Men's Hockey: Second period sinks Huskies at UMass

Sophomore Alex Payusov (pictured) moves the puck against Northeastern. He picked up a goal in the Huskies defeat at UMass (Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

UConn built an early lead in enemy territory but couldn’t hold on to it falling to UMass 4-2 on Friday Night. The loss snapped the Huskies’ three-game winning streak.

UConn continued to cash in on the power play. UConn got a chance on the power play just seven seconds into the game and Alexander Payusov took advantage. Maxim Letunov fed Payusov from behind the net for a one-timer UMass goaltender Ryan Wischow had no chance of stopping.

Benjamin Freeman tallied UConn’s second goal of the night when he tucked home a rebound chance with six minutes remaining in the first period. It was Freeman’s first goal since the season opener.

The Huskies have now scored at least once on the power play in each of their last four games.

Josh Couturier tallied UMass’ only goal of the first period.

UMass wrestled back momentum in the second period and refused to give it up for the rest of the game.  The Minutemen scored three goals in a program record minute and 18 seconds.

Head coach Mike Cavanaugh acknowledged that people would be quick to point to that minute span as the reason for the loss. However, Cavanaugh believed that UMass won the game outside of just those three goals.

“That wasn’t the game,” said Cavanaugh. “They had really been controlling play up until that point. That was just a by-product of [UMass] playing really well in the second period."

The Minutemen’s defense did indeed run UConn through the wringer, holding the Huskies to just five shots in the period. UMass more than tripled that tally with 18 shots in the period.

They had really been controlling play up until that point. That was just a by-product of [UMass] playing really well in the second period.
— Head coach Mike Cavanaugh

UConn tilted the ice somewhat back in their favor in the third period. The Huskies killed of two penalties to keep their chances on life support and pulled goalie Adam Huska in the closing minutes. Wischow was peppered by a flurry of shots but UConn couldn’t crack the freshman goaltender.

Huska finished with 27 saves on 31 shots.

UConn will have a chance for revenge when UMass arrives at the XL Center on Tuesday night. That game is slated to begin at 7:05 p.m.


Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at bryan.lambert@uconn.edu.