The UConn men’s hockey team is hot on the heels of an 8-2 rout of UMass on Tuesday, and has now won four of its last five. The Huskies are playing their best hockey of the season, and will need to do just that when they take on nationally-ranked No. 16 Colgate on Friday in Hartford.
The Raiders (8-5-4) are coming off a 3-1 defeat to Army in West Point. Colgate, which plays in the stacked ECAC Hockey conference, is 4-1-1 in conference play. They’ve played seven games against ranked opponents, going 3-4 in those games. In RPI, Colgate ranks 17th in the nation.
The Raiders average 2.5 goals per game on 30 shots, both strong numbers. They only convert power plays, however, at a surprisingly-low 15 percent clip. Sophomore Bobby McMann leads the team in scoring with nine goals on the season to go along with seven assists. Sophomore John Snodgrass has a team-high of 10 assists.
That said, it’s not the offenses that will be the focal point of Friday’s game. Rather, it’ll be a showdown of two of the best goaltenders in the country.
The Huskies will face Colgate goaltender Colton Point, allowing less than 1.8 goals per game this season. Point is fourth in Division I in save percentage at .943, recording 450 saves in 15 starts.
But to say UConn’s goaltender is a worthy opponent is an understatement. Sophomore Adam Huska continues to have a stellar season in net for the Huskies. No one has logged more minutes in goal than Huska in all of Division I, and his .911 save percentage and 492 saves are among the best in the nation. It’s safe to say UConn fans won’t see another eight-goal game, for or against, on Friday.
Part of the reason for the Huskies’ recent success has been health. Both Alexander Payusov and Jeff Wight have returned after lengthy absences due to injuries. Payusov leads the team with nine goals, six of which have come on the power play, the second-most power play goals in the country. Wight made his return on Tuesday and promptly scored a pair of goals, bringing his season total to five.
Senior Jesse Schwartz has been a steady playmaker as of late, with a point in five straight games. Corey Ronan and Derek Pratt are both coming off multi-assist performances.
A year ago, the Huskies and Raiders battled to a 4-4 draw in Hamilton, N.Y. This time, UConn will look to stay hot and defend its home ice on Friday at 7:05 p.m.
Andrew Morrison is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets at @asmor24.