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UConn Heads to #17 Vermont Saturday Night

Sophomore Goaltender Rob Nichols
Oct. 23, 2014

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Listen to the UConn Hockey Report - Episode 3

The Huskies make the trip to Burlington, Vermont and Gutterson Field House this weekend for a Hockey East match-up with the No. 17 nationally ranked Vermont Catamounts.  UConn is coming off their first win of season after Tuesday's night's 4-1 upset of No. 15 nationally ranked Quinnipiac at Webster Bank Arena.  The Huskies were led by sophomore netminder Rob Nichols who made 36 saves in the win.  Vermont is off to a fast start to their season, beating No. 16 Northeastern, 6-2, in their opener and sweeping Clarkson, 2-1 and 3-0, last weekend.

UConn vs. Vermont All-Time Series...   Vermont leads the all-time series, 16-1-1.  The Huskies and Catamounts have met just twice since UConn joined the Division I ranks in 1998-99 and haven't taken the ice against each other since the 2003-04 season.  The series dates all the way back to the 1963-64 season.  The only UConn win in the series came during the 1964-65 campaign, 10-5.  The last two meetings both went to overtime as UConn skated to a 2-2 tie with Vermont in 2001-02 and the Catamounts tripped up the Huskies, 4-3, in 2003-04. 

Quick Hits...

- Sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols has made 77 saves over the last two games.  Nichols stopped 36 shots against Quinnipiac on Tuesday and turned away a career-high 41 shots in last Saturday's 2-1 loss at Merrimack. 

- Freshman forward Kasperi Ojantakanen is expected to make his collegiate debut at Vermont.  Ojantakanen missed the first four games due to NCAA rules and regulations.

- The Huskies scored their first power play goal of the season on Tuesday with sophomore Evan Richardson getting on the board, his first goal as a Husky.  He scored twice last season during his freshman year at Boston College.

- The UConn penalty killing unit heads to Vermont a perfect 11-of-11 through four games.

- Freshman Jesse Schwartz scored his first collegiate goal, getting an empty net goal on Tuesday vs. Quinnipiac.  Classmate Corey Ronan registered his first career point, assisting on Pat Kirtland's second period goal.

- Sophomore Ryan Segalla made his first UConn appearance on offense, playing left wing alongside Ryan Tyson and Jesse Schwartz on the Huskies' third line.  Segalla picked up his second assists on the year, assisting on the Richardson power play goal.

Scouting the Catamounts...  The University of Vermont is off to a 3-0-0 start to their season and the Catamounts made their debut in the poll this week coming in at No. 17.  Vermont got their season started by knocking off No. 16 Northeastern, 6-2, behind the first career hat trick from junior Jonathan Turk.  Senior captain Mike Paliotta collected four points in the win and leads all NCAA defensemen this season with seven points.  Last weekend, the Catamounts swept a home-and-home series with Clarkson from the ECAC.  On Friday, Senior Nick Luukko scored on the power play with 5:33 left in the third for the game-winner in a 2-1 win.  On Saturday, sophomore goaltender Mike Santaguida made 28 saves in posting a 3-0 shutout for the sweep.  Last season's Hockey East Rookie of the Year, Mario Puskarich is second on the club with five points on two goals and three assists.  The Catamounts were picked to finish seventh in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll. 

Last Meeting with Vermont...  The Huskies and Catamounts have faced-off just twice since the 1974-75 season, the last meeting coming on December 20, 2003 in Gutterson Field House.  The Catamounts erased a UConn 3-0 lead on their way to dropping the Huskies, 4-3, in overtime.  UConn jumped up 3-0 in the first period thanks to goals by Beau McLaughin, Marcus Baxter, and Chris Uber.  From there, Vermont goaltender Travis Russell kept the Huskies off the scoreboard while the Catamounts clawed their way back.  UVM got two power play goals just 30 seconds apart in the third period from Jeff Miles and Baron Becker.  Jeff Corey tied the game just 18 seconds in to the third and Oriel McHugh's capped the comeback with game-winner two minutes into overtime.

Last Time Out...  The Huskies knocked off the No. 15 nationally ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, 4-1.  Four different Huskies found the back of the net and sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols made 36 saves to help deliver Huskies their first win on the season and the program's third win all-time over a ranked opponent.  UConn got goals from sophomore Evan Richardson, senior Trevor Gerling, junior Patrick Kirtland and freshman Jesse Schwartz.  The Huskies notched their first power play goal of the season to open the scoring in the first period.  Richardson got a redirect off a shot by Jacob Poe.  UConn made it 2-0 late in the first as Gerling tucked a rebound past Michael Garteig with 37 seconds left in the period.  Quinnipiac scored just 43 seconds into the second but the Huskies pushed their lead back to two goals at 12:08 as freshman Corey Ronan fed Kirtland in the high slot for a one-time and his second goal of the season.  Freshman Jesse Schwartz tacked on an empty net goal, his first collegiate tally, to seal away the upset win.  Nichols made 16 of his 36 saves in the third period while the Huskies killed off all four Quinnipiac power plays.  The Bobcats got 37 shots on Tuesday night while UConn scored four times off their 19 total shots. 

Huskies Beat Ranked Opponent...  The Huskies beat a ranked opponent for the third time in program history with their 4-1 win over No. 15 ranked Quinnipiac Tuesday night.  Last season, UConn registered the program's first-ever win over a top-10 team when they beat No. 9 ranked Providence, 3-2.  The Huskies first-ever win over a ranked school came during the 2012 Atlantic Hockey Playoffs, beating No. 19 ranked Air Force, 3-1.  This year's schedule has seven teams that are currently in the nationally polls.  The  the Huskies have seven teams on the schedule this season that appeared in the NCAA Tournament last year.