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UConn Men’s Hockey Preview: No. 11 Vermont

The Huskies look to stop a three-game slide and a five-game losing streak to the Catamounts.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Live Updates:

First Period:

0:00- and the game is on! Adam Huska returns to the net. Spencer Naas, Tage Thompson and Kasperi Ojantakanen are the forwards and the defensive pairing is Jospeh Masonius and Johnny Austin.

4:00- No. 11 has had nothing offensively so far. No goals, but all UConn.

10:14- media timeout and Vermont now quietly leads in shots, 7-to-4. Still scoreless.

20:00- it was a dominant first period for UConn, but no goals to speak of. 0-0 tie with No. 11 Vermont.

Second Period:

0:00- and the period is on! UConn was only up 11-to-7 in shots but really dominated the first 20 minutes.

1:43- a real nice shot from Karl El-Mir right in the middle of the slot gives him his eighth goal of the year. Assists to Evan Richardson and Maxim Letunov. 1-0 Huskies.

8:37- UConn is really fortunate to have both Adam Huska and Rob Nichols. Huska has earned the shutout he has to this point in the game.

9:41- Karl El-Mir and Brady Shaw off on off-setting penalties. 2:00 of four-on-four on deck in a 1-0 game

10:41- Derek Lodermeier gets called for hooking. UConn gets 1:00 of four-on-three.

11:41- El-Mir and Shaw are out.

12:41- back to five-on-five.

12:51- not so fast. Corey Ronan gets called for slashing.

14:51- Vermont had set up shop for awhile but the Huskies kill it off to preserve the 1-0 game.

19:20- Adam Huska is great. He got beat but he got enough of the puck to have the time to turn around and swipe it off the line with the help of David Drake.

20:00- UConn got their goal. 20 minutes left to hold their 1-0 lead. They have had a stranglehold on this one but hockey can be funny.

Third Period:

0:00- and the period is on! Twenty minutes before UConn gets another win over a ranked team if they can hold their 1-0 lead. They were fortunate to keep it at the end of last period.

5:47- Johnny Austin beat Lekkas with a great snapshot low to the stick side. 2-0 Huskies.

11:49- Miles Gendron and Corey Moriarty off on off-setting penalties. It’s been a long time coming, there have been scrums after almost every whistle.

12:12- Tage Thompson and Philip Nyberg both in the box. Four-on-three for 1:37 and then Nyberg will come out. Thompson will have to wait for the whistle.

13:49- Moriarty came out of the box, but Gendron must wait for the whistle.

14:11- Gendron is out, Thompson has 1:38 left in the box and Nyberg has one second.

15:49- Thompson is out! No goals for Vermont on that extended power play.

16:28- Kasperi Ojantakanen scores on a rebound! It’s 3-0 Huskies.

19:00- Vermont takes their timeout. They are also opting with the extra skater, the face-off is in the offensive zone.

20:00- UConn finishes it off! They break the three-game losing streak and win in their first time in six tries against Vermont.

Preview:

College hockey is a funny sport.

The UConn’s men’s hockey team has won many times against superior opponents despite getting out-shot by a vast margin. They made the most of their chances and had strong goaltending bail them out defensively.

In Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to No. 13 Boston College, despite the number next to their name, the Huskies looked like the better team for all but the first 90 seconds. They outshot the Eagles 43-to-26 and held a significant advantage in shot attempts, 69-to-45.

However, the Eagles scored two goals in those first 90 seconds. That was all Boston College goaltender Joe Woll needed, as he made 42 saves to get his team the win.

There are no moral victories in the standings, and that was UConn’s third loss in a row. They now head into a matchup on Friday with No. 11 Vermont to complete their season series.

Vermont had the week off, so they had seven days to prepare for the second game between the Catamounts and the Huskies. Vermont took the first matchup by a score of 5-4 last Friday.

Vermont was strong on the forecheck in its victory, with each of the first three goals coming off of turnovers forced in UConn’s zone.

In order for UConn to snap their three-game losing streak, they need to have cleaner breakouts from the defensive zone, as it was a very even game despite Vermont going up 3-0 just 22:28 into the game.

The stats were fairly even. Shot attempts were 48-to-46 in favor of the Huskies, who also had a shots on goal edge of 34-to-32. Each team went 1-for-2 on the power play and had six penalty minutes. Vermont had a slight face-off edge, winning 28 to UConn’s 26.

Vermont looked like they would roll, then the Huskies came storming back. Just 2:20 after Vermont went up 3-0 early in the second period, the Huskies had cut their lead to one goal, but failed to complete the comeback bid.

UConn looks to ride a few hot hands to victory tonight over the Catamounts to avenge last week’s defeat.

Thompson (17-8—25) has scored five goals in the four games since returning from the IIHF World Junior Championships. Maxim Letunov (6-17—23) has also been hot lately, scoring 10 points in his last 10 games (2-8—10).

Spencer Naas (12-3—15) has also scored five goals in his last seven games (5-2—7), including four points (3-1—4) during the Desert Hockey Classic.

The Huskies and Catamounts will get underway on Friday at XL Center at 7:05 p.m. WTIC 1080 AM will carry the game on radio.