UConn men’s hockey’s first road trip in two seasons went about as poorly as possible, with the Huskies dropping both games to Ohio State. On Friday night, UConn blew a 3-0 lead and on Saturday, the Huskies failed to find the back of the net in a 3-0 defeat to fall to 2-3-0 on the season.
“I just thought we deserved better than what we got on the weekend,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “I’m not saying we should have swept both games, but at the very least we played well enough to win one of them.”
Friday: Ohio State 4, UConn 3 (OT)
UConn scored the first three goals on Friday night before Ohio State stormed back with four unanswered, including the game-winner with 3.6 seconds left in overtime.
The Huskies started strong, killing off a pair of first-period penalties before Roman Kinal opened the scoring with a one-timer for his first of the season. UConn’s second goal also came from a defenseman, this time off the stick of John Spetz. After recovering a rebound, Spetz went behind the net and shot the puck off the back of the goalie for the score.
The momentum continued when the Huskies earned their first power-play opportunity of the night. It took all of 11 seconds for UConn to capitalize when Jachym Kondelik re-directed Spetz’s shot in front of the net to push the lead to 3-0.
After the goal, Ohio State swapped goaltenders, replacing junior Ryan Snowden with freshman Jakub Dobes.
From that point on, the tide quickly shifted. The hosts pulled a goal back on a power play midway through the middle period and added a second on a breakaway 2:33 before the intermission.
Ohio State found the equalizer with under seven minutes to play and send the game to overtime.
UConn dominated possession during the five minutes of 3-on-3 play and had plenty of opportunities to win it but the Buckeyes capitalized when it mattered and snuck a shot past goaltender Darion Hanson to take the victory.
Saturday: Ohio State 3, UConn 0
Despite recording 35 shots, getting a handful of breakaways, and having four power-play opportunities, the Huskies failed to score, in large part because of Dobes.
“When they brought their goaltender (Dobes) in last night halfway through the game, we went basically a game and a half without being able to score on them,” the coach said. “We had great chances. We had breakaways, 2-on-1s and couldn’t put one by. He was a difference in the weekend.”
The two teams played to a scoreless first period before the Buckeyes finally broke through five minutes into the second. Ohio State won a face-off and benefitted from a generous bounce in front of net which put Patrick Guzzo in position to fire a back-hander home for the 1-0 lead.
UConn thought it tied the game later in the period when Nick Capone’s shot beat Dobes and appeared to hit twine but the nearest referee ruled no-goal and the call was later upheld after a lengthy video review.
In the final period, matching minors resulted in two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey. During that sequence, Ohio State doubled its lead when Quinn Preston found a wide-open Trevor Treloar, who buried his shot.
The Huskies pulled goaltender Darion Hanson with three minutes left and Ohio State scored a game-sealing empty-netter shortly afterward.
UConn will be off next weekend and will return to action on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at Northeastern.