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The UConn Huskies close out a three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon playing host to the No. 3 nationally ranked Boston University Terriers. The Huskies picked up their third win over a ranked opponent thanks to a 2-1 win over No. 11 Vermont Friday night in the XL Center. The Terriers make the trip to downtown Hartford fresh off a 3-2 overtime victory at home Friday night over the Maine Black Bears. BU comes into Saturday’s match-up at 5-1-1 in Hockey East, tied for second in the standings with Vermont.
UConn vs. Boston University All-Time Series... Boston University leads the all-time series, 1-0-1. The Huskies and Terriers skated to a 4-4 tie in the first meeting this season, two weeks ago from Agganis Arena in Boston. The first meeting between the two schools took place last season, a 4-1 BU win at home in a non-conference match-up. Saturday marks the Terriers first trip to Hartford and the XL Center.
- All three of UConn’s wins this season have come against a nationally ranked opponent. The Huskies are now 3-1-1 against teams appearing in the national polls. Over the past two seasons under Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh, UConn is 4-3-1 against ranked teams.
- UConn is averaging 5,680 fans per home game after the first three games at the XL Center.
- On the year, nine of UConn’s 20 goals have been scored by a freshman while 25 of the team’s 52 points have been credited to a Husky newcomer.
- The UConn offense has scored two goals or fewer in 10 of the 12 games this year and are 2-3 in one goal games. On the flip side, the Husky defense has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of the 12 games as well. UConn is allowing 2.17 goals per game, ranked 4th in Hockey East and 19th in the nation.
- Sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols is ranked third in Hockey East and 12th nationally in save percentage (.938). His 1.94 goals against average puts him fourth among league leaders and 14th in the country. He is one of 18 goaltenders nationally to sport a GAA under 2.00.
Scouting the Terriers… The Boston University Terriers opened this week ranked #3 in the USCHO.com Top-20 poll and #2 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top-15 poll. The Terriers take the ice Saturday afternoon fresh off a 3-2 overtime, comeback win over the University of Maine Friday night at home in Agganis Arena. BU fell behind 2-0 after two periods, the Terriers stormed back with two third period goals and then got the game-winner off the stick of freshman sensation Jack Eichel 2:20 into the overtime. Eichel is the top-scorer in Hockey East and second in the nation with 17 points on the year. He has seven goals and 10 assists and leads all skater in the country with a +14 rating. Junior Danny O’Regan is right behind Eichel with 14 points coming on six goals and eight assists. In goal, junior Matt O’Connor is second among league netminders with a 1.57 goals against average and a .947 save percentage, numbers that rank seventh and sixth in the nation, respectively. The Terriers come in at 7-1-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the league, tied with Vermont with 11 points, one point behind UMass Lowell at the top of the standings.
Last Meeting with BU... The UConn tandem of senior Trevor Gerling and Shawn Pauly each scored two goals and dished out two assists as the Huskies skated to a 4-4 tie at then No. 5 ranked Boston University on November 8th. BU wasted little time in scoring the game’s first goal, needing just 35 seconds to light the scoreboard. The Huskies answered back at the 3:43 mark, tying the game on Pauly’s first of the night and the season. UConn grabbed a 2-1 lead late in the second period, scoring on the power play when Gerling found a rebound at the left post to bang it home at 18:50. The Terriers struck quickly to start the third, tying the game at 2-2 just 39 seconds into the period. Jack Eichel carried the puck through the UConn zone and fed Brien Diffley in the right circle for a one-timer he buried top shelf. UConn swung the game back at the 9:00 minute mark on Gerling’s second of the night, taking a feed from Pauly on the right wing and walking in to slide a shot through the five-hole for a 3-2 lead. The lead was short lived as 30 seconds later BU junior Mike Moran batted a rebound out of the air and in tying the game at 3-3. BU’s Eichel set up the go-ahead goal at 15:43 as Danny O’Regan split a pair of defenders and took a pass for a breakaway. O’Regan went to his backhand to beat Nichols for his second goal of the night a 4-3 lead. UConn responded once again and notched the tying goal off the stick of Pauly on the power play, putting home a rebound at 16:46. In overtime, freshman Corey Ronan created a turnover along the right boards and got loose for a break-away, blasting a shot from just inside the right circle that Connor LaCouvee fought off and covered up for a face-off. The Terriers held a 34-26 edge on shots but were 0-for-3 on the power play. UConn finished the night 2-of-6 with the extra skater. Sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols made 30 saves in net.
Last Time Out... The Huskies got goals from freshmen Johnny Austin and Spencer Naas and a stellar defensive effort to post a 2-1 win over the No. 11 ranked Vermont Catamounts Friday night in the XL Center. The Huskies outshot Vermont, 27-24, on the night and held the Catamounts to just five shots in the third period. UConn opened the scoring at the 9:00 minute mark of the first as Austin buried a shot from the point through traffic for his second on the year and a 1-0 lead. UVM tied it up at 3:52 in the third, capitalizing on a UConn turnover in their zone as Andrew Petruzzelli notched his first on the year with a wrister from the slot off a feed from Alexx Privitera. The Huskies took the lead back for good at the 10:52 mark of the period as Naas picked-up the game-winner on his third of the season. Junior defenseman Jacob Poe blasted one on net from the right wing that Vermont goaltender Mike Santaguida got a pad on. Naas was waiting at the right post to just deflect the rebound into the empty net for a 2-1 lead. From there the UConn defense took over, keeping the Catamount offense at bay. The Huskies allowed just two shots on goal over the final nine minutes of the third period and kept Vermont from pulling their goaltender in the closing minutes until the 20 second mark for the extra skater. UConn took just one penalty on the night and killed off the UVM power play. Sophomore Rob Nichols needed to make 23 saves for the win in net.
UConn Beating Ranked Teams...
- All three UConn wins this season have come over a nationally ranked opponent and the Huskies now owns five wins over ranked opponents in program history.
- The Huskies beat No. 11 Vermont, 2-1, and then No. 3 Boston College, 1-0, both at the XL Center
- The Huskies beat No. 15 ranked Quinnipiac, 4-1, at Webster Bank Arena.
- The 1-0 win over BC marks the highest ranked team the Huskies have every beaten and the first win over a top-five program.
- Last season, UConn registered the program’s first-ever win over a top-10 team when they beat No. 9 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.
- Under Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh, UConn is 4-3-1 against nationally ranked teams.