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Men's Hockey: UConn splits with Air Force on road to remain in third

By Scott Carroll
On February 2, 2014

  • UConn forward Shawn Pauly carries the puck in a recent game at the Freitas Ice Forum. TROY CALDEIRA/The Daily Campus

The UConn men's hockey team split a pair of games in Colorado this weekend against Air Force, winning Friday night 5-3 and losing Saturday night 3-1.
The freshmen were on display during Friday night's game, as freshman goaltender Robby Nichols compiled a career high 40 saves while Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Ryan Segalla recorded a career high three assists.
After a scoreless first period, Air Force got a wraparound shot past Nichols to make the score 1-0 just minutes into the second period.
Minutes later, the Huskies found themselves with a 5-on-3 advantage after multiple penalties against the Falcons. The Huskies would use the power play to score twice in 42 seconds, as freshman Joona Kunnas and senior Billy Latta were both able to beat the goaltender, to make the score 2-1.
Freshmen Sean Gaffney doubled the lead as he wristed his own rebound over the shoulder of the Air Force goaltender for his first goal in 13 games as the Huskies took a 3-1 lead.
Air Force would cut the Huskies lead in half late in the second, as Ben Persian was able to find the back on a rebound, making the score 3-2.
However, the Huskies scored again early in the third. Patrick Kirtland was able to break by the Falcons' defense, leaving him to beat the goaltender at the right post giving the Huskies a 4-2 advantage.
Air Force took advantage of a power play while also pulling their goaltender at 16:35 in the third period, giving them a 6-4 advantage. Scott Holm beat the goaltender, which gave the score 4-3 with minutes left in the game.
The Huskies staved off the Air Force attack and finished the game with their first empty net goal of the season as Brant Harris tallied the goal. The goal gave the Huskies a 5-3 win.
The Huskies didn't have as much luck against the Falcons Saturday night as they were defeated 3-1.
UConn's lone goal came off the stick of junior Ryan Tyson in third period. Defensemen Jacob Poe let a shot go from the blue line, allowing Tyson to deflect it past the goaltender.
Senior Matt Grogan compiled 26 saves during the loss as the Huskies were outshot 29-22.
The weekend brings UConn's record to 13-8-4 on the year with an 11-5-3 conference record as the Huskies look to contend for an Atlantic Hockey championship. They are currently in third.
UConn will take on second-place Bentley next weekend in a home and away doubleheader. The puck drops in Freitas Ice Forum at 7:05 p.m. on Friday night and 7:05 p.m. in Watertown, Mass. on Saturday.

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