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The UConn Huskies are back on the road Saturday afternoon with a short road trip to Brown University in Providence. The Huskies are coming off a 1-1-1 week at the XL Center, tying Rensselaer, 1-1, beating No. 11 Vermont, 2-1, and falling to No. 3 Boston University, 5-2. The Huskies are currently tied for eighth in the Hockey East standings with Northeastern, both with five points. The Brown Bears are looking to snap a six-game losing skid, returning to non-conference action for the first time since a 4-2 season opening win at Army.
UConn vs. Brown University All-Time Series... Brown leads the all-time series, 4-1-1. The Bears and Huskies have not met since the 2009-10 season, an 8-1 Brown win at home. The lone UConn win in the series took place during the 2008-09 season, 4-1 also in Providence. The series dates back to the 1961-62 season, UConn’s second varsity year of play, but five of the six meetings have taken place since the 2001-02 season.
- Freshman Spencer Naas was named the Pro Ambitions Hockey Rookie of the Week after scoring the game-winner in the Huskies 2-1 win over No. 11 ranked Vermont. Naas leads all UConn rookies with six points (3g/3a).
- On the year, 10 of UConn’s 22 goals have been scored by a freshman while 26 of the team’s 58 points have been credited to a Husky newcomer.
- Sr. Cody Sharib scored his first goal of the season in the loss to Boston University. Sharib is the 12th different Husky to find the back of the net this season.
- Sophomore goaltender Rob Nichols is ranked third in Hockey East and 14th nationally in save percentage (.932). Nichols has faced 398 shots this season, second in the nation to only Kyle Hayton of St. Lawrence (465).
- UConn is averaging 6,188 fans at home after the first four games at the XL Center. UConn and Boston College (6,021) are the only two Hockey East clubs averaging over 6,000 fans at home this season.
- The UConn offense has scored two goals or fewer in 11 of the 13 games this year and are 2-4 in one goal games. On the flip side, the Husky defense has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of the 13 games. UConn is allowing 2.38 goals per game, ranked 5th in Hockey East and 23rd in the nation.
Scouting the Bears… The Brown Bears come into Saturday afternoon’s tilt having lost six-straight after a season-opening win at Army, 4-2. The Bears dropped a pair of ECAC games last weekend, falling at No. 6 ranked Colgate, 4-3, in overtime and getting shutout at Cornell, 4-0. During the six-game slide, all in league action, Brown has been shutout twice and have allowed four or more goals in five of the six games. Senior forward Matt Lortio leads all Brown scorers with four goals on the year. Sophomore Davey Middleton is the only other Bear with multiple goals on their ledger this season with a pair. Sophomore Tyler Steel has played in all seven games this season and has a 4.23 goals against average and a .881 save percentage. The Bears were picked to finish seventh among the 12 teams in the ECAC Presason Polls.
Last Meeting with Brown... Brown’s Jess Fratkin scored a hat-trick to lead the Bears to an 8-1 home win over UConn on November 28, 2009. The Huskies lone goal came from senior captain Michael Coppola to spoil the shutout bid. Brown never let the Huskies in the game, outshooting UConn 18-5 in the first period while posting five goals on the scoreboard. The Bears chased starting goaltender Brad McInnis in the first period thanks to the five opening stanza goals, the final two coming in a span of 17 seconds. Brown’s Sean McMonagle buried the game’s lone power play goal at 16:46 of the first and Marc Senecal made it 5-0 just 17 seconds later to end McInnis’ night. Freshman Jeff Larson relieved McInnis in net and finished with 20 saves on the night. Fratkin scored the game’s first and third goals and was able to complete the hat-trick late in the third period. After two more Brown goals in the second period, Coppola ended the shutout at 12:15 in the third with his third of the season.
Last Time Out... The UConn men’s hockey team scored twice in the third period to pull within a goal of No. 3 ranked Boston University before the Terriers tacked on two late goals, including an empty netter, to notch a 5-2 Hockey East last Saturday. The Huskies got goals from senior Cody Sharib and freshman Corey Ronan in the loss. BU junior Ahti Oksanen led the way with a pair of goals and an assist while sophomore Nick Roberto scored his first of the season, proving to be the game-winner. Junior Matt O’Connor made 20 saves to earn the victory in goal. The Huskies came out flying to start the first period, earning a power play in the first 30 seconds of play while outshooting BU, 7-0, over the first five minutes of play. Despite the fast start, UConn couldn’t crack O’Connor for an early goal and the Terrier special teams produced the game’s first two goals. BU’s Oksanen scored his first of the afternoon at the 7:28 mark and Cason Hohmann made it 2-for-2 on the power play early in the second period. The Terriers made it 3-0 just 2:37 into the third period on Roberto’s tally. UConn exploded for a pair of goals just 57 seconds apart pulling the Huskies right back in the game. Sharib buried a rebounded Shawn Pauly shot, cutting the lead to 3-1 at 7:49. The Huskies struck again at 8:46 as Ronan took a feed from Patrick Kirtland in the left circle and buried it top-shelf for his second of the year. The UConn offense kept pressing for the tying goal and nearly found it with just over 4:07 left as sophomore Joona Kunnas shoveled a one-timer attempt on goal that O’Connor denied. BU pushed their lead back to two-goals at the 17:16 mark as junior Danny O’Regan cleaned up a loose puck on a rebound and Oksanen then tacked on an empty net goal at 18:59. After giving up goals on the first two BU power plays, the Huskies killed off four-straight to end the game. UConn went 0-for-4 on the power play in the loss.
Huskies vs. the ECAC
- The Huskies are 1-1-1 against the ECAC this season with games still on the schedule against Browan and defending national champion Union.
- UConn is 14-47-9 all-time against teams from the ECAC.
- The Huskies have faced Brown (1-4-1), Colgate (2-5-0), Dartmouth (0-2-0), Princeton (0-3-0), Quinnipiac (11-12-2), Rensselaer (0-3-2), Union (0-7-4) and Yale (0-11-0) from the league.
Naas Named Rookie of the Week... Freshman Spencer Naas was named the Pro Ambitions Hockey Rookie of the Week by Hockey East on Monday. Naas picks up his first career weekly conference award and the program’s first-ever Hockey East rookie recognition. Naas helped the Huskies post a 2-1 victory over the No. 11 ranked Vermont Catamounts last Friday night, netting the game-winner. Naas scored his third goal of the season when he tipped home a Jacob Poe slap shot midway through the second period to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead they would never let go. On the year, Naas currently ranks third on the team and leads all UConn freshman with six points (3g/3a). His six points ties him for 12th overall among league rookies in scoring.
Husky Hockey Draws in Hartford...
- The Huskies have played four home games at the XL Center this season and are averaging 6,188 fans per game this season.
- Hockey East Home Attendance:
1. UConn (4g) 6188 avg. / 8089 capacity
2. BC (5g) 6021 avg. / 7884 cap.
3. UNH (7g) 5476 avg. / 6110 cap.
4. UMass Lowell (8g) 5246 avg. / 6003 cap.
5. BU (6g) 4923 avg. / 6221 cap.
6. ND (10g) 4180 avg. / 5022 cap.
7. Maine (7g) 4166 avg. / 5124 cap.
8. UMass (4g) 4089 avg. / 8373 cap.
9. Vermont (5g) 4007 avg. / 4035 cap.
10. Northeastern (5g) 3207 avg. / 4666 cap.
11. Providence (5g) 2436 avg. / 3030 cap.
12. Merrimack (6g) 2473 avg. / 2549 cap.