UConn men's hockey games postponed to Sunday, Monday
The University of Connecticut men's hockey team faces a crucial home and home series against Bentley this weekend, with Bentley currently sitting just one point ahead of UConn in seventh place in the Atlantic Hockey Association.
UConn (11-12-3, 8-9-2 AHA) is coming off a split series last weekend at Rochester Institute of Technology. The Huskies won the opening match 3-1, but suffered a disastrous 7-1 loss during the finale.
Like most of the season, UConn went with a rotating goaltender policy during the RIT series with - Matt Grogan between the pipes for the first match and Garrett Bartus getting the closing match.
In the first game, senior Matt Grogan stopped 34 shots in the winning effort, giving UConn their second win all time against RIT. Grogan improved his record since the start of 2013 to 5-1-1 with a .941 save percentage. On Monday, Grogan was rewarded for his superb performance against RIT by being named AHA Goaltender of the Week
Grogan was clearly the hot hand going into the second game, but Interim Head Coach David Berard has consistently given both his goaltenders a chance to play.
Bartus started the second game well, stopping all 13 RIT shots in the first period and he was cruising until seven minutes into the second when Anthony Hamburg put the Tigers' first goal past him. Four minutes later, RIT had their second. Bartus settled down for six minutes until RIT scored two more in quick succession to take a 4-1 lead at the end of the second. With the game effectively lost, Bartus was given the chance to at least close it out until RIT scored three more in a 70-second span midway through the third. With UConn down 7-1 Coach Berard pulled Bartus and Grogan closed out the game in goal.
With the current AHA conference standings looking strikingly similar to an I-84 pile up, UConn will need to maximize points in their final four series to gain home-ice advantage in the AHA Tournament.
Last season, UConn was forced to play the AHA quarterfinals on the road. They were eliminated after losing a three-game series to eventual champions Air Force.
With Winter Storm Nemo approaching, the entire weekend series has been pushed back by two days. Bentley's home game will be played Sunday night at 7:05 p.m. The home leg of the series will be played on Monday at 7:05 p.m. at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.
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