UConn men’s hockey picked up three crucial points to the Hockey East standings with a dominant 6-1 win at home over the New Hampshire Wildcats. The Huskies scored 38 seconds in and never trailed again.
Ryan Tverberg tallied a pair of goals while Tristan Fraser, Jake Flynn, Samu Salminen and Jake Veilleux found the back of the net as well. Flynn had three points while Veilleux, Jake Percival and Tom Messineo all finished with two points on the day. UConn’s corps of Jakes totaled eight points themselves.
Arsenii Sergeev excelled in net, stopping 29 of 30 shots. The Huskies’ power play went 0-3 despite a strong effort while the penalty kill went 4-5.
UConn wouldn’t be plagued by a slow start on Saturday. Less than a minute in, Tverberg broke up the ice and sniped a shot into the top-left corner to give the Huskies a quick 1-0 lead. They continued to control play and sent a flurry of shots on net during their first power play, but didn’t add to their lead until late in the period.
With just under five minutes to go, Nick Capone picked the puck up in the neutral zone and threw it up ahead for the speedy Tverberg to chase down. The junior beat UNH’s lone defenseman to the puck, turned on the jets to get to the net and poked it home for his second goal of the day.
Even though time wound down, UConn wasn’t done. In the final seconds, Tabor Heaslip centered a pass to Fraser in the slot, who blasted the one-timer into the back of the net while falling over. The freshman’s second goal in as many days gave the Huskies a 3-0 advantage entering the first intermission. UConn’s three scores in the opening period equaled its total across the two games at UNH two weeks prior.
The second period didn’t feature as much action. The Huskies killed off a pair of penalties against Capone — and almost scored a shorthanded goal on the second — but couldn’t convert on their lone power play of the stanza despite plenty of shots and strong puck retrieval to stay in the offensive zone.
The Wildcats finally got on the board courtesy of a Liam Devlin power play goal, who banked a shot off Sergeev from behind the goal. UConn didn’t keep the visitor’s comeback hopes alive long, though. Less than five minutes later, Flynn tucked a shot from the point into the lower left corner to put the Huskies back up by three.
The Huskies didn’t take their foot off the gas, either. Salminen capped off a beautiful sequence of tic-tac-toe passing with a far-side snipe and Veilleux added another a few minutes later to extend the gap to 6-1.
That score held and UConn came away with the important victory. The Huskies now just need one spot to clinch a bye to the quarterfinals and move up to fourth place in the standings with 38 points, two points above UMass Lowell.
Next, UConn will close out the regular season with a home-and-home series against Boston College. The Huskies will travel to Chestnut Hill on Friday before hosting senior day on Saturday at Toscano Family Ice Forum.