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UConn Men’s Hockey Splits Weekend Series with No. 7 Notre Dame

The Huskies fell on Friday night in the second game of their road series with Notre Dame.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

One night after pulling off an impressive upset, UConn Men’s Hockey could not get a weekend sweep of No. 7 Notre Dame, falling to the Fighting Irish, 6-2, Friday night.

Spencer Naas and Joseph Masonius got the UConn goals, with Corey Ronan getting an assist on both. Rob Nichols made 33 saves on 39 shots.

The Huskies had a good first period despite allowing a goal. They controlled play for large portions of the first period and tied Notre Dame in shots with 12 but goalie Cal Peterson stopped everything.

Notre Dame struck on the power play to break the tie when Joe Wegworth found a bouncing puck in the low slot with his back to the goal. He was able to turn around to his right and beat Nichols stick side 4:23 into the first period.

The Huskies responded well with good pressure throughout the remainder of the first period but were unable to tie it up.

The second period had a much faster pace, turning into quite the track meet. No penalties were called and offensive attacks were flying up and down the ice as neither team was able to establish a long stretch of offensive zone time.

Notre Dame added to its lead when Andrew Olglevie made a pass to Jake Evans, who took the puck up the right side, challenging Joona Kunnas. He got behind Kunnas enough to pass to a streaking Cam Morrison, who was able to get behind Johnny Austin and tap the puck in the net ahead of a sprawling Nichols to make it 2-0.

Nichols made another 11 saves in the period on 12 shots. UConn only took six on the period.

The Irish shut the door on UConn early in the third period. A little over a minute in, Connor Hurley took a pass from Dylan Malmquist and his shot from just behind the left circle beat Nichols to put the Fighting Irish lead at a commanding 3-0.

Notre Dame added two more goals in the middle of third period to put the nail in the coffin. The Huskies put in two goals to somewhat closed the final deficit but could never get within shouting distance.

Naas ruined Peterson’s shut out bid 12:39 into the third when he took a feed from Benjamin Freeman by way of Corey Ronan to score the Huskies’ first goal. Just over two-and-a-half minutes later, Masonius scored a power play goal from Ronan and Austin at 15:11 of the third.

UConn (3-2-3, 1-1-0) will be on the road again for its next game, a Friday evening matchup with UMass at the Mullins Center in Amherst. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.