Hockey season in Hartford is back. UConn opens up its home schedule this weekend with a game against Army Friday at 7 p.m. and another game Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Rensselaer.
The Huskies (0-0-1) are coming off a hard-fought 3-3 tie with Sacred Heart last Friday. Sophomore goalie Tomas Vomacka played out of his mind, stopping 45 of the 48 shots he faced. Fellow sophomores Marc Gatcomb, Jachym Kondelik and Kale Howarth scored UConn’s first three goals of the season.
The Huskies were three seconds away from starting the season with a win when Sacred Heart’s Matt Tugnut netted his third goal of the game to send it to overtime, where it would end in a draw. It was tough not to come away with the win, but UConn still managed to pick up a point. Head coach Mike Cavanaugh said he was happy with how the first game went, especially since there were no exhibition games beforehand.
Army (1-0) started its season last weekend as well, but with a win rather than a tie. The Black Knights beat Union 3-2 on Sunday. Eric Butte, Colin Bilek and Michael Wilson registered the goals for the Black Knights, with Bilek’s goal being the difference-maker in the third period. Goaltender Trevin Kozlowski made 20 saves in the win.
UConn has a 13-7-2 all-time record against Army. The Huskies won last year’s meeting at West Point 5-2.
There is a quick turnaround after Friday night’s game as the Rensselaer Engineers come to town the next afternoon. During that game, the 1999-2000 UConn hockey team will be recognized for the 20th anniversary of its MAAC Championship. Many players and coaches from that team will be in attendance as they are honored with a banner in the rafters during a ceremony in the first intermission.
RPI has not begun regular season play yet, but it won an exhibition game last weekend against Brock University, located in Ontario. The Engineers skated to an easy 6-3 win Saturday in which 13 different players recorded at least one point.
The Engineers also have a quick turnaround Saturday, as they open up their season Friday night against UMass, which is the No. 4 ranked team in the country.
This will be just the fifth time UConn and RPI square off. RPI has the edge in the all-time series with a 2-1-1 record. The Huskies and Engineers split last season’s two-game set, with the Huskies winning 3-1 in October and the Engineers returning the favor with a 5-2 win in January.
After this weekend, the Huskies don’t play another game at home until Sunday, Nov. 3.
Danny Barletta is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @dbars_12.