Live Stats: QuinnipiacBobcats.edu
The UConn Huskies head down to Bridgeport to face the No. 15 nationally ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats Tuesday night. This will be the first of five games the Huskies will play at Webster Bank Arena this season. UConn is coming of a 2-1 overtime loss in their Hockey East opener Saturday night at Merrimack. The Huskies held a 1-0 lead until 33.1 seconds left in the third when the Warriors tied it with the extra skater on the ice and went on to win it in overtime. The Bobcats come in off a 6-3 loss at UMass Lowell on Friday and a 3-3 tie at home against the River Hawks Saturday night.
UConn vs. Quinnipiac All-Time Series... Quinnipiac leads the all-time series, 12-10-2. The two teams have met just twice since the Bobcats joined the ECAC in 2005-06, both QU wins. The two teams were members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (1998 through 2003) and the Atlantic Hockey Association (2003 through 2005).
Huskies vs. the ECAC... The Huskies will play five games against members of the ECAC Hockey conference this season taking on Quinnipiac, RPI, Brown and defending national champion Union. The Huskies will also face either Princeton or Yale in the second game of the Liberty Hockey Invitational next week. UConn is 13-46-8 all-time against teams from the ECAC. The Huskies have faced Brown (1-4-1), Colgate (2-5-0), Dartmouth (0-2-0), Princeton (0-3-0), Quinnipiac (10-12-2), Rensselaer (0-3-1), Union (0-7-4) and Yale (0-10-0) from the league.
- Sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols turned away a career-high 41 shots in Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Merrimack. Nichols had 40 saves last season in a win at Air Force.
- Freshman defenseman David Drake made his collegiate debut at Merrimack and also scored his first career goal.
- UConn faces the first ranked team on the schedule Tuesday night in Quinnipiac. On Saturday, UConn travels to #17/RV ranked Vermont. The Huskies were 1-2-0 against ranked teams last season.
- The Huskies will play five games at Webster Bank Arena this season - vs. Quinnipiac (10/21), Frozen Holiday Classic vs. Union (12/27), Frozen Holiday Classic vs. Sacred Heart or UMass Lowell (12/28), vs. Colorado College (1/6), vs. Notre Dame (1/18)
- Freshman forward Kasperi Ojantakanen will sit out the first four games due to NCAA rules and regulations. He is eligible to make his collegiate debut on Saturday at Vermont.
Scouting the Bobcats… Quinnipiac comes into Tuesday’s match-up at 1-1-1 on the season after taking on UMass Lowell in a home-and-home series this past weekend. The Bobcats dropped a 6-3 decision at Lowell and skated to a 3-3 tie with the River Hawks in game two. Sophomore Sam Anas is off to a fast start to the season with three goals and a pair of assists on his ledger. Anas, last season’s National Rookie of the Year, has three of Quinnipiac’s six power play goals through the first three games. Senior Matthew Peca has also posted five points, scoring a goal and dishing four assists to start the season. Junior Michael Garteig has started two games in goal for the Bobcats, posting a 4.01 goals against and a .810 save percentage. Freshman Sean Lawrence got the start on Saturday against UMass Lowell and made 19 saves in the 3-3 tie. The Bobcats were 5-1-2 against teams from Hockey East last season and has nine games on the schedule against the league this year (UMass Lowell 2x, UConn, Northeastern 2x, UMass 2x, Merrimack 2x).
Last Meeting with Quinnipiac... The Huskies paid a visit to the No. 2 nationally ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats on January 22, 2013, falling 2-1. The Bobcats jumped in front 1-0 on a Matthew Peca goal at 13:20. The Huskies pulled even in the second as Billy Latta buried a breakaway at the 14:54 mark. The two teams went to the third tied but QU’s Connor Jones provided the game-winner at 15:47, scoring on the power play. The Huskies got a late third period power play looking to even the score but QU goaltender Eric Hartzell denied a pair of UConn chances to seal the win. The Huskies were out shot 50-22 in the loss with goaltender Matt Grogan making 48 saves in the loss. The win extended Quinnipiac’s unbeaten streak to 17-straight games that season.
Last Time Out... The Huskies played Hockey East opener Saturday night at Merrimack College and carried a 1-0 lead deep into the third period before the Warriors tied the game with 33.1 seconds left and scored again in overtime to deal UConn a 2-1 defeat. Merrimack’s Brett Seney scored the game-tying goal with the extra skater and Humpus Gustafsson provided the game-winner at 2:52 in the extra session in front of a sold out crowd of 2,549 at Lawler Rink. Sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols turned in a career-high 41 saves in the loss coming up with 15 saves apiece in the second and third periods. The Huskies held a 9-8 edge on shots after the first period but where outshot 35-9 over the final two periods and overtime. UConn freshman defenseman David Drake, playing his first collegiate game, provided the Huskies with a 1-0 lead late in the first period thanks to his first career goal. Merrimack turned up the offensive pressure in the second period and kept it on for the rest of the night before finding the tying goal late in the third. With a minute left Merrimack pulled goaltender Rasmus Tirronen for the extra skater and Seney was able to stuff home the game-tying goal at the right post with 33.1 left. Both teams took penalties in the final seconds of regulation leading to four-on-four hockey to start overtime. The Warriors outshot UConn 5-0 in the extra session and Gustafsson was able to collect a loose rebound off the boards and bury it for the win. UConn and Merrimack both went 0-for-4 on the power play. Tirronen stopped 17 shots to earn the win in net.
Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge... After two weekends of play, Hockey East took over the lead, 10-9, with 12 contests remaining. The Challenge continues this weekend with four games. Michigan and Michigan State will both play at Boston University and UMass Lowell. Nine of 12 Hockey East institutions will join five of the six Big Ten schools in 20 designated games to be played between October 10 and November 29, in the second Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge. A Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge Cup will be presented to the conference that records the most points from the 20 contests. Teams will earn two points for a win, one point for a tie and a bonus point will be awarded for a road win. Should a Big Ten school utilize a shoot-out in any of its home games, it will not factor into the result. Last season, Hockey East won the first-ever challenge, 18-11 on points. The 18 schools within the two conferences have an unparalleled record of success, combining to claim 33 national championships during the 67 seasons that the NCAA has sponsored the sport. Of the 14 schools participating in this year’s Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge, six took part in last season’s NCAA Championship.
Career High for Nichols... Sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols posted a career-best 41 saves in Saturday night’s 2-1 overtime loss at Merrimack. Nichols turned away 15 shots in both the second and third periods and another five in the overtime. His previous career-high was 40 stops in a 5-3 win at Air Force. Nichols posted 30 or more saves in six of the 13 games he played last season.
Nichols Top-5 Save Games:
41 at Merrimack (10/18/14) L, 2-1 (ot)
40 at Air Force (1/31/14) W, 5-3
38 at Holy Cross (2/15/14) W, 5-0
37 vs. UMass (12/30/13) W, 2-1
34 at AIC (1/24/14) W, 3-2
Rookies Finding Their Way… UConn freshmen Spencer Naas, Johnny Austin and David Drake have all found the back of the net for the Huskies this season. Naas leads the team with two points on the year, both coming at Penn State. Austin picked up a goal in the Huskies 2-2 tie with the Nittany Lions and Drake buried his first career goal in last Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss at Merrimack.