Dec. 4, 2013
The UConn Huskies return to the Freitas Ice Forum to begin a stretch of eight-straight home games starting this weekend with an Atlantic Hockey Association series with the Niagara Purple Eagles. The Huskies are 1-3-1 in their last five and coming off a 3-1 loss and 2-2 tie at Canisius last week. The Purple Eagles return to AHA play after losses at then nationally ranked No. 4 Michigan, 6-0, and No. 14 Cornell, 4-2, in their last two. Niagara has yet to win on the road this season at 0-7-1. UConn, Niagara and Canisius are all tied for fourth place in the AHA standings with seven points.
UConn vs. Niagara All-Time Series… The all-time series between UConn and Niagara is knotted up at 3-3-0. The Purple Eagles posted a pair of shutout wins last year on their home ice, 5-0 and 3-0, to sweep the season series. The first meeting between the two schools took place during the 2010-11 season, Niagara’s first in Atlantic Hockey.
On Tap… The Huskies will be off until December 29th & 30th when they host the UConn Hockey Classic at the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies will face Sacred Heart while No. 5 nationally ranked Quinnipiac takes on UMass in the other match-up on Sunday with the winners squaring off on Monday night in the championship game.
- After scoring twice in the 3rd period on the way to a 2-2 tie at Canisius, the Huskies are now 0-5-1 this season when trailing after two periods.
- UConn continues to have the stingiest defense in the AHA, allowing a league-low 2.73 goals per game.
- The Huskies also continue to be the least penalized team in the AHA and the country at just 7.0 pim/g.
- Since returning to the line-up, senior captain Brant Harris has three goals and an assist in five games. He scored his first power play goal of the season, tying the game at 2-2 at Canisius.
- Harris has reached 90 points for his career (44g/46a). He is closing in on becoming the sixth player in UConn’s Division I history to eclipse 100 career points.
- Junior Ryan Tyson scored his first goal of the season in the 2-2 tie with Canisius. The goal ended a streak of 50-straight games without a goal. His last goal came vs. Canisius as well, on March 3, 2012.
- Freshman goaltender Robby Nichols made his second start of the season and made 18 saves in earning a 2-2 tie with the Golden Griffins.
Last Time Out… The Huskies battled back with two third period goals to come away with a 2-2 tie at Canisius and grabbing a point in their weekend series with the Golden Griffiins. Canisius opened the Thanksgiving holiday weekend series with a 3-1 win on Friday and led 2-1 late in the third period Saturday looking for a sweep. UConn got a power play opportunity at 18:27 in the third, pulled the goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage and came up with the tying goal just seconds later. Senior Brant Harris banged home a rebound at 18:35 for his first power play goal of the season and third goal since returning to the line-up to produce the 2-2 final. Freshman netminder Robby Nichols posted 18 saves in the tie. Canisius goaltender Tony Capobianco made 25 saves in the 3-1 win and 36 saves in Saturday’s tie. The Husky power play struggled over the two games, finishing just 1-of-10.
Scouting the Purple Eagles… The Niagara Purple Eagles come to Storrs 3-9-1 overall and 3-2-1 in Atlantic Hockey play. The Purple Eagles are currently in the midst of an eight-game road swing, their longest of the season, and are winless away from home on the year, 0-7-1. Niagara was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Hockey Association title in the Presason Coaches’ Poll. Niagara is led offensively by Ryan Rashid (4g,4a), Hugo Turcotte (4g,4a), Isaac Kohls (3g,5a) and Mike Conderman (2g,5a) all with eight points on the season. Freshmen goaltenders Adrian Ignagni and Jackson Teichroeb have split time in net this season. Ignagni sports a 3.48 goals against average and a .889 save percentage while Teichroeb owns a 3.77 goals against and a .883 save percentage.
Last Meeting with Niagara... The Niagara Purple Eagles swept the Huskies in last year’s series, posting a pair of shutouts at home in Dwyer Arena. In game one, the Huskies out shot Niagara 34-40 but couldn’t solve goaltender Carsen Chubak who stopped all 34 shots. Niagara’s Giancarlo Iuorio did all the scoring for the Purple Eagles, recording a hat trick. Iuorio scored justed 55 seconds in to play and then added a pair in the second period, including a short-handed goal. The Purple Eagles finished off the sweep the next night as Chubek needed to make 26 saves for another shutout, 5-0, over the Huskies. Iurio tacked on two more goals and added an assist for a six-point weekend for the Purple Eagles.