It was a rough weekend for the UConn men’s hockey team, who after tying the New Hampshire Wildcats 2-2 on Friday night traveled to Durham only to be blown out 6-0 on Saturday night.
Only one Husky managed to find the back of the net, as Alexander Payusov was responsible for both goals in the Friday night tie.
The Huskies went down early, giving up a power play goal just 4:20 into the first period. After being held scoreless through the rest of the first period, the Huskies tied the game just 49 seconds into the second period right after New Hampshire killed off their power play. Payusov one-timed the puck into the top-right corner from left of the net off assists from Karl El-Mir and Jachym Kondelik.
UConn would take the lead a little over three and a half minutes into the third period, with Payusov once again going to the right side of the net, this time off assists from Adam Karashik and Kondelik. However, it wouldn’t take long for the Wildcats to record the equalizer, as less than three minutes later freshman Jackson Pierson would take advantage of the power play opportunity and knot it up at two.
Despite being outshot 6-1 in overtime, the Huskies managed to hang on and secure one point, their only of the weekend.
The Huskies certainly played well at times, but for much of the game and specifically during the second period UConn struggled with what can only be described as sloppy play.
“Their good chances came off our turnovers,” said head coach Mike Cavanaugh.
They fared much worse on Saturday and, despite outshooting the Wildcats 36-30 in the game, fell by the score of 6-0. UNH converted on two of their five power play opportunities and also killed all four of UConn’s. Not only did New Hampshire score six goals, but each of them was scored by a different player.
As the Huskies enter the final ten games of the regular season, Cavanaugh said his team will be playing with a certain level of desperation.
“I think our team knows we gotta get points in the league,” Cavanaugh said. “I think every game is going to be desperation here going down the stretch”
Currently 2-11-2 and nine games under .500 in the Hockey East, the Huskies will need to win out in their nine remaining in-conference games to avoid finishing under .500 in the Hockey East. This includes matchups against the USCHO.com No.2 ranked UMass Minutemen, No.7 Northeastern Huskies and No.14 Providence Friars.
UConn will have their final out of conference game of the season on Tuesday when they take on the Sacred Heart Pioneers at the XL Center.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.