UConn home ice advantage has been proven. After a well-played but disappointing draw to RPI on Tuesday, UConn fought back with a gutsy rebuke on Friday against the 11th-ranked Vermont Catamounts. The Huskies had victory on their minds in the third period, dominating the possession for the first quarter of the period on the heels of multiple even-man runs down the ice. Nothing found the back of the net, but the level of defense and energy both by the UConn fourth line and Nichols were fed upon to tie up the Shot Coint at 23. A wrister by Ferris nearly flew by Santaguida but was kicked away by the goalie at the last possible moment.
UConn stayed on top of the puck through the middle part of the period. UVM had trouble bringing it past the blue line and it slowed the Catamount offense immensely. After a second nearly marred by UConn's defensive follies, it was UVM who seemed out-of-sorts in their own zone. UConn pinched their defensemen up any chance they got, causing havoc for the Vermont defenders trying to clear the zone.
Around 14 minutes in UVM mounted their first strike against Nichols and Co. but was stood up by the Huskies defense and Nichols covered the puck in a dicey area in front of net. The faceoff, as had been the case all night, was won by UConn and cleared out. UVM had trouble from there mounting their attack, again with an aggressive forecheck by the Huskies and multiple icing calls keeping the puck in their defensive zone.
With about three minutes left UVM started dumping and chasing, hoping for some offensive production. The plan seemed to work as the Catamounts held possession for their longest stretch thanks to a UConn icing with 1:54 remaining. Vermont called a time-out and regrouped, but the puck was cycled out. The XL Center began to stand and cheer as the Huskies gummed up the puck and slowed down play for the final minute and a half. The final seconds saw a flurry of Vermont shots but none of them came close to the net and UConn recorded its 5th-ever win against a ranked opponent to the delight of 5,072 Husky Faithful.
3.) Anthony Petruzelli, UVM
2.) Johnny Austin, UConn
1.) Spencer Naas, UConn
UConn outshot UVM, 27-24 and won in faceoffs 35-29.