Men’s Hockey: Huskies welcome No. 11 Vermont to XL Center

Sophomore forward Tage Thompson weaves around defenders during the Huskies2-2 tie with UMass Lowell Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 at the XL Center. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

The UConn Men’s Hockey team will host the No. 11 Vermont Catamounts Friday night as the Huskies return to the XL Center. UConn is currently on a three-game losing skid, losing in contests to Maine, Vermont and Boston College.

UConn (9-10-6, 5-6-2) squared off with the Catamounts (16-7-2, 8-4-1) just a week ago in Burlington, Vermont, with the Huskies dropping the contest 5-4. The loss is the fifth straight at the hands of Vermont. Sophomore Tage Thompson scored twice in the affair.

There’s no rest for the weary with these Huskies. UConn traveled up to Chestnut Hill Tuesday night to take on the No. 13 Boston College Eagles. The Eagles put up two goals in the first 88 seconds of the game, but narrowly escaped with a 2-1 victory over UConn. The Huskies ran into a hot goaltender in the Eagles’ Joe Woll, who made 42 saves en route to the victory.

Thompson was the only player to breakthrough for the Huskies in Tuesday’s game.  He notched his fourth goal in his fifth game back from the IIHF World Juniors. Thompson’s 17 goals on the season are good enough for second in the Hockey East and third overall in the nation. It’s also the highest total by any Husky since the 2011-12 season when Cole Schneider led the team with 23 goals and teammate Brent Harris had 18.

Fellow sophomore Maxim Letunov assisted on Thompson’s goal, adding to his team-high 17 assists on the season. Over the last ten games, Letunov has two goals and eight assists.

Whoever the Huskies throw in net Friday night, they’ll be confident to get a sound performance. Senior Rob Nichols made 24 saves against a talented Boston College lineup on Tuesday night, he’s appeared in 12 games this season with 11 starts. His goals-against-average (2.46) and save percentage (.913) is good for seventh and ninth respectively. Freshman Adam Huska has appeared in 14 games and is 10th in the league with a 2.87 goals against and sixth with a .918 save percentage.

The Catamounts haven’t hit the ice since their meeting with the Huskies a week ago. Since then they’ve moved up to No. 11 on the USCHO.com Top-20 poll. Freshman Ross Colton continues to lead the Catamounts offense with 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists). This Vermont team is dangerously balanced, 11 Catamounts are in double-digit point totals.

Last time out Vermont’s Matt Alvaro scored twice for the Catamounts, including the game-winner, and freshman goaltender Stefanos Lekkas made 30 saves to earn the win in net.


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