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UConn men’s hockey smacked by Providence, 6-4

The Huskies couldn’t take down one of the top teams in Hockey East.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn men’s hockey’s weekend ended with two losses as the Huskies were smacked by the No. 12 Providence Friars, 6-4. The Huskies fall to 6-5-0 on the season and 4-3-0 in Hockey East.

Providence struck first and forced UConn to chase the rest of the game. The Huskies went down by as many as three goals at one point but clawed back within one before the Friars pushed it back to three in the final period.

The six goals are the most UConn has allowed this season. Goaltender Darion Hanson had a tough night, stopping just 30 of 36 shots he faced — an .833 save percentage.

Providence jumped ahead just over five minutes in when Nick Poisson’s shot deflected and rolled across the crease to Kohen Olischefski, who put the puck into the open net. But as UConn’s done for much of the season, it responded quickly. A little more than a minute later, Jarrod Gourley sniped a shot into the top-right corner to tie the game at 1-1.

It didn’t take long for Gourley to return the favor to the Friars, though. He went to the box for boarding 28 seconds after his goal and the hosts quickly capitalized. Though Providence hadn’t scored a power play goal in its last 18 periods, Parker Ford put an end to that. He got the puck between the circles, spun and sent a shot past Hanson to put the Friars back up, 2-1.

The Huskies got their first power play chance midway through the first period and held it in Providence’s zone for the duration of the two minutes but spent more time passing it around than actually attempting any shots.

After giving up goals at the end of the second and third periods on Friday night, UConn continued the trend on Saturday. With 1:13 remaining, Matt Koopman attempted to pass from behind the net but the puck hit Hanson’s skate and went in to give the Friars a two-goal advantage.

The Huskies had a chance to mount a comeback in the second period. What started as a Providence power play eventually turned into a 4-on-3 and 5-on-3 advantage for UConn. While the Huskies got the puck in some dangerous spots, the Friars’ defense came up with a stop every time.

Not long after Providence’s last penalty expired, UConn’s Nick Capone went to the box for roughing. Once again, the Friars capitalized when Max Crozier re-direct a shot from Poisson through Hanson’s five-hole to give his team a 4-1 lead.

The Huskies didn’t go down without a fight, though. Ryan Tverberg scored in his fifth-straight game to get them back within two entering the second intermission. UConn came out flying in the third period and eventually broke through when Hudson Schandor slipped a pass across the crease to a wide-open Jonny Evans on the back post, who buried a one-timer.

The hope didn’t survive long, though. Providence caught UConn on a 2-on-1 and Jamie Engelbert delivered the dagger, pushing the gap to 5-3. The Friars added another on a power play — their third power play goal of the day — while Capone added a garbage time goal to bring the final line to 6-4.

The Huskies finished 0-3 on the power play while Providence went 3-5.

Next, UConn will look to rebound with a weekend series against UMass Lowell. The Huskies will make the trip up to the Tsongas Center on Saturday, Nov. 20 for a 6:05 p.m. puck drop.

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