The UConn men’s hockey team (10-10-8, 6-6-4 Hockey East) will look to take down another ranked Hockey East rival Wednesday when they take on No.11/12 Providence (16-8-4, 8-6-2 Hockey East).
The Huskies are coming off of a pair of frustrating 2-2 ties against Merrimack in which both teams blew last-minute 2-1 leads. UConn is now seventh in the conference with 16 points. Meanwhile, the Friars are coming in red hot and are riding a seven-game winning streak, which has left them tied with Vermont for fifth in the conference. With their win over Maine last week, the Friars now hold the longest winning streak in the country.
Last season, Providence swept the series winning the first meeting 4-0 at home and 3-2 at the XL Center, improving its record in the all-time series to 4-1-2.
Providence is led by junior Brian Pinho, who leads the team in scoring with 26 points on seven goals and 19 assists. The Huskies will also need to watch out for the Friars’ two leading scorers Erik Foley and Josh Wilkens, who have ten goals apiece. Sophomore Hayden Hawkey has been a stalwart in goal and has played every single minute this season.
Freshman goalkeeper Adam Huska has come into his own for the Huskies toward the end of the regular season. The Slovenia native struggled early this season after splitting time with senior Rob Nichols in the net. Huska has gone 6-2-3 against Hockey East foes this year.
Sophomore and St. Louis Blues draft pick Tage Thompson leads the team in points this season with 27 points. Thompson has already improved on his freshman year scoring tally of 14 goals with 18 this year. Thompson missed some games earlier this season including the Desert Hockey Classic earlier this season while he was with the United States at the Junior World Championships. Thompson, along with the rest of the team, won gold at the tournament.
The game at the XL Center is the first of a home-and-home series that will be continued this Friday in Providence. After this the Huskies will have two more home-and-home series against Northeastern and New Hampshire before beginning postseason play.
Antonio Salazar is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.