UConn men's club hockey to face Endicott College
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 22:02
The UConn club men’s ice hockey team is tournament bound. The Huskies, who finished the regular season with a record of 20-6, will play Endicott College in the first round of the ACHA Northeast Regional tournament on Saturday. If victorious, UConn will play again on Sunday against a yet to be determined team. Earning two wins this weekend will earn Coach Chris Myers’ squad a spot in the ACHA National Tournament.
“We have played Endicott twice [this year], the first game of the year and back in October. We won both,” Myers said. “Both games were physical and penalty-filled. They will try to get the puck deep and go to work on our defense. I expect it to be a hard fought game.”
Throughout the season, the catalyst for the Huskies’ offense has been a talented trio of forwards: Miles Winter, Rui Encarnacao and Paul Cinquegrana. Winter and Encarnacao each finished the regular season with 40 points, while Cinquegrana wasn’t far behind with 38 points on the year.
In UConn’s first meeting with Endicott on Sept. 28, Cinquegrana led the way with a hat trick, while Encarnacao chipped in a goal and two assists of his own. Not to be outdone by his teammates, Winter added two points on two assists in a 10-2 drubbing of the Gulls. The Huskies once again emerged victorious in their second meeting with Endicott on Oct. 13, winning the more closely contested matchup 5-4.
“I think we are pretty calm,” said Myers, when asked about his team’s state of mind heading into tournament play. “We understand its going to be a good game and we just need to be ready come puck drop. We have been practicing the past couple weeks and should be prepared for the game. The goal is to get to the national tournament, so we need to have one more good weekend.”
Myers, who has led the Huskies to the postseason in his first season as head coach, was quick to credit the talent and leadership of his team over the course of the long season.
“Its been a good season up to now, and a lot of the credit goes to the team,” Myers said. “We have some talented kids, and they have lead by example, which makes everyone better. I expected that we would have a competitive team after tryouts, because of our depth at forward. There’s definitely some good teams in our league, so I knew that each game would be a challenge. But getting to the nationals would be a nice surprise, as everyone has been committed and worked hard all year.”
The Huskies will take the ice at 3:20 p.m. on Saturday at the Danbury Arena in Danbury, Conn.