UConn played its final match of the year, where they hosted Providence at the Freitas Ice Forum and won 2-0.
The first 20 minutes of the match was mainly a rough start for the home side. About five minutes in, Providence (2-3-1) got the first power play after UConn (2-4-1) forward Artem Shlaine had a cross-checking call on the Russian. Not too long after the Huskies had a full team, forward Nick Capone was sent to the penalty box for roughing. Forward Kale Howarth would be the third Husky to provide the Friars another power play for boarding on defenseman Max Crozier. All three power plays for the visitors, yet they couldn’t find the back of the net.
UConn would finally have the power play after Providence forward Matt Tugnutt had an interference call on him; but like the visitors, the Huskies couldn’t find a way to take the lead. With both sides having 10 shots, the first period ended 0-0.
As for the second period, the Huskies took the lead within the second minute thanks to captain Adam Karashik. Upon receiving the puck from a turnover by forward Jáchym Kondelík, the Connecticut native took his chance from distance and took a shot on goal. Meanwhile for Providence, they would have a good attempt to equalize the match at the 9:45 mark. Senior forward Greg Printz had the opportunity for a one-timer after receiving the puck from defenseman Kyle Koopman and UConn goaltender Tomas Vomacka was able to save it.
Exactly three minutes later, UConn tried to put another puck in. Huskies forward Carter Turnbull went on the attack but was eventually denied by goaltender Jaxson Stauber. On top of that, UConn went to the power play after forward Jamie Engelbert was sent to the penalty box for slashing.
In the third period, UConn went on the power play as Providence’s Koopman was sent off for hooking two minutes in. Not too long after, the game turned to a four-on-four for about a minute as UConn’s Jake Flynn had an interference call on him. Despite Providence’s power play after the minute, they couldn’t find a way to level the game once more.
With just a bit over five minutes left in the match, the Huskies would secure the win after forward Jonny Evans slotted the puck with the assist from Kondelík. Going on the attack from a turnover, Capone started the play with a quick back-pass to Kondelík. Keeping the momentum going, Kondelík passed the puck up the ice before being intercepted by two of Providence’s players. With a golden opportunity, Evans took his shot and sniped the puck from a narrow angle towards the far post.
“I don’t think it was pretty, but I think it was gutsy,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said in a post-game press conference. “I thought the first period was a pretty even period … Once we scored [in the second period] I thought Providence took over the period. I thought we were really gutsy in the third period and played a good, hard third period to find a way to win that hockey game. It was a typical Providence-UConn, physical East Hockey game.”
Men’s hockey will return on New Year’s Day as the Huskies will make a trip to New Hampshire on the Icebus and face the Wildcats.