20:00 - Third period begins with UConn down 2-1. Can the Huskies mount another comeback?
12:00 - Vermont has been putting on the pressure, spending the majority of the period in UConn's zone. Huskies need to pick things up if they're going to tie it.
5:00 - UConn has picked things up with some nice chances recently and has the crowd back in it. The Huskies just need to put one in the net now.
FINAL: Vermont wins, 2-1. UConn with some nice chances towards the end but fails to convert. Huskies fall 2-1, go down in the series 1-0 with Game 2 tomorrow at 7 p.m. The Catamounts dominated the third period from the start until UConn got a few opportunities late. Disappointing result for UConn after playing a hard-fought game.
20:00 - We are underway! Game is tied 1-1.
14:00 - Things are fairly even so far in the second, I'd give to slight edge to the Huskies who have had some better-looking chances.
12:15 - Derek Pratt called for holding. UVM on its second power play.
9:28 - Vermont penalty. Craig Puffer called for hooking. UConn goes on its second power play, currently 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
6:18 - GOAL Vermont - Rob Darrar slaps in a one-timer from Kevin Irwin to give UVM the lead. 2-1 Vermont
END 2nd Period: Vermont up 2-1. The second period started off very strong for the Huskies, who put a lot of chances on net and actually grabbed the lead in shots. Unfortunately, Vermont notched the only goal of the period to take a one-goal lead going into the second intermission.
20:00 - And we're off!
18:32 - GOAL Vermont - Alexx Privitera slides one along the ice through Rob Nichols' five-hole to get the Catamounts on the board first, assisted by Trey Phillips and Craig Puffer. 1-0 Vermont
10:00 - Still at 1-0. Vermont getting more chances, even though UConn just had its best one of the game. Kasperi Ojantakanen had a point blank opportunity with the net exposed after a wraparound attempt, but UVM goalie Mike Santaguida did a great job of getting his blocker on it for the save.
9:41 - UConn going on the game's first power play after Mitch Ferguson called for hooking.
6:15 - GOAL UConn - Spencer Naas leads the charge on a 3-on-1, takes the wrister and fires it past Santaguida even though he got a piece of it. Tied 1-1
5:48 - Ryan Segalla heads to the penalty box for tripping to give UVM its first power play.
END 1st PERIOD: UConn tied with Vermont 1-1. It looked like it might have been 2-1 as Spencer Naas appeared to put one in right as time expired, but it turned out to be a hair late. Vermont got the better of the Huskies to start, but UConn surged late with some really strong chances. They had multiple odd-man rushes, including the one which led to their first goal.
After sweeping New Hampshire last weekend and getting a little bit of help from Merrimack, the UConn Huskies are hosting the Vermont Catamounts this weekend for the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament. Game 2 will take place tomorrow at 7 p.m. and Game 3 (if necessary) will be Sunday at 5 p.m.
The atmosphere at XL should be #LIT. We know the Husky faithful can get loud and make it a real hostile environment in Hartford. For Connecticut puck heads who have been left longing since the departure of the NHL's Whalers, UConn has provided the first high-quality replacement.
Though the Huskies are the higher seed, Vermont has beaten UConn twice, although both were in tightly contested games. In the home game at XL, a couple of unlucky bounces gave the Catamounts two lucky goals in a 4-2 loss in January. The Huskies fell 2-1 earlier in the season at Gunderson Arena.
"We're two very similar teams," head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. "I think they're pretty strong in goal... they have some very mobile defensemen that can move the puck. I like the way our defense is playing right now. They've got some talented kids up front in Privitera and Puskarich."
Cavanaugh is referring to first line center Jordan Privitera, a sophomore, and his linemate Mario Puskarich, a junior wing with a team-leading 26 points on the season. Left wing Brendan Bradley rounds out the first line, sitting one point ahead of Privitera (17P - 10G, 7A) for second place on the team with 18 points (9G, 9A).
Vermont is also quite familiar with the road underdog role, having taken down Boston College in last year's Hockey East Tournament.
"Vermont is a very battle-tested Hockey East playoff team," Cavanaugh said. "A couple of years ago, I remember them going to New Hampshire, losing Game 1, and then winning two 1-0 games. That's hard to do in New Hampshire. We're going to have to really play our A-game."
The Huskies are coming off of their most prolific weekend in Hockey East play against New Hampshire, notching nine goals, including a three-goal third period on the road to tie the game before netting a sudden-death winner off the stick of Corey Ronan.
Freshmen forwards Max Letunov and Tage Thompson have been steady, reliable producers, which is remarkable considering their youth. Freshman defenseman Joe Masonius has also shown a knack lately for making plays in the offensive zone, which has helped UConn create offense. The Huskies have been enjoying solid productivity from the entire lineup, which of course makes Cavanaugh very proud. Hopefully, this widespread consistency will continue this weekend.
We'll have live updates here. The game will be broadcast by the UConn IMG Audio Network via WTIC 1080 AM. Joe D'Ambrosio will be on the call with Bob Joyce.
If you are so inclined, you can pay for a video feed on www.hockeyeastonline.tv, but I think we all know how trustworthy/useful those are. Your best bet is to listen to WTIC, keep your browser on this page, and follow us on Twitter @TheUConnBlog!
Feel free to share your pre-game thoughts and stick around for commentary during the game!