Video - WCHA.TV
Audio - WHUS 91.7 FM
Live Stats - UAHChargers.com
Twitter - UConnMHOC
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Setting the Scene
The UConn men's hockey begins the 2015-16 season with a two-game weekend series at Alabama Huntsville starting Friday night. The Huskies posted a 3-1 exhibition win over Queens University in their first on-ice action last weekend. Friday and Saturday's game will be available on WHUS 91.7 FM and streamed online at whus.org. Video streaming of both games is available on WCHA.TV for a fee.
Last Meeting with UAH
The UConn Huskies dropped a 6-2 decision to Alabama Huntsville in the consolation game of the RPI Holiday Tournament in Troy, N.Y. on November 27, 2010. The Huskies saw goals from Corey Jendras and Daniel Naurato while redshirt freshman Matt Grogan recorded 33 stops in his first collegiate start. The two teams went into the first intermission knotted at 1-1 but UAH rang off five-straight goals take a commanding 6-1 lead. Max Baxter tallied two goals and an assist while Neil Ruffini scored a goal and dished three assists to lead the Chargers. Clarke Saunders made 29 stops in goal to earn the win.
Scouting the Chargers
Alabama Huntsville will open their season as well this weekend and are coming off an 8-26-4 campaign in 2014-15. UAH was picked to finish eighth in the both the WCHA Coaches and Media Preseason Polls. The Chargers return junior goaltender Carmine Guerriero who posted a 2.56 goals against average and a .928 save percentage last season, ranked 14th in the nation. Guerriero dazzled in the WCHA Playoffs last spring, posting a league single game record 76 saves against Michigan State. Sophomore Max McHugh was named to the WCHA All-Rookie team last year after leading the team in points (23) and goals (12).
UConn vs. the WHCA
The Huskies are 5-33-0 all-time against teams playing in the WHCA. UConn has faced Alabama Huntsville more than any other team in the league. The Huskies own wins over Alaska Anchorage (1-6-0), Alaska (1-4-0) and Bemidji State (1-3-0) but are winless against Bowling Green (0-3-1), Ferris State (0-6-0) and Minnesota State (0-5-0). The Huskies have never faced Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech or Northern Michigan. The Huskies are slated to face Michigan Tech in the opening round of the Desert Hockey Classic and could also face Ferris State on day two of the Mariucci Classic in January.
Last Time Out
The Huskies took the ice for the first time in 2015-16 last Saturday and came away with a 3-1 win over Queens University in an exhibition contest at Freitas Ice Forum. UConn used a pair of second period goals just 47 seconds apart and tacked on an empty net goal late in the third to seal the win. UConn dressed their entire roster for the exhibition game and used all three of their goaltenders in the win. The Huskies dominated the shot chart, outshooting Queens 42-16. Junior Rob Nichols took the first period and turned away all six shots he faced. Sophomore Steve Thulin made four saves in the second period and earned the victory. Sophomore Tanner Creel made five stops to keep Queens off the scoreboard in the third. The Huskies got seven power play chances on the afternoon but failed to convert any into a goal. The Gales were 0-4 on their extra man chances. Queens grabbed a 1-0 lead at 9:43 of the second but back-to-back goals by Will Golonka and Tage Thompson put UConn in front with just over five to play in the period. Johnny Austin iced the victory 45 ticks left, clearing a puck from the UConn zone and into an empty net for the 3-1 win.
Under third year head coach Mike Cavanaugh, the Huskies are 0-1-1 in season opening games and 0-3-1 in opening series. In Cavanaugh’s first season, UConn dropped a pair of games at Minnesota State and last season, opened at Penn State, tying in the opener before falling in game two of the series. The Huskies are opening the season on the road for the eighth-straight season.