Club hockey to play two games this weekend
The UConn men's club hockey team has two important games on its slate this weekend, one against Montclair State (5-2-1) this evening at 8:30 p.m. at the Norwich Ice Rink, and another tomorrow against Bryant University (4-4-0) at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.
The Huskies (9-1-0) are currently in third place in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association, a conference within Division II of the larger American Collegiate Hockey Association, the governing body of non-varsity men's ice hockey in the United States.
Given his team's excellent win-loss record, first-year Coach Chris Myers has been pleased, to say the least, with his team's performance so far this season.
"We have a good mix of players this year," Myers said. "We have six first-year guys, one of them being freshman goalie Andrew Furbush. The rest of the team is balanced pretty evenly between sophomores, juniors and seniors."
Leading the way statistically for the Huskies thus far has been senior forward Miles Winter, a Storrs native who has racked up 17 points through 10 games. Just trailing Winter on the stat sheet are junior forwards Paul Cinquegrana (six goals, eight assists) and Rui Encarnacao (four goals, seven assists).
"We are getting a lot of contribution from our top forward line of Miles Winter, Paul Cinquegrana and Rui Encarnacao. I've also been impressed with the play of Joey Fiori, who has a knack for finding the net and bringing it every shift," Myers said. "Chris Schmarr and Mike Geiger, our two other forwards, are tough to play against because of their gritty attitude and willingness to sacrifice the body. Scott Teulings has also played strong defense for us so far and is our leader on the ice."
Myers was quick to praise senior netminders Mike Ford and Craig Naclerio, as the two have been key cogs in UConn's early season success.
"They've both been turning away a lot of rubber," Myers said.
The Huskies have already faced both Montclair State and defending NECHA champion Bryant this season on the road, and Myers has been careful to plan for each specific matchup.
"Montclair State has a strong, physical team and they are coached well, which makes them tough to play. They have a good goalie as well, so we need to make him uncomfortable and get pucks to the net," Myers said. "Bryant has a talented team and I expect them to leave it all out on the ice on Saturday. We need to match their intensity."
The Huskies defeated Bryant 7-1 during their first meeting on Oct. 12, and bested Montclair State 5-2 on Oct. 17.
"I am expecting us to be ready to roll this weekend," Myers said. "We have played both these teams already and came away with tough road wins. The main thing is to make sure that we don't look past this weekend and protect our home ice advantage."
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