UConn men's club hockey takes the ice
The UConn men's club ice hockey team has two games on its slate this weekend, with one tonight against Northeastern in Boston and another tomorrow evening versus Central Connecticut State at home.
The two games will be the Huskies' last prior to the winter break. Head Coach Chris Myers' squad is currently the owner of a 13-3 record, which puts them in the top five in the Northeast region of the ACHA's Division II.
"On Friday, we need to play like a 13-3 team," Myers said. "And that means playing with confidence and making strong plays. It's also crucial we play a good old fashioned road game, and that means getting the puck deep, going to work in the corners, and limiting our mistakes."
As evidenced by their record, the Huskies have been firing on all cylinders all season long. From scoring to defense, UConn has been stringing together solid, top to bottom team performances week in and week out.
"I think the major thing we've learned thus far is that we can't take any shifts off," Myers said. "In order to win games against these good teams, we need to show up every shift and play positional hockey. Otherwise teams will pick us apart."
The Huskies took on Northeastern, another premier team from the Northeast region, on Nov. 30 and fell 7-3. Myers was quick to recognize that his team "took some shifts off" in the team's first meeting, and a goal for the rematch will undoubtedly be to play more energetic and inspired hockey.
"I expect our defense to be ready to go. They are at there best when they are playing physical and taking care of the defensive zone first," Myers said. "Our forwards need to win battles down low and get a lot of bodies to the net to make it uncomfortable for their goalie. Our forwards need to back check hard, as well to try and limit the other team's offensive chances. The goalies just need to do their job: kick out pucks and limit rebounds. I expect a strong performance from everyone this weekend."
As is the case with any sport, finishing strong is key. Given that this week marks the conclusion of the Huskies' season until classes resume in late January, Coach Myers would love to end 2012 on a high note with a pair of wins.
"These last two games are extremely important," Myers said. "To this point, the first half has been great, so we need to finish with a couple more wins and take that winning formula into the break. The second semester is pretty short, so we need to grab as many wins as we can now."
The puck will drop for the Northeastern game at 8 p.m. tonight, and UConn will take on CCSU at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs.
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