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UConn Men’s Hockey Ties AIC, 2-2

The Huskies and Yellow Jackets could not reach a decision after 65 minutes.

Evan Richardson gets the Huskies on the board.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn and AIC skated to a tie on Friday night, with each team scoring a pair of goals. The Huskies had a dominant lead in shots, 38-to-18, but could not get a lead on the scoreboard.

“It was disappointing we couldn’t get a win,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said.

Evan Richardson and Karl El-Mir had the UConn goals. Richardson scored his fourth of the season while El-Mir’s tallied his third. Husky goaltender Rob Nichols had 16 saves on the evening.

The Huskies were by far the better team in the first period. AIC spent four minutes on the power play but had three shots to UConn’s 14.

Throughout the first 20 minutes, the Huskies held the puck and were able to pepper Zackarias Skog with shots, even getting a couple of chances while on the penalty kill.

UConn opened the scoring on a power play midway through the first period. Evan Richardson took a feed from Corey Ronan by way of Benjamin Freeman and sent his shot through a good screen from the high slot to give the Huskies the lead 9:19 into the period.

At 15:15 of the first, the stage was set for AIC to tie it up. Derek Pratt was buried on a big hit right at the blue line. Freshman Justin Howell came over and defended his captain, but was called for a hitting after the whistle penalty.

The Yellow Jackets held on to the puck for a decent chunk of the power play and used it to score right after it ended. Jared Pike brought the puck out from behind the net and turned around to take a shot from the top of the right circle. His wrist shot beat Nichols to tie the game 18:49 into the period.

Twenty seconds later, the Huskies put a goal in to escape the period with a lead. Richardson took the puck up the ice off of a pass from Max Kalter. He fed the puck to El-Mir who stuffed the one-timer in at with 41 seconds left.

“I loved the bounce-back goal by Karl,” Cavanaugh said. “I thought they came back with a great shift.”

In the second period, the Yellow Jackets took advantage of a lack of continuity in the game to tie the game up. There were seven minor penalties called in the second period, four against the Huskies.

The Yellow Jackets were coming in with numbers and the puck found the back of the net on a deflection by Shawn McBride at 15:08 in the second period while Wyatt Newpower sat in the box for slashing.

In the third period, UConn failed to convert on penalties. AIC committed four penalties in the first 8:43 of the period, giving UConn 7:47 of power play time, including 13 seconds of 5-on-3, but the Huskies couldn’t score.

“Power plays are streaky, next thing you know we could go three-for-five,” Cavanaugh said. “We just have to keep getting pucks to the net.”

The Huskies were not without their chances but could not pull ahead. They led in shots, 14-to-2 and had five power play chances while AIC had zero.

“The story of the game was that we went 0-for-5 on the power play in the third period,” Cavanaugh said.

In overtime, AIC seemed to have more of the puck and led in shots, three-to-one. Tage Thompson did not help that cause. He got the gate for interference with 1:44 remaining, ensuring the Yellow Jackets would complete the game with a man-advantage.

During the power play, Nichols made two tremendous pad saves, one right after another, to keep the tie and extend the game for the Huskies, but neither team was able to score to secure the win.

UConn (2-1-3) has the week off before they travel to Indiana to play No. 3 Notre Dame. Puck drop both Friday and Saturday night is at 7:35 p.m.

Notes:

  • David Drake will be out “a few weeks”.

Photo gallery: AIC Yellow Jackets vs UConn Huskies