UConn will close out the month of November hosting former Atlantic Hockey foe and in-state rival Sacred Heart Saturday afternoon at the XL Center. The Huskies have dropped three-straight to the Pioneers and four of their last five meetings.
The Huskies are coming off a 5-2 loss at home to No. 4/3 Boston College on Tuesday night. Tuesday night marked the fifth-straight game against a ranked opponent for the Huskies and third-straight against a team ranked in the top-five. UConn is 1-3-1 over that stretch.
Sophomore Max Kalter became the 16th different Husky to score a goal this season when he collected his first of the season against BC. The goal ended a 32-game drought without a goal, dating back to a loss a home to Quinnipiac last November.
Kalter finished with a goal and an assist, tying his career-high for points in a game. It was his second career multi-point game, the last coming on a two-assist effort last season at New Hampshire.
Junior Kasperi Ojantakanen picked-up an assist on Kalter’s goal to give him a point in three-straight games. Over his last five, Ojantakanen has collected five points (1-4-5).
Freshman Adam Huska made his XL Center debut on Tuesday. Huska has appeared in seven games and has a 2.94 goals against average and .918 save percentage, seventh in the league.
Senior Rob Nichols has also appeared in seven games and sports a 2.35 goals against average with a .917 save percentage, ranking sixth and ninth, respectively, in Hockey East.
The UConn special teams rank fourth in Hockey East in both power play percentage and penalty killing. The Husky power play unit has converted at 19.1 percent this season (13/68) while the penalty kill has killed off 60 of 69 penalties this season (.870). UConn ranks 14th in the country on the kill and 21st on the power play.
Teams from Atlantic Hockey are 4-6-4 against Hockey East this season. Sacred Heart is 1-1-1 against Hockey East this year, beating Merrimack, 2-1, losing to Boston University, 7-0 and tying New Hampshire, 2-2, all on the road.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
The Sacred Heart Pioneers are 4-7-2 overall on the season and 3-5-0 in Atlantic Hockey after beating AIC 7-3 on the road on Tuesday night. The Pioneers fell behind 1-0 after the first and exploded for seven goals over the final two periods for the win. Senior Evan Jasper is the team’s leading scorer with 11 points on the season coming on six goals and five assists. Classmate Justin Danforth recorded his 100th career point in Tuesday’s win at AIC. Junior goaltender Nathan Perry got his first collegiate win against the Yellow Jackets and has a 2.93 goals against in seven games. Sophomore Brett Magnus has played in eight games in goal and has a 3.41 goals against with three victories.
LAST MEETING WITH SHU
UConn’s Maxim Letunov scored a pair of goals but Sacred Heart scored a season-high seven goals on the way to a 7-4 win over the Huskies at the XL Center last season. The Pioneers got a four point night from junior Justin Danforth who scored twice and assisted on two more in the win. SHU added a pair of goals from junior Jeff Carroll and a goal and an assist from senior Zach Luczyk. Sacred Heart jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 29 seconds into the game and never looked back. UConn trailed 3-2 after the first and tied the game on a Spencer Naas goal midway through the second but SHU scored back-to-back in a span of 1:01 just over two minutes later to take control for good. Brett Magnus made 21 saves for Sacred Heart to earn the win.
UCONN VS. ATLANTIC HOCKEY
- UConn was one of the inaugural members of the Atlantic Hockey Association and played in the conference for 11 seasons (2003-2014).
- Since leaving the league and joining Hockey East, the Huskies are 1-3-2 against their former conference.
- Last season, UConn lost to Army, 2-0, and Sacred Heart, 7-4, both at home.
- The Huskies have three Atlantic Hockey opponents on this year’s schedule in RIT, Sacred Heart and AIC. UConn has earned ties at RIT, 1-1, and at home vs. AIC, 2-2.
- The Huskies best-ever finish in the league came in 2012-13 when they posted a 19-14-4 mark.
- UConn advanced to the AHA semifinals four times but never appeared in a league championship game.