UConn men’s hockey will take on two familiar foes this weekend when they take on American International and Sacred Heart on the road.
All three teams belonged to the Atlantic Hockey Association until UConn joined Hockey East in 2014. Since leaving the conference, the Huskies have struggled against Atlantic Hockey competition, going 1-4-2 after the move.
The Huskies kicked off their season last week by splitting an away series with Maine, 3-4 and 5-1. There was no shortage of scoring for the Huskies last week despite being the first games without last year’s leading scorer Tage Thompson. Thompson left the program after being drafted by the St. Louis Blues and has worked his way onto the team's roster.
First up for UConn will be AIC. The Yellow Jackets got their season off to a less than perfect start with two losses to Army and a tie against Bentley last week.
Historically, the Huskies have thrived against AIC and enter Friday’s game on a 19-game unbeaten streak versus the Yellow Jackets. Last season, the two ended tied 2-2 after overtime. On that day, junior Karl El-Mir and former UConn player Evan Richardson scored goals for UConn.
Saturday the Huskies will take on their instate rival Sacred Heart at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. UConn is familiar with the arena as they have played these six times in the last three seasons. The Huskies are 4-3-0 all-time at the arena, most recently defeating Maine 6-3 there.
Sacred Heart has also gotten their season off to a rough start. The Pioneers opened their season with back-to-back losses at Northeastern, 7-3 and 7-0. UConn will need to take advantage of this if they want to reverse recent history against the Pioneers as Sacred Heart has won the last four meetings and five of the last six. The last time the two met was last season in a game that the Pioneers won 4-2 at the XL Center. The Pioneers’ leading scorer last season, junior Liam Clare, was blanked by the Huskies, but returns this year and will look to get on the scoresheet.
Following this weekend, UConn will take on conference foe Boston University in Boston before heading to Hartford for their home opener.
Antonio Salazar is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.