The UConn men’s hockey team hit Army West Point from all angles on Friday night, scoring five goals from five different Huskies to pick up the first win of the early season by a score of 5-2.
The Army Black Knights scored the first goal of the game off a power play with a little over eight minutes left to play in the first period.
About a minute later, Wyatt Newpower fired a shot at Army’s (0-1) goal that squirted away. Freshman Jachym Kondelik corralled the rebound, passed it to Karl El-mir, and the senior fired the puck into the upper part of the net for the first UConn (1-0) goal of the season.
This got out of hand for Army in the second period, as the Huskies tacked on three goals within a span of 10 minutes. Ruslan Iskhakov and Benjamin Freeman teamed up to score the first of the period to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead. The freshman Iskhakov fired a shot that ricocheted off of Army’s goalkeeper, but Freeman was there to follow the shot and put it through.
UConn made the score 3-1 while down a man thanks to a heads-up defensive play in transition by Kondelik. The UConn forward forced a turnover and took the puck to the goal, attempting a wrap-around shot. The shot was defended and Brian Rigali was there to score off the rebound.
Iskhakov scored the fourth goal of the game for the Huskies. He took the puck straight to Army’s keeper on a breakaway and beat him with an outstanding move, stopping and firing the puck past the goalie. Iskhakov finished the contest with the first goal and assist of his UConn career.
Army scored in the third period on another power play, but it would be the last time the Black Knights would score that night. UConn goaltender Adam Huska had an impressive night, saving 32 of Army’s 34 shots. Army outshot UConn by a count of 34-31, but stifling defense made all the difference.
About eight minutes into the third period, Evan Wisocky fired a feed to Alexander Payusov, who let a shot fly from the right wing that found the back of the net for the final goal of the match.
Next on the slate for UConn is a road game with Quinnipiac (1-0), who also started their season with a win this past weekend. They beat Vermont on the road by a score of 3-2. Starting the season with four straight road games will be sure to test the Huskies mentally, but they will certainly still be looking to go into their home opener Oct. 26 with a 4-0 record. UConn and Quinnipiac will face off Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Sean Janos is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.