Nov. 27, 2013
The UConn Huskies will hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend for a pair of Atlantic Hockey Association games with the Canisius Golden Griffins. The Huskies are off to their best-ever start in the AHA at 3-1-0 after an 8-1 win at American International last Saturday night. UConn is tied with five other teams for third place in the AHA standings with six points. The Golden Griffins have been off since a 5-2 win at home over RIT on November 19th. Canisius is 2-3-0 in the AHA this season.
UConn vs. Canisius All-Time Series… The Canisius Golden Griffins hold a 26-21-6 lead in the all-time series dating back to the 1984-85 campaign. Since making the shift to the Division I ranks in 1998-99, Canisius holds a 24-17-6 edge. The Golden Griffins swept the season series in 2012-13, winning both meetings in Storrs, 3-0 and 3-1. The Huskies had been unbeaten against Canisius in six-straight (5-0-1) heading into last year’s match-up, including an Atlantic Hockey first round victory over the Golden Griffins in 2011-12. UConn knocked Canisius out of the playoffs with a 4-2 overtime win and a 4-0 victory, both in Storrs. The Huskies are just 7-11-4 all-time on the road in Buffalo vs. Canisius.
- UConn’s 3-1-0 start to the AHA schedule is the Huskies best start to league play in program history.
- Freshmen Brent Norris and Sean Gaffney scored their first collegiate goals at AIC.
- UConn continues to have the stingiest defense in the AHA, allowing a league-low 2.78 goals per game.
- The Huskies also continue to be the least penalized team in the AHA and the country at just 5.3 pim/g.
- The Husky special teams scored three power play goals in four chances at AIC, ending an 0-for-9 drought on the power play coming in. UConn’s power play (.296/8-27) is now tops among AHA teams and second in the nation.
- Since returning to the line-up, senior captain Brant Harris has two goals and an assist in three games.
- Sophomore Tyler Bouchard tied his career high for points (3), goals (2) and assists (1) in the win at AIC
- Sr. goaltender Matt Grogan ranks second in the AHA in goals against average (2.74) and second in save percentage (.919)
Scouting the Golden Griffins… Canisius has been off since November 19th when they beat RIT at home, 5-2, for their second AHA win this season. The Golden Griffins other conference win came over Mercyhurst at home, 4-3. Back in October, Canisius made the trip out to Denver and came away with a 4-1 win over the then no. 17 ranked Pioneers. Sophomore goaltender Keegan Asmundson is leading the AHA in goals against average (2.50) and save percentage (.931). Senior forward Kyle Gibbons leads the team with five goals, tied for seventh among AHA goal scorers and scored the game-winners against Denver and RIT. Senior defenseman Ben Danford has a team-best nine points (2g/7a) and is ranked second in scoring among AHA defensemen. His seven points (2g/5a) on the power play is second in the league.
Offense Explodes... After scoring just one goal in a pair of weekend losses to Bentley (3-0) and Boston University (4-1), the Huskies put a season-high eight goals on the scoreboard in Saturday’s win over AIC. Their eight goal effort came thanks to seven different Huskies finding the back of the net. It was their highest offensive output since a 9-0 win over Bentley at home on February 11, 2013.
Solid Start... The Huskies are off to their best conference start since becoming a part of Atlantic Hockey in 2003-04. Their previous best start over the first five conference games was 2-3-0, a mark they have hit four times (2012-13, 2009-10, 2008-09, 2005-06). UConn has five AHA games left in the calendar year. Their best start to conference play heading into January 1st was 7-6-0 in 2005-06. They finished that season 9-18-1 in AHA play, sixth in the standings. They have twice posted six wins in conference play before the new year, in 2010-11 (6-4-1/finished 13-12-2/6th) and 2006-07 (6-7-0/finished 15-11-2/4th).
Top-Defense in the AHA... The Huskies are allowing a league-low 2.8 goals per game this season. That number puts them 31st in the national rankings. The Huskies have allowed two goals or less in five of nine games this year.
Staying Out of the Box... UConn has been the least penalized team in the country through their first nine games this season. The Huskies are averaging just 5.3 penalty minutes per game. UConn has allowed six power play goals in 23 opportunities this season (.739).
Power Play Bounces Back... The Husky power play got back on the board at AIC, snapping an 0-9 streak that dated back to the win over Sacred Heart on Nov. 2nd. The Huskies scored three power play goals in four chances and are now 8-of-27 on the season. The UConn power play (.296) is now tops among AHA teams and second in the nation (1st - #14 Cornell/15-49/.306).