Men’s Hockey: Huskies split series at Vermont

FILE- UConn brings the puck through the neutral zone during a game in the 2017-2018 season. (Nicholas Hampton/ The Daily Campus)

UConn Men’s Hockey headed north this weekend for a two-game series at the barn of Hockey East rival Vermont. Goals were at a premium as both teams scored a combined four goals. The Huskies took the first game on Friday 1-0 before not one, but two heart-breaking last second goals lifted the Catamounts to victory on Saturday.

Adam Huska delivered a dominating performance in Burlington on Friday night. The junior goaltender was a wall in net from puck drop, stopping all 39 of Vermont’s shots. The Catamounts (2-2) especially turned up the pressure in the games’ final 20 minutes, peppering the Huskies’ goal with 17 shots. The shutout was the second of Huska’s career and the first of this season.

Senior forward Karl El-Mir provided the game-winning goal midway through the second period. After Vermont’s Jake Massie was booked for a tripping call, UConn (3-2-1) took advantage of the extra skater. Jachym Kondelik fed El-Mir a pass from the right corner that the forward snuck past Vermont goaltender Stefanos Lekkas for the first and only goal UConn would need.

UConn continued to make Lekkas work in net to start the game on Saturday. The Huskies rattled off 12 shots in the game’s opening period. UConn’s leading goal scorer, Alexander Payusov, did what he does best and beat the goalie on a breakaway chance to put the Huskies up at the 15-minute mark.

UConn’s 1-0 lead stood for almost the entirety of the game. It looked like Matt Alvaro tied it for Vermont off a rebound chance with 34 seconds left but the goal was waved off after it was determined there were too many Catamounts on the ice. Twenty two seconds later, Vermont found a game-tying goal that would stand after Liam Coughlin tipped home a shot from Massie to force overtime.

Vermont was able to produce some more last-second magic at the end of overtime. With just a half-second left, Ace Cowans beat UConn freshman goaltender Tomas Vomacka glove-side for the game-winning goal.

UConn’s record stands at 4-3-1 after the weekend. UConn is back on the road next weekend to take on No.13-ranked Northeastern in Boston.


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