Men’s hockey ties No. 8 Union Dutchmen
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 28, 2012 23:10
The UConn men’s hockey team had an up-and-down weekend dropping their Atlantic Hockey opener to Holy Cross before tying Union, a Frozen Four team from a year ago, 2-2 on Saturday night.
The Huskies traveled to Worcester, Mass. on Friday night for their first conference game of the season, but could not manage a point against the Crusaders.
After tying the score 1-1 on a Jordan Sims goal in the second period, UConn was unable to shut the door on Holy Cross.
With just over five minutes remaining in the third period, Sims took a hooking penalty that gave the Crusaders a one-man advantage and eventually the game.
Just 15 seconds into the power-play, Holy Cross’ Kyle Fletcher beat UConn’s Garrett Bartus for what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
The Huskies were forced to turn around quickly after the loss, as they hosted No. 8 Union at the Frietas Ice Forum on Saturday night.
Despite being mismatched on paper, UConn held their own throughout the night as they managed to keep the majority of the Union shots from the perimeter.
After a strong first period that saw the Huskies lead 8-4 in the shot department, the Dutchmen came out of the locker room strong and quickly grabbed the lead 4:36 into the second period Wayne Simpson picked up a loose puck that had hit off a UConn defender in front, easily beating Bartus who was caught off guard.
Sean Ambrosie knotted the score at 1-1 for the Huskies just over 10 minutes later on another quirky play.
“I know Sims brought it off the wall and it was a 2-on-1 and he came down, he shot it,” Ambrosie said. “It went off the goalie’s chest I believe and I was lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time – it hit me in the chest and went in the back of the net.”
7:45 into the third period, Brant Harris put the Huskies in front by beating Grosenick five-hole. Harris picked up the puck from Sims behind the Dutchmen’s net and brought it out toward the left circle, firing a wrist shot from a bad angle in the process. The puck deflected off of Union goalie Troy Grosenick’s left leg and into the net, sending the crowd of 946 into a frenzy as they hoped to pull the upset.
Union would not go quietly and found an equalizer with 6:13 remaining in regulation as Greg Coburn ripped a shot from the right point off of a faceoff and beat Bartus high on the glove side.
Union outshot UConn 36-12 over the second and third periods, but failed to find a winner, pushing the game to overtime.
Neither team was able to get much attack going over the first four and a half minutes of the extra period. With about 20 seconds left in the game, the Huskies made one final push, but their flurry around the net could not produce a goal as the game ended in a draw.
Despite being unable to finish of what could have been a marquee victory, UConn coach Bruce Marshall was happy with his team’s effort.
“You know, obviously you’re playing the eighth team in the nation so you’re wondering if you’re going to wear down a bit, but I don’t think we did,” Marshall said. “I mean, maybe they outshot us but I don’t think it ever felt like they were really going to take the game away from us.”
With the loss and tie this weekend, the Huskies now stand at 0-2-1 for the season and hold an 0-1 conference record. UConn will be back in action this weekend, as they travel to Niagra for a pair of AHA conference games.