Six days after Rensselaer came into the XL Center and picked up a statement win, UConn returned the favor. The Huskies traveled to Troy, New York for their vengeance, a big 5-2 win on Friday night.
It was the first win of the season for UConn (1-2-1), while RPI dropped to 1-2 with the loss.
Five different players scored for the Huskies and six other players recorded assists in what was a much-needed dominant win.
Sophomore Marc Gatcomb scored his second goal of the season in the first period on a one-timer from a pass by sophomore Carter Turnbull. Sophomore Kale Howarth also picked up an assist on the goal. The Huskies went up 1-0 and never looked back.
In the second period, three UConn players scored to take full control of the game. Turnbull scored his first of the year with a really nice shot on a two-on-one opportunity. Senior captain Benjamin Freeman picked up his second assist on that goal.
Then, junior Brian Rigali scored his second goal of the season from a terrific centering pass by sophomore Jonny Evans. Sophomore Ruslan Iskhakov recorded an assist on that goal as well, his second of the season.
Finally, freshman Harrison Rees made it 4-0 UConn towards the end of the second period with his first career goal on a shot from the point. Alexander Payusov and Tomas Vomacka (yes, the goaltender) were credited with assists on the goal. It was Vomacka’s first career point.
In addition to assisting goals, Vomacka also did his day job pretty well in this one, making 29 saves. He didn’t allow a goal until the final period, and both goals he allowed came on RPI power plays. Simon Kjellberg and Patrick Polino were able to sneak shots past Vomacka in the third, but the damage was already done.
Iskhakov added to the goal party in the final period as well with his first score of the season. Junior captain Adam Karashik sent a pass up to Evans who passed it between his legs to Iskhakov who skated up the boards and put the puck in the top shelf of the goal. It was one of the prettiest plays of the season so far for UConn.
In the end, Turnbull, Iskhakov and Evans finished with multiple points on a day where it seemed like everyone got involved in the scoring, even the goalie. It was important for the Huskies to pick up a convincing win before they begin conference play.
After a near two-week break, UConn will travel to play Merrimack to open Hockey East on Friday, Nov. 1 before hosting the Warriors at the XL Center two days later.
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.