UMass Lowell goalie Christoffer Hernberg stole the show on Saturday afternoon, stopping 33 shots as he pitched a shutout against UConn leading to a 1-0 defeat and a sweep of the weekend series at the hands of UMass Lowell.
“He was the difference in the game,” Cavanaugh said. “We had good looks. We had traffic, we had rebounds, we had pucks to the net. Attempts in the game were 68-to-39.”
UConn outshot UMass Lowell 33-to-15, but could not find a goal.
“I thought our team played pretty well,” Cavanugh said. “The frustrating part is we’re not getting the results.”
First periods have hurt the Huskies all year and after Friday night’s weak effort, UConn came out strong and played to UMass Lowell’s level through 20 minutes.
“I certainly think we played a better game than we did last night,” Cavanaugh said. “We were attacking and played on our toes.”
Shots were virtually even, 7-to-6 in favor of the River Hawks, but UConn played well and carried it into the second period. Hernberg saw 15 shots in net compared to just five for the Huskies’ Huska. However, the Huskies ended the second period trailing.
A healthy forecheck helped keep the puck in the offensive zone and Philip Nyberg held a puck in just inside the blue line, but his pass across the point to Johnny Austin was too far in front of him. UMass Lowell’s Kenny Hausinger beat the senior to the puck and he was off to the races.
Hausinger slid the puck from right to left across the slot to an unmarked Connor Wilson and Huska didn’t have a chance. At 7:10 of the period, it was 1-0 River Hawks.
The Huskies would not be deterred, however. They continued to be the stronger team through the rest of the period and continued to create chances, but just couldn’t get one through.
“Offense was good, defense was good, special teams were good, but we just didn’t get the result,” Cavanaugh said.
The third period felt just like the second. UConn got 12 more shots on Hernberg to just the three that Huska faced, but the Huskies still could not put anything across the goal line.
UConn killed off a pair of penalties and had strong chances on one of their own, but it their last chance came down to the goaltender pull, which occurred with 2:07 left. Time and time again, Hernberg shut down their chances to hold on for the win.
UConn (3-10-2, 2-6-1) plays next on the road against Vermont on Tuesday. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.