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UConn Men’s Hockey Weekend Preview: UMass

The Huskies have just one game this weekend on the road against UMass.

Photos-MHOC: Sacred Heart Pioneers @ UConn Huskies Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn Men’s Hockey rebounded well after going 0-1-1 the previous week with a weekend split against No. 7 Notre Dame on the road.

The Huskies got a win on Thursday behind a strong performance from freshman goaltender Adam Huska. The next night Notre Dame prevailed in Friday evening’s 6-2 loss.

After an entire week off, the Huskies visit the UMass Minutemen (2-4-0, 0-2-0) in their only matchup of the week.

UMass swept UConn in last year’s series for the team’s only Hockey East wins on the season, so the Huskies will be looking for revenge. They lost 4-2 on Friday at the XL Center and did no better in Amherst, taking a 5-3 defeat the following evening.

The Minutemen will enter the contest following a drubbing at the hands of Boston College on Saturday. The eagles scored five straight to begin the game shortly after the halfway point of the second period, with two power play conversions and even a shorthanded goal. UMass put up four goals in the third period but the Eagles netted two more to end with a 7-4 score in favor of Boston College.

The Minutemen lost 4-1 to New Hampshire the night prior as part of a three-game losing streak. Both of those losses were at Mullins Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Four players are tied for their team lead in goals, with each of them sitting at two. Junior forward Patrick Lee (2-4—6) holds the lead with freshman forwards Jonny Lazarus (2-3—5) and Griff Jeszka (2-2—4) and sophomore forward Ryan Badger (2-0—2) are currently leading the pack. Junior forward Dominic Trento (0-6—6) leads UMass in assists and is tied with Lee for the overall points lead.

The Minutemen have had two goalies splitting the time pretty evenly in freshman Ryan Wischow, who has played in four games and sophomore Nic Reynard, who has appeared in three.

Wischow has a 2-1-0 record (2.90 GAA, .906 sv%) while Reynard is 0-3-0 (4.54 GAA, .885 sv%). Wischow handled goaltending duties against New Hampshire last weekend while Reynard played against Boston College.

The Minutemen struggle on the power play with a 13.0 percent success rate, good for 42nd out of 60 Division 1 teams. This could work in the Huskies’ favor as they have a top-10 penalty killing unit in the country, killing off 89.5 percent of their penalties.

UConn and UMass will square off at 7 p.m. at Mullins Center on the campus of UMass-Amherst on Friday evening. Those unable to attend can listen on WHUS 91.7 FM or follow me on Twitter @ShawnMMcGrath.