Men's Hockey: Vermont hands UConn sixth straight loss

The UConn men’s hockey team (3-8-0) lost their sixth-straight game Friday night as they fell to Hockey East rival Vermont 2-1 at the Gutterson Field House. The defeat dropped the Huskies to 1-6-0 in Hockey East play. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s hockey team (3-8-0) lost their sixth-straight game Friday night as they fell to Hockey East rival Vermont 2-1 at the Gutterson Field House. The defeat dropped the Huskies to 1-6-0 in Hockey East play, while Vermont improved to 3-6-1 overall and 2-2-1 in league play with the victory.

The first period of play Friday night did not feature a goal, but the Huskies had two premier chances. Both Spencer Naas and Jesse Schwartz had breakaway opportunities for UConn, and both players were denied by Vermont goaltender Mike Santaguida.

Other than those two moments, the Catamounts controlled play in the first period, outshooting the Huskies by a 13-3 margin.

More than half of the second period went by before the game’s first goal. After UConn’s Jeff Wight went to the box for interference, Vermont converted on the man advantage as Brendan Bradley fired a one-timer past goaltender Rob Nichols. Brady Shaw provided the pass for Bradley’s go-ahead goal at 12:08.

The Huskies quickly found the equalizing goal on their own power play opportunity when freshman Tage Thompson pushed a rebound past Santaguida at 16:32. The rebound came off a powerful shot from freshman Joseph Masonius, which Thompson capitalized upon for his fourth goal of the season. Max Kalter also recorded an assist on the Huskies’ goal.

After UConn took control of play in the second period to outshoot Vermont 12-6, the third period was a different story. The Catamounts tallied a 17-5 lead in shots through the final period.

Vermont grabbed a 2-1 lead about nine minutes into the third period on a goal from Dan Senkbeil, who blasted a wrist shot past Nichols. Craig Puffer and Conor O’Neil were credited with assists on Senkbeli’s goal, which would eventually hold up as the game-winner.

The Huskies found themselves with a 5-on-3 chance at 14:05 when Anthony Petruzzelli and Mario Puskarich were both called for slashing and headed to the penalty box. UConn could not capitalize, and the two-man advantage ended when Thompson was called for holding.

UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh pulled Nichols with 90 seconds left in an attempt to tie the game but Vermont held on for the victory, sending the Huskies to their sixth-straight loss.

The upcoming schedule does not get any easier for UConn, as their next three opponents are ranked within the top five teams nationally.

The Huskies will return to action against No. 3 Quinnipiac on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the XL Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.


Tyler Keating is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu.