UConn sweeps weekend series with Army
Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 22:02
With only two regular season games remaining, the UConn men’s hockey team has played itself into good position for the Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament.
The Huskies are now in sole possession of third place and in position to secure a bye into the quarterfinals of the AHA Tournament, after completing a weekend sweep at Army.
With its two wins this weekend, UConn (16-13-3, 13-10-2 AHA) ensured its first winning season since the 1999-2000 season, when the Huskies went 19-16-1 overall and 15-11-1 in the MAAC.
It was not an easy weekend for the Huskies, as the Black Knights gave them everything they could handle right from the start.
The first period of Friday’s game set the pace for a frantic weekend. Shawn Pauly put the Huskies in front first with his fourth goal of the season only five minutes into the game. But Army took a 2-1 lead within eight minutes on two power play goals.
Army’s lead was short-lived, however, as Pauly scored his second goal of the game 40 seconds after the Black Knights took the lead.
Brant Harris scored his 11th goal of the season two minutes later to send the Huskies into the first intermission with a 3-2 lead, and then he scored the game-winning goal six minutes into the second period.
Sean Ambrosie picked up an assist on Harris’ second goal to become the 27th player in UConn history to reach 100 career points. He is the fifth Husky to do so since the program moved to Division I in 1998.
Army would add another power play goal to cut the lead to 4-3, but that was as close as the game would get. Matt Grogan made 12 saves in the third period (32 overall) to secure two points for the Huskies.
Saturday’s game was a game of spurts for the Huskies. They were hot in the first and third periods and were able to match Army’s output in the second period to secure another win.
Sean Ambrosie’s power play goal and Brad Smith’s fourth goal of the year came within a minute of each other to put UConn up 2-0 four minutes into the first period.
The second period was a little more chaotic, as the two teams combined for five goals. After making 15 saves in the first, Grogan allowed three goals on four shots in the second. The Black Knights scored twice in the first six minutes to tie the game, but Billy Latta gave UConn the lead only 30 seconds after the equalizing goal. Army tied the game 40 seconds later, but Ambrosie scored the game-winning goal on a power play just over one minute later.
Harris added a power play goal five minutes later, and Jordan Sims scored on an empty net with 17 seconds left in the game to give UConn a 6-3 victory.
UConn will look to secure a spot in the top four of Atlantic Hockey and ensure a bye into the quarterfinals of the conference tournament during a home-and-home series next weekend with in-state rival Sacred Heart.
After starting the season 0-26-2, the Pioneers are 2-0-1 in their last three games, outscoring their opponents 16-10.
Sacred Heart has the worst defense in the AHA, allowing 116 goals in conference play this season. The next worst defenses – Robert Morris and Bentley – have allowed 81.
Going into next weekend, Ambrosie needs five points to break the Huskies Division I record for career points.
The first game will be played at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs on Friday at 7:05 p.m., and the away leg of the series will be played at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. WHUS 91.7 FM will have the call on both games.