UConn Men’s Hockey blasted by No.8 Providence

UConn Men’s Hockey. (Photo by Kevin Lindstrom/The Daily Campus)

While the score may have been 5-2 Providence, the three-goal spread by no means reflected the competitiveness of the game — at least for the first 40 minutes.

It was the Huskies who drew first blood, as freshman Jonny Evans took advantage of his breakaway chance, held off the defender that was on his back and poked the puck right through Providence goalie Hayden Hawkey’s legs.

However, it took less than a minute for the Friars to even the score, as Josh Wilkins notched the first of his three goals on the night. They would come right back about five minutes later, as leading goal-scorer Kasper Bjorkqvist pulled off a nice bit of passing in front of the net to put one past Adam Huska.

For the most part, it was a pretty even second period. Freshman Kale Howarth would tie the game just under five minutes into the period, as he took full advantage of UConn’s first power play opportunity of the night. Both sides would have some close shots, but neither were able to find the back of the net for the remainder of the period.

Then came the third, which in the words of head coach Mike Cavanaugh was “disappointing”.

“I was expecting a big third, I really was from our guys,” Cavanaugh said. “That was the disappointing part, that we didn’t play that well in the third.”

The damage started 2:29 into the period, when UConn’s Wyatt Newpower was called for his second penalty of the night. Providence’s Josh Wilkins took advantage and scored 1:21 later.

Wilkins struck again at the 8:43 mark, swinging around the back of the net and pushing one into the bottom right corner to complete his hat trick. Then, just 1:16 later, the Friars would put the game away for good, as a Huska save ended up right at Brandon Duhaime’s feet and he clanked it off the post and in for Providence’s third goal in just over six minutes.

One of the more interesting decisions of the game was to go with junior Adam Huska in net, who has not seen the ice since giving up four goals in two periods against Boston College at the start of the month.

“It wasn’t because of Tomas’ [Vomacka] play, I thought he was excellent up at UMass, and I think he’s been great since he’s been playing,” Cavanaugh said. “But Adam’s been a great teammate, and supportive, and he’s been here with us for a long time, so I thought he deserved the start tonight.”

With just two games left in the regular season, it will be interesting to see who gets the final starts in net.

The Huskies are back in action again on Friday where they take on the Vermont Catamounts at the XL Center; one of only two teams who have as many or less points than the Huskies do.


Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.