Dec. 27, 2013
The UConn Huskies play host to the 21st Annual UConn Hockey Classic being held at the XL Center in Hartford for the first time in the event's history. The No. 8 nationally ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats and UMass Minutemen will open the tournament while the Huskies will battle Atlantic Hockey rival Sacred Heart in game two. The winners move on to Monday night's title game preceded by the consolation game. The Huskies and Pioneers will meet in an AHA match-up after UConn posted a 4-2 win in a non-conference tilt between the two schools back on November 2nd at home.
On Tap... The Huskies kick-off the new year with an Atlantic Hockey home series against the RIT Tigers on January 3rd and 4th at the Freitas Ice Forum.
- The Huskies have won the UConn Hockey Classic three times (2003, 1999, 1995) and have advanced to the title game 14 times in the 20 year history of the event.
- UConn has made it to three-straight title games, losing last season to Minnesota State, 3-1
- Quinnipiac won the tournament in their only appearance in 2008, beating Air Force, 4-2, for the trophy. UMass and Sacred Heart have played in two UConn Classics. The Minutemen first appeared in the 2005 field and then lost the title game to Bentley in 2009, 4-1. SHU was beaten in the 1999 title game by the host Huskies and also played in the 2003 classic.
- Senior Brant Harris is closing in on becoming the 27th player at UConn to reach the 100-point mark for his career. Harris now has 92 career points (44g/48a) as he looks to become the 6th player at the Division I level to reach the mark.
- Sophomore Shawn Pauly is tied for the team lead with 10 points and has scored 8 points over his past five games. Pauly has had a least a point in four of the last five outings.
- Senior Jordan Sims ended a nine-game streak without scoring a goal in the 3-2 win over Niagara. Sims scored the Huskies only two goals in the opening series losses at Minnesota State. He is tied for second on the team in scoring with 9 pts (3g/6a).
- The Husky power play (11-50/.220) ranks 3rd in the AHA and 13th in the nation.
- UConn is the top-ranked team defensively in the AHA, allowing 2.54 gpg.
Revisiting the 2012 Classic... The Minnesota State Mavericks and Brown Bears kicked-off the 20th Annual UConn Hockey Classic at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum on December 29th, 2012. The then #18 nationally ranked Mavericks got a pair of goals from Jean-Paul Lafontaine on their way to a 3-1 win over the Bears to advance to the Classic's championship game. In game two, University of Connecticut goaltender Matt Grogan earned his first start in nearly a year and responded by making 29 saves in a 7-2 win over American International. The win put the Huskies in the championship game but also delivered a pair of points in the Atlantic Hockey standings. Brant Harris and Trevor Gerling led the offensive attack with a pair of goals each as UConn built a 2-0 lead after the first period and a 7-1 lead into the third on the road to victory. In the consolation game, Brown got a pair of goals from Joe Prescott and a goal and three assists from Brandon Pfeil to lead the Bears to a 7-2 win over the Yellow Jackets. Brown got at least a point from 13 different players in the win. In the UConn Hockey Classic championship game, the Huskies held a 1-0 lead after the first period but the nationally ranked Minnesota State Mavericks stormed back for a 3-1 win to become the 15th different team to take home the trophy at the annual event. The Mavericks got two goals, including the game-winner, from Johnny McInnis on the way to the comeback win. Minnesota State became the first team from the WCHA to win the UConn Hockey Classic. McInnis was named Tournament MVP and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by forward Jean-Paul Lafontaine, defenseman Tyler Elbrecht and goaltender Stephon Williams. The Huskies filled out the All-Tournament team with forward Brant Harris and defenseman Jacob Poe earning a spot.
Series vs. Sacred Heart... The Huskies lead the all-time series, 28-24-5 after posting a 4-2 win at home in a non-conference meeting back on November 2nd. UConn scored three times on the power play, two off the stick of senior captain Billy Latta in the win at Freitas Ice Forum. Freshman goaltender Robby Nichols made 30 saves in his collegiate debut for the Huskies. UConn went 2-0-1 against the Pioneers in 2012-13 and are now 7-1-2 against SHU over the last four seasons. UConn holds an 19-7-2 playing at home against the Pioneers.
Series vs. Quinnipiac... The all-time series between UConn and Quinnipiac is deadlocked at 12-12-4. The two teams have met just twice since the Bobcats joined the ECAC in 2005-06, both QU wins. The Huskies fell at Quinnipiac 2-1 in their last meeting on January 22nd last season and the Bobcats won at home, 4-1, on November 1, 2008. The two teams were members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (1998 through 2003) and the Atlantic Hockey Association (2003 through 2005).
Series vs. UMass... The UMass Minutemen lead the all-time series, 24-8-2. Since the Huskies made the transition to Division I hockey in 1998-99, the Huskies beaten UMass just once, going 1-10-1 against their future Hockey East opponent in that span. The Huskies and Mintuemen met last season, a 4-1 UMass win in Amherst. UConn's lone win on the DI level was a 3-2 decision on October 24, 2004. If UConn and UMass were to match-up in the Classic Championship game, it would be the first meeting between the two teams in the state of Connecticut since the 1977-78 season.
Last Time Out... The Huskies swept an AHA home series with Niagara, 3-2 and 2-1, on Decemeber 6th and 7th. The sophomore class played a major role in the two wins as Shawn Pauly scored in both games and assisted on both game-winning goals. Classmate Tyler Bouchard was credited with the game-winning goal in the 2-1 win. Fellow sophomores Patrick Kirtland and Joey Ferriss each had an assist on the weekend. The Huskies entered the weekend as the least penalized team in the country averaging but over the two games was whistled for 14 total penalties. The UConn penalty kill was up to the task however, killing off all 13 Niagara power play opportunities. In Saturday's 2-1 win, the Huskies snapped an 0-5-2 streak this season when their opponent scored the first goal. UConn fell behind 1-0 after the first period but came back for a 2-1 win thanks to goals Pauly and Bouchard. Senior netminder Matt Grogan picked up both wins, making 30 saves in game one and 21 in game two.