ICE CHIPS …
UConn returns to the XL Center for a weekend non-conference series with No. 17 nationally ranked Ohio State. The Huskies and Buckeyes met for the first time last season, a two-game series in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State posted a 7-4 win in the first game and UConn battled to a 3-3 tie in game two.
UConn is coming off a 2-1 loss on Tuesday night in a Hockey East match-up at Boston College. Senior Jeff Wight scored UConn’s only goal, a second period power play tally for a 1-0 lead. BC answered with a shorthanded goal and a power play goal in the second for the win.
For Wight, it was his third goal on the season while junior Karl El-Mir picked up a point for the first time in four games, assisting on the goal.
Sophomore goaltender Adam Huska stopped 34 shots in taking the loss on Tuesday. In addition, he picked-up his first career assist getting credit for the secondary assist on the Wight goal. It was the first assist by a UConn goaltender since Rob Nichols (2013-17) recorded one in a 4-3 loss at Providence last season.
The UConn power play snapped a season-long 0-for-15 slump with a goal in Tuesday night’s game. The streak dated back to the Oct. 21 game vs. Boston University. UConn started the season scoring nine power play goals on 26 chances (.346) over the season’s first five games.
UConn sophomore Alexander Payusov leads the team with six goals, four on the power play. Payusov has missed the last three games (lower body injury) and there is not a timetable yet for his return.
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 24 shots, a 2.40 per game clip, ranking second in Hockey East and sixth 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. Ohio State ... The UConn Huskies traveled to Columbus, Ohio last season for the program’s first-ever match-up with Ohio State. In game one of the series, UConn saw a 4-2 second period lead erased when the Buckeyes responded with five unanswered goals on the way to a 7-4 win. UConn’s Tage Thompson had a goal and two assists, scoring on the power play to help the Huskies build a 4-2 lead in the second. Ohio State came roaring back, fueled by a three-goal flurry in second during a span of 1:34 to take the lead back, 5-4. Ohio States David Gust picked up his first career hat trick to fuel the comeback win. UConn finished 2-of-6 on the power play but were outshot on the night 38-25. Goaltender Adam Huska made 31 saves in taking the loss. In game two, UConn’s Rob Nichols made a career-high 46 saves as the Huskies came away with a 3-3 tie. The Husky power play struck twice in the first period, both off the stick of Thompson. Ohio State’s Gust scored his fourth on the weekend as the Buckeyes pulled the game even then took a 3-2 lead early in the third period. UConn found the tying goal off the stick of Brian Morgan at 10:20. UConn killed off a too-many men penalty at 4:25 in the overtime to preserve the tie.
Scouting the Buckeyes ... Ohio State was ranked 17th in this week’s USCHO.com Top-20 poll and is coming off a home series against Notre Dame where they lost the pair, 4-1 and 3-2. This is the Buckeyes second trip to New England this fall after taking two at UMass in October. Heading into the weekend, the Buckeyes goaltender Sean Romeo’s 1.82 goals against average is second among Big Ten goaltenders. Romeo also comes in fourth with a .918 save percentage. Defensively, Ohio State is allowing just 1.90 goals per game and leads the nation in allowing just 22.2 shots per game. Junior Mason Jobst has five goals and five assists with sophomore Tanner Laczynski chipping in three goals and seven assists as the team’s scoring leaders. The Buckeyes 91.7 penalty kill percentage (33/36) puts them first in the Big Ten beating out Michigan.
UConn vs. THE BIG TEN ... The Huskies are 2-5-2 all-time versus teams that play in the Big Ten Conference. UConn has faced teams from the Big Ten in each of the last three seasons. The Huskies lost and tied Penn State to open the 2014-15 season, and loss at Minnesota in the 2016 Mariucci Classic. Last year, UConn was 0-1-1 at Ohio State.
The Huskies have faced the Nittany Lions more than any other Big Ten team, posting a 2-1-1 mark. UConn is 0-1-0 against both Michigan and Wisconsin. UConn was 1-4-1 when facing Notre Dame as a member of Hockey East. Michigan State is the only team the Huskies have never faced from the league.