Ice Chips …
The Huskies play their first of five Tuesday night games when they head to Boston College for a Hockey East match-up. UConn is coming off a weekend conference split with Vermont at home, winning on Friday night, 5-1, but dropping Saturday’s finale, 4-2.
Since beating BC in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on Nov. 5, 2014, a 1-0 win at home, the Huskies are 0-4-1 against the Eagles.
In Friday night’s win, senior Spencer Naas scored a pair of goals, his first multi-goal game of the season and the fifth of his career. The Huskies are unbeaten whenever Naas nets two or more goals in a game. For Naas, it was the 39th and 40th goals of his career.
In Saturday’s loss to UVM, junior Maxim Letunov scored his second goal on the season and ended a seven game scoring drought. It was his 25th career goal in an UConn uniform. He is currently tied with senior Johnny Austin (1g/8a) for the team lead in scoring with nine points (2g/7a).
On Friday night, Letunov had two assists in the win, his third multi-point game this season and 21st for his career.
Sophomore Justin Howell cracked the UConn lineup over the weekend after five-straight DNP’s and contributed a goal and assist against Vermont. Howell scored his first goal on the season in Friday’s win and snapped a 24-game scoring drought dating back to last season at Notre Dame (10/27/16).
The UConn power play continued to struggle over the weekend, finishing 0-for-6. The Huskies haven’t scored in their last 13 chances dating back to Oct. 21 vs. Boston University. UConn started the season scoring nine power play goals on 26 chances (.346) over the season’s first five games.
Freshman defenseman Adam Karashik leads UConn’s defenseman with two goals on the season and is also leading the team in blocked shots. Karashik has blocked 22 shots, a 2.44 per game clip, ranking third in Hockey East and eighth nationally.
November is the Huskies’ busiest month of the season with 10 games on the slate, seven of which will be played at home in the XL Center.
Last Season vs. BC
Game 1 (Nov. 22, 2016)
Despite goals from Max Kalter and Miles Gendron, the Boston College Eagles posted a 5-2 on the road in Hartford. Kalter, with 24 seconds left in the first, ripped home a wrist shot giving the Huskies a 1-0 lead. The Eagles put two on the board in the second period off the sticks of Ryan Fitzgerald and JD Dudek. Boston College made it 3-1 at 10:28 in the third, scoring on the power play. Again at 11:20, BC’s Jesper Mattila picked-up a loose puck and ripped a wrist shot past Huska’s glove side giving BC a 4-1 lead. UConn cut the BC lead in half at 15:38 when Corey Ronan shot a quick pass across the crease to Gendron who tapped it in. Dudek completed a hat-trick at 17:52 in the third aiding the Eagles to their 5-2 victory.
Game 2 (Jan. 24, 2017)
The UConn Huskies fired 43 shots on Boston College goaltender Joe Woll and he turned away all but one to make two early Eagles goals stand up in a 2-1 win at Conte Forum. UConn’s Rob Nichols turned away 24 shots in the loss. The Eagles scored on two of the first four shots of the game all in the first 1:28 of action. From there, the Huskies controlled much of the first period, outshooting the Eagles 14-4. At 6:11 in the second, Tage Thompson found his spot in the left face-off circle and blasted a one-timer past Woll on the power play to pull the Huskies within 2-1. UConn had three power play chances in the third period but could not come up with the equalizer. The Huskies looked as if they found the tying goal just over five minutes into the period when Spencer Naas backhanded a rebound in from the left post. After a review, the goal was waved off for goaltender interference.
Scouting the Eagles ...
After dropping four-straight the Boston College Eagles righted the ship with a weekend sweep of Merrimack in a league home and home. The Eagles won 3-1 on their home ice and tripped up the Warriors on the road, 2-1. BC has struggled offensively in the early going, coming into Tuesday night averaging 1.89 goals per game, last in Hockey East. Junior defenseman Casey Fitzgerald has three goals and three assists on the season while classmate Christopher Brown also has three goal. Freshman Christopher Grando shares the team lead with three tallies as well. In goal, sophomore Joseph Woll has played the majority of minutes, starting eight of their nine games, and has a 2.62 goals against average with a .905 save percentage. The Eagles came into the season picked to finish fourth in the Hockey East Preseason Poll.
Last Time Out ...
The Huskies split a home Hockey East series with Vermont over the weekend, winning on Friday, 5-1, and dropping the finale, 4-2. On Friday night, four different Huskies scored goals as UConn snapped their five-game winless streak. UConn was led by senior Spencer Naas who potted two in the series opening win. The Huskies used a solid defensive effort, allowing Vermont 22 shots, matching their season-low for an opponent. Junior forward Max Kalter opened up the scoring for the Huskies at 11:33 in the first. After Vermont tied the game 1-1 early in the second, UConn answered with three-straight to take command. After giving up a goal on Vermont’s first power play chance, the Huskies killed off the last five chances of the night. Naas made it 5-1 at 15:19 in the third, scoring his second of the game. On Saturday, the Huskies held a 2-0 lead early in the second period but Vermont would rattle off four unanswered goals on the way a split in the series. UConn built a lead thanks to goals by juniors Miles Gendron in the first and Maxim Letunov early in the second period. Following the Letunov goal, the Huskies got a five-minute major power play chance but it was Vermont who capitalized and swung the momentum. UVM’s Colton drew a penalty on a break-away during the kill and was awarded a penalty shot, he converted to start the Catamount comeback. Senior Jarrid Privitera and sophomore Matt Alvaro scored late in the second. The Huskies outshot UVM 12-2 in the final period but sophomore goaltender Stefanos Lekkas stopped every shot he saw and the Catamounts tacked on a fourth goal to seal away the road win. Lekkas finished the night with 31 saves to earn the win while Vermont killed off all four UConn power play chances.