After taking loss on Friday night, UConn men’s hockey was swept in a weekend series for the first time all season following a 3-2 overtime loss to the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.
The Huskies scored first and controlled the opening 20 minutes, but couldn’t find that same level of play the rest of the game. UNH scored a two unanswered goals and then converted a 3-on-1 rush in overtime to earn the victory.
Arsenii Sergeev started in net and made 27 saves — none more important than a jaw-dropping stop with his stick in the final seconds of regulation. Harrison Rees and Justin Pearson scored for UConn.
UConn dominated possession in the opening period but struggled to put shots on goal. Most of its attempts were taken far from net and it didn’t generate many second-chance looks. The Huskies had one power play in the first 20 minutes, but couldn’t get set up at any point over the two-minute advantage.
Rees made sure UConn wouldn’t go into the intermission empty-handed, though. Nick Capone sent Ryan Tverberg into the zone with a stretch pass, who somehow managed to slide the puck to Rees despite getting hit. The defenseman got to the top of the circle and sniped a shot far-side to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
After the Huskies owned the first, the second period belonged to the hosts. UNH continued to stifle UConn’s offense and finally started to generate shot volume. The Wildcats held a 14-4 edge in shots on goal and a 22-12 advantage in attempts during the middle stanza — which helped them tie the game. Sergeev made two initial saves but allowed rebounds both times. On the third try, Stiven Sardarian buried it to tie the game at 1-1.
That score held into the second intermission, but UNH quickly changed that in the third period. Just two minutes in, Colton Huard ripped a shot from the point that Jake Dunlap deflected past Sergeev to give the Wildcats their first lead of the day.
UConn didn’t take long to answer back. Five minutes later, Pearson broke free up the boards and ripped a shot glove-side to even the game at two goals apiece. Even with two power plays in the third period, the Huskies couldn’t find the go-ahead score and the game went to overtime.
In the 3-on-3 period, UConn dominated possession and put a few good shots on net, though they were all turned away. With just over two minutes remaining, Jake Percival tried a move in the slot but got poke-checked. That sprung UNH on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush, where Damien Carfagna buried the winner.
The Huskies fall to 17-10-3 on the season and 11-8-2 in Hockey East play. They pick up just one point on the weekend courtesy of the overtime defeat.
Next, UConn will have nearly two weeks off before returning to take on Alaska Anchorage at Toscano Family Ice Forum on Thursday, Feb. 23.