Dec. 23, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men’s ice hockey program will host the 19th annual Toyota UConn Hockey Classic at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum on Thursday and Friday, December 29 and 30. RPI and UMass Lowell will play at 4 p.m. on Thursday, followed by UConn vs. Army at 7:15 p.m.
The Huskies will welcome a New England legend to Freitas Ice Forum as Rene Rancourt, the voice of the Boston Bruins, will sing the National Anthem prior to the UConn vs. Army contest at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday night. Mr. Rancourt will be available for a meet and greet with fans in between games on Thursday in the lobby of Freitas Ice Forum.
As part of the Holiday Hockey Ticket Offer, fans can purchase tickets to the Toyota Classic for only $2.00 per day (online purchase only). To take advantage of this special offer:
Visit the UConn Hockey Ticket Page
Click on ‘PROMOTIONS’to the left
Enter Promo Code: HOCKEY
The Toyota UConn Hockey Classic will be collecting donations for Coaches Care, a foundation established to help support the families devastated by the natural disasters along America’s Gulf Coast. Fans can purchase Chuck-a-Pucks for $2.
Each team will have an autographed jersey raffled off on Friday as well. Tickets are $5 each for your chance to win an autographed jersey from one of the four institutions appearing in the tournament.
The loser of each game will play in the consolation game at 4 p.m. on Friday, December 30. The two winners will advance to the championship game set to begin at 7:15 p.m. on Friday night. Following the championship game, stick around for the announcement of the All-Tournament Team and the Most Valuable Player.
Connecticut will be looking for its fourth championship since the tournament’s inception in 1993 and the first since 2003. Last season, UConn defeated Holy Cross in the opener but fell to Princeton in the championship game.
UConn enters the tournament with a 5-9-2 (4-6-1 AHA) record and the top power-play unit in the field at 25.4-percent. That scoring rate ranks UConn fourth in the NCAA. A trio of sophomores lead the Huskies offensively, starting with 2011 AHA All-Rookie selection Cole Schneider with 17 points on five goals and 12 assists. Brant Harris leads the squad with 11 goals, including seven on the power play. Harris’ seven power-play goals rank second in Division I this season. Billy Latta has steadily compiled 13 points on three goals and 10 assists.
Junior goaltender Garrett Bartus has started all 16 games and boasts a 2.67 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
Connecticut has already beaten both Army and UMass Lowell in 2011. UConn opened AHA play with a 5-0 victory at Army on October 14. The Huskies then defeated UMass Lowell in overtime, 3-2, in Nashua, N.H. on October 18. Senior Marcello Ranallo put home the game-winning goal in overtime for Connecticut.
Army will open play on Thursday night with a 1-8-6 (1-6-4 AHA) record at the midway point of the season. 2011 will mark the fourth appearance in the UConn Hockey Classic for Army and the first since 2007. The Black Knights have gone 1-4-1 in six previous games during UConn’s annual tournament. Offensively, Andy Starczewski leads the squad with nine points on six goals and three assists. Junior goaltender Ryan Leets has appeared in 10 games this season with a 3.39 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.
UMass Lowell stands at 10-5-0 (7-4-0 Hockey East) and comes into the tournament ranked No. 17 in the latest USCHO.com national rankings. 2011 will mark the first appearance in the UConn Hockey Classic for the River Hawks. No team from Hockey East has ever won the UConn Hockey Classic. The River Hawks have taken the season series against perennial national powers UNH and Maine this season for the first time since 1984-85. UMass Lowell enters the tournament with the top offense of the field scoring 3.40 goals per game and the top defense allowing 2.53 goals per game.
Senior forward Matt Ferreira has notched 15 points this season on seven goals and eight assists while junior forward Riley Wetmore and sophomore defenseman Chad Ruhwedel have each tallied 14 points on the season. Sophomore goaltender Doug Carr has seen the majority of that action, posting a 9-2-0 record based on a 1.82 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
RPI will also compete in the UConn Hockey Classic for the first time in 2011. The Engineers stand at 3-13-0 (1-6-0 ECAC) after advancing to the 2011 NCAA Tournament with a 20-13-5 overall record. Rensselaer junior defenseman Nick Bailen leads the squad with eight points on three goals and five assists. Junior goaltender Bryce Merriam has appeared in 12 games and stands at 2-10-0. He’s recorded a 2.65 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.