After a near upset of Quinnipiac, UConn men's hockey is ready to take on AIC
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 22:01
After nearly upsetting No. 2 Quinnipiac on Tuesday night, the UConn men’s hockey team returns to the ice in Storrs on Friday to take on American International College.
The Huskies (9-11-2, 6-8-1 AHA) dropped a 2-1 decision in Hamden on Tuesday against the Bobcats. UConn came out flat in the first period, but the intensity picked up over the final 40 minutes. Using physical play to instigate Quinnipiac, the Huskies almost pulled off the biggest upset in college hockey this season.
“We came in and wanted to be tied or ahead in the third,” said forward Billy Latta, who scored the lone goal for the Huskies. “We did that but didn’t pull it off. We aren’t really satisfied with a 2-1 loss. We wanted to win this one tonight.”
UConn now heads into the home stretch, as they will play only Atlantic Hockey Association teams for the final 12 games of the regular season before the conference tournament in March.
Sitting in 10th place with 13 points, the Huskies will look to gain some ground in order to avoid a tough tournament matchup.
Playing into the Huskies’ advantage is that four of their final 12 games are against the two teams below them in the standings, starting this weekend with a home-and-home series against the Yellow Jackets.
AIC (5-13-3, 2-10-3 AHA) have struggled all season, producing only seven points in Atlantic Hockey play while allowing about four goals per game.
UConn and AIC met in Storrs on Dec. 29 in the UConn Hockey Classic. The Huskies had no problems putting the Yellow Jackets down, taking the game 7-2, their most lopsided win of the season.
The biggest question mark in the UConn lineup this weekend will be who Interim Head Coach David Berard decides to play in net. Matt Grogan and Garrett Bartus have been splitting time since mid-December, with both showing the ability to be a No. 1 goaltender.
Following Tuesday’s loss to Quinnipiac, Berard said he would likely go with the hot hand from here on out. That hot hand has more often than not been Grogan, who made 48 saves on Tuesday.
Friday’s game in Storrs begins at 7:05 p.m. The series moves to Springfield on Saturday for another 7:05 p.m. start. Both games can be heard on WHUS 91. 7 FM.