Club Hockey advances to Nationals
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 22:02
The UConn men’s club ice hockey team competed in the ACHA Division II Regional Tournament last weekend, winning both of their games and securing a berth in the ACHA National Tournament in March.
The Huskies, now 22-6 on the year, finished the regular season ranked fifth in the Northeast region power poll. UConn defeated Endicott College 8-3 on Saturday, and downed Boston College 4-1 on Sunday.
“I felt that we were ready to go this past weekend, and that we understood what it was going to take to win both games,” Head Coach Chris Myers said. “[Our opponents] keep it simple early on and go pucks deep to the net. We were able to jump out to early leads as well, which makes a huge difference.”
The Huskies had two previous meetings with Endicott, taking on the Gulls on Sept. 28 and Oct. 13. On both occasions UConn emerged victorious, scoring a combined total of 15 goals while allowing only six.
Myers’ squad also had prior experience with Boston College, having faced and defeated the Eagles 9-5 on Oct. 20.
“We jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first period against Endicott, and a 3-0 lead after the first period against BC,” Myers said. “[I thought] that showed we were ready for both games.”
As has been the case for the entire season, the Huskies first line – consisting of Miles Winter, Rui Encarnacao and Paul Cinquegrana – had a great showing, and yet again they proved integral to UConn’s offensive game plan.
“Our top line of Rui, Miles and Paul had a big weekend,” Myers said. “Adam Lubowitz chipped in with a few goals early in both games, and our goalie Craig Naclerio played great. I thought the whole team played well top to bottom. We are what I like to call a lunch box team – we work hard for 60 minutes and do the small things right.”
The Huskies will have two weeks to prepare for the National Tournament, which takes place in St. Louis, Mo., beginning on March 15. UConn has been placed in Pool B, a four-team grouping which also includes Miami (FL), Michigan State, and Colorado State.
“We will keep it light this week and then get back at it next week,” Myers said. “We will skate a couple times leading up to the March 15 weekend, and just prepare as we would for any other game. If we are focused and ready to buy in to the system, we will do well.”