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Men’s Hockey Falls To Rensselaer, 4-1

TROY, N.Y. (Oct. 16) -
The University of Connecticut men’s hockey team (0-2-1) was unable to overcome a strong performance by Rensselaer freshman goaltender Jordan Alford Saturday night, as the Huskies dropped a 4-1 decision against the Engineers at the Houston Field House.

In the teams’ second meeting in the last six days, Alford registered 23 saves for RPI (1-1-1) and the Engineer’s top line recorded six points, spoiling a terrific 31-save night by freshman Connecticut netminder Brad Smith (Detroit, Mich.).

The Engineers got on the board first while on the power play, when junior Kirk MacDonald tipped a Matt McNeely shot past at the 12:31 mark of the first period.   The Huskies promptly answered, however, evening the score just 2:10 later when freshman Mike Neilon (St. Paul, Minn.) scored his second goal of the season on a backhander from the bottom of the right face-off circle on a feed from linemates Eric Helstedt (Minot, N.D) and Beau McLaughlin (Virginia Beach, Va.).

RPI regained the lead late in the second period, when junior defenseman Brad Farynuk scored from the bottom of the right face-off circle on a rebound of a Kevin Croxton shot.  Farynuk’s goal came just as an Engineer power play expired, and proved to be the eventual game-winner.

MacDonald increased the Engineer lead to two goals at 4:28 of the third period, when he scored his second of the night on a shot from the left half-board that rolled up Smith’s arm and over his shoulder.  Croxton and Farynuk were both credited with their second assists of the game on the goal.  Junior Chris Hussey added an empty net goal with 51 seconds remaining in the third period to seal the victory.

The Huskies next game is Sunday, October 24, at Massachusetts, in another non-conference match-up slated for a 3pm face-off. Rensselaer returns to action on Tuesday when it will play at Northeastern in a non-league affair at 7pm.