- Contributed by Alyssa Cantisani
STORRS, Conn. - On November 10th, UConn’s Jesse Schwartz (Toronto, Ontario) ended a 49-game drought without a goal when he potted a pair in a loss to Ohio State. Since then, the senior forward has piled up 11 points in 10 games and helped send the Huskies into the holiday break winners of five of their last six.
There has been a clear change in the game Schwartz is playing and Husky fans have had the opportunity to see that first hand every weekend when he steps on the ice.
“He’s put the work in,” said assistant coach Joe Pereira, “He understands this is his senior year and he wants to leave on a good note. He comes down in the morning twice a week working on tips and just taking the puck to the net and now it’s paying off for him.”
Putting in the extra hours to work on his game isn’t all that has helped him break his drought, the coaching staff and the rest of the Huskies have had an enormous influence on Schwartz’s achievements this season as well.
“Everybody has had a huge impact,” said Schwartz, “We have great teammates and a great coaching staff who help you and want to help improve your game overall.”
When play resumes on December 30th at Boston College, Schwartz will carry a career-best six-game point streak onto the ice. He has boosted himself to tied for fourth on the team in scoring and is second to sophomore Alexander Payusov (Montreal, Quebec) with seven goals.
During his recent 10 game run, Schwartz’s 11 points is tied for second in Hockey East in scoring while his seven goals match Providence’s Erik Foley for the league lead during that stretch.
A lot of what we see coming from Schwartz has stemmed from something simple, confidence.
“He had to understand that we have confidence in him but he had to have confidence in himself and now I think that’s starting to grow,” said Pereira, “When you’re a senior and you only have half a semester left you have to leave it out there.”
His confidence has helped his offensive game thrive of late but has allowed him to excel at other parts of the game including playing on special teams and in the face-off circle. He currently leads Hockey East winning .614 percent of his face-offs (78-49) this season.
“He’s creating an opportunity for himself,” said Pereira.
The success and drive that Schwartz has demonstrated throughout the season is pushing other guys on the team to play better. Seeing Schwartz winning face-offs and relentlessly taking the puck to the net is giving the rest of the team a reason to take that little extra jump in their game.
As a senior with only the second half of his final season left as a Husky, that’s exactly what he plans to do for the next three months, leave it all on the ice and do whatever he can to help his team win. There is a lot more we’re about to see from Schwartz this season.