After defeating Maine 6-3 on Thursday night, the UConn men’s hockey team was beaten by the Black Bears 4-0 on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park as part of Capitol One Frozen Fenway.
“We played defense,” Maine head coach Red Gendron said in response to what was different in today’s rematch.
Although the loss to Hockey East cellar-dwelling Maine (8-11-3, 2-7-1 Hockey East) was not what UConn wanted, the Huskies (9-8-6, 5-4-2 Hockey East) were not disappointed with their effort.
“I thought, with the exception of the first 10 minutes of the second period, we played a decent hockey game,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “We just didn’t score. Maine played well and they capitalized on their opportunities and we didn’t.”
In that 10 minute span to begin the second period, the Huskies were unable to get a shot on net, while Maine recorded 10 shots in the same time frame. The final shot tally was a 44-31 advantage for the Black Bears, meaning that the shots were almost even for the rest of the game.
Today’s game was Cavanaugh’s third Frozen Fenway, after participating twice before as an assistant coach, but the first for UConn’s program.
“It’s pretty special,” UConn junior captain Derek Pratt said of playing at Fenway Park. “Obviously, two big league points were on the line and we would’ve liked to pick those up. But looking back, it’s pretty cool.”
The Maine players echoed Pratt’s sentiments.
“It was kind of a dream come true,” Maine sophomore goalie Rob McGovern said. “I’m still taking everything in, but I was just happy to be here.” McGovern had 31 saves in the shutout victory for the Black Bears.
Both UConn and Maine were very complimentary of the ice conditions and the hard work that the staff did to maintain the rink. Each side was insistent that the conditions that sometimes effect outdoor games – like ice conditions or glare from the sun – did not impact the result of today’s game.
“I think Joe Bertagna and the Hockey East staff does a lot of work to put these events on,” Cavanaugh said. “I thought they put on a terrific event. It’s a first class event, and I can’t say enough about Hockey East and Joe Bertagna and the staff for putting these types of events on.”
Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.