE NOW - Single game tickets and flex packs for the upcoming 14-game schedule at the XL Center are on sale now by visiting UConnTickets.com or by calling 1-877-AT-UCONN.
The Huskies will open up their season at home for the first time since the 2007-08 season when they welcome Alabama Huntsville to the XL Center next weekend, October 7th and 8th. The Huskies will also host non-conference match-ups with former Atlantic Hockey foes AIC (Oct. 21) and Sacred Heart (Nov. 26) as well as instate rival Yale (Jan. 7).
TV TIME - Hockey East annouced their 2016-17 television schedule with the American Sports Network (ASN) at media day, a slate that will feature 14 games this season. UConn will twice be featured on this year's package with a home match-up vs. UMass on December 9th and their road game at Vermont on January 20th on the schedule. Games will air on ASN and NESN with additional networks to be annouced. The start time for the UMass game has been moved up to 6:30 pm and the Vermont game will now start at 6:00 pm for TV.
FROZEN FENWAY - Tickets are on sale now for Capitol One Frozen Fenway 2017. The Huskies will be a part of this year's event when they take on the Maine Black Bears at Fenway Park on Saturday, January 14th as part of a Hockey East doubleheader. New Hampshire will take on Northeastern following the UConn/Maine matchup.
Fans can purchase tickets on line by visiting RedSox.com/FrozenFenway.