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UConn men’s hockey thrashes Boston College, 6-4

The Huskies won their sixth straight Hockey East contest with a dominant win over the Eagles.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

On Jan. 8, UConn men’s hockey earned its first-ever win at Boston College’s Kelley Rink. On Friday, the Huskies picked up their second win there in a little more than a month with a 6-4 victory.

UConn improves to 16-11-0 overall and 12-6-0 in Hockey East. The Huskies have now won more games than any other season during the program’s Hockey East Era while their 12 league wins tie a mark set during the 2019-20 campaign. UConn has also scored six goals in three consecutive games, the first time the team has ever done so under head coach Mike Cavanaugh.

The two teams combined to score seven goals in the first period as the Huskies went into the intermission leading 4-3. In the second period, UConn scored twice in the span of three minutes to push the lead to 6-3 and essentially put the game away. BC pulled one back with under five minutes left but the Huskies held on. UConn never trailed.

The Huskies out-shot the Eagles 30-24 and held the hosts to single-digit shots in every period. Darion Hanson struggled in the first 20 minutes, allowing three goals on nine shots, but bounced back by stopping 14 of the final 15 he faced.

The first period started fast and furious. UConn took the lead 1:25 in when Ryan Tverberg hit Artem Shlaine on a 2v1 rush. The sophomore had a wide-open net and buried the chance for his fifth goal of the season.

The lead didn’t last long, though. Just a few minutes later, Jarrod Gourley’s breakout pass was stolen by BC at the blue line. Jack Dempsey sent a cross-ice pass to Casey Carreau, who caught Hanson leaning and scored blocker-side.

Exactly five minutes later, the Huskies went back ahead. Jachym Kondelik forced a turnover in the face-off circle which landed on the stick of Vladislav Firstov. The junior dropped the puck back to Kondelik and he sniped a shot past BC goalie Eric Dop for the goal.

Once again, UConn wasn’t on top long. Less than two minutes on, Marshall Warren flew into the zone and went behind the net but hit the backboards. He briefly lost the puck but threw a pass towards the goal, where Liam Izyk knocked it in to tie the game.

Less than two minutes after that, Gourley atoned for his earlier mistake. Carter Turnbull took the puck up the boards, survived two hits, and slid a centering pass to Gourley. The defenseman collected it and beat Dop high to put UConn back on top.

A few moments later, Hudson Schandor’s face-off win went straight to Gourley, who lined up the puck and lasered a one-timer into the twine to double the advantage, 4-2.

The Huskies wouldn’t get into the intermission unscathed, though. In the final minute, Brandon Kruse sent the puck towards goal where it somehow found the stick of Izyk in traffic and ended up in the back of the net.

After a wild opening 20 minutes, UConn found itself ahead 4-3.

The Huskies owned the second period, though. They doubled up the Eagles on shots (15 to 7) and took a lead that proved to be insurmountable. It started seven minutes in when the puck just fell off the stick of Aidan Hreschuk in front of goal. Turnbull found himself in a perfect position to capitalize as he collected it, sent Dop the wrong way with a deke, and scored.

Not long after, Schandor got behind BC’s defense and took the puck into the zone. With a defenseman draped all over him, Schandor somehow got a pass off to Kevin O’Neil for a breakaway and he went five-hole for the goal.

Carreau got the Eagles back within two with 4:26 left but they couldn’t close the gap any further from there. With the loss, Boston College is now winless in its last 12 games — which extends a program record.

Kondelik scored for the third consecutive game and also added an assist to become UConn’s Hockey East era career leader in points with 97, surpassing Max Letunov (95).

The Huskies are now tied with Boston University for second place in the Hockey East standings with 35 points, though they have two games in hand on the Terriers. UConn is one point above UMass (who has played one fewer game) and two points behind UMass Lowell in first with a game in hand.

Next, the Huskies will prepare for one of the biggest series in program history with the UMass Minutemen. The series could go a long way towards deciding the Hockey East regular-season champion. The first game is set for Friday, Feb 18 at the XL Center.