Men’s Hockey Notebook: Power play struggles plague Huskies in loss to AIC

UConn Men's Hockey played AIC on Friday, Oct. 21 at the XL Center.  The teams tied 2-2.  (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

With a 2-2 tie against AIC on Friday night, the Huskies have logged three straight ties, and have yet to lose in the 2016-2017 season. While the record isn’t bad, Friday night is a game the Huskies should’ve won.

UConn held the edge in shots 38-18 over the Yellow Jackets. Out of those 38, half of them came on the power play. The Huskies had 11 opportunities on the power play but were only able to convert on one of them, including a 0-5 performance in the third period.

“The story of the game tonight was really us going 0-5 on the power play in the third,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “We just didn’t convert.  It’s disappointing we didn’t come out with the win tonight.”

Last season, the Huskies went 29-147 on the power play, which isn’t very impressive. But still, Tage Thompson scored 13 of his 14 goals on the power play in his freshman campaign, which put him among the best on the power play in the nation.

We just didn’t convert. It’s disappointing we didn’t come out with the win tonight.
— UConn head coach, Mike Cavanaugh

UConn just couldn’t put it together on Friday. After scoring on their first power play opportunity, the Huskies went silent on their next 10 tries, and the Yellow Jackets were able to hold on for a tie.

When asked if there was anything specific that he saw or didn’t see that ailed the power play, Cavanaugh was very direct.

“I didn’t see enough goals,” Cavanaugh said. “The power play is a funny thing, it’s streaky, the next thing you know we’ll go three for five in the next game. It’s certainly something that Max [Letunov] coming back will help. But even when we had him, we’ve been faltering. We need to work on that this week, Notre Dame is an excellent penalty-killing team.”

On the other side, AIC Head Coach Eric Lang was pleased with his penalty-killing unit.

“We did a good job. We won some early face-offs, got some early clears. That’s a good way to get off to a good start,” Lang said. “When your goaltender is your best penalty killer, it’s usually a pretty good day.”


Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. He tweets @conn_donahue.