HARTFORD - It was a rough night for the Huskies as Providence rolled into the XL Center Wednesday night and dominated the UConn men’s hockey team by a score of 4-1. The win was the Friars’ eighth in a row, which is the longest streak in the nation.
The first period wasn’t too kind to the Huskies. Providence scored 27 seconds into the period and again with 30 seconds left in the period. The goals were scored by Brian Pinho and Vimal Sukumaran, respectively. UConn went 0-2 on the power play in the period and was outshot 17-3.
Friars head coach Nate Leaman thought the second goal in the first period really affected the momentum of the game.
“That second goal in the first period, that was big, because I thought we were getting real good looks and I thought Huska was coming up big,” Leaman said. “We missed the net with a couple of our chances but that was a big goal.”
Huska bailed out the Huskies multiple times in the early minutes of the second period. UConn had two relatively early chances on the power play but failed to create any sort of offensive chance on either.
Sophomore Tage Thompson went to the box with just under five minutes remaining in the second. During the penalty kill, sophomore Karl El-Mir was able to find the puck with nothing but open ice in front of him and capitalized to cut the Providence lead in half.
The shorthanded goal almost seemed to be the spark the Huskies desperately needed. UConn sent a flurry of shots to the net and dominated possession time to close out the second frame, but could not find the back of the net again.
UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh acknowledged that the Huskies failed to show up Wednesday night.
“One team played playoff hockey tonight and the other team didn’t,” Cavanaugh said. “There’s not much to say about it. They beat us in all aspects of the game. They won battles. They won every stick battle, every battle against the wall. They outplayed us, plain and simple.”
UConn got the chance to gain back some sort of momentum as the Friars were assessed a penalty for too many men on the ice early in the third. UConn managed just one shot on the power play (their first shot of the period) as they wasted their fifth opportunity with the extra-man advantage.
The Huskies went 0-6 on the power play with just four shots on the night.
Providence’s Sukumaran got his second of the night and Scott Conway got in on the action with a goal as the Friars cruised to a 5-1 victory. The Huskies were outshot 38-22 in the loss.