MHOC: Huskies dominate Merrimack in weekend series, coach Cavanaugh secures 100 wins

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Johnny Evans, forward, scores the sixth and final goal for the Huskies on Sunday. Originally tweeted by UConn Men’s Hockey (@UConnMHOC) on January 30, 2021.

UConn kicked off their weekend series with a home-and-home matchup against the Merrimack Warriors. On Friday, the Huskies (7-6-2) took the ice bus to Lawler Rink where they decimated the home side 6-1. 

The first period saw the Huskies net in a pair around the midway point of the first 20 minutes. Sophomore defenseman Harrison Rees scored his first goal of the season at the 11:58 mark following a turnover that saw Nick Capone provide the assist. Nearly a minute later, UConn added another point to the scoreboard, this time from the stick of freshman forward Hudson Schandor with Adam Karashik and Yan Kuznetsov aided in the build-up. The pair also assisted sophomore forward Vlasislav Firstov in the opening minute of the second period. 

The Huskies managed to get two more goals in the second period from power plays before Merrimack (2-9-1) broke the clean sheet. Junior forward Carter Turnbull got his pair on the night where Jonny Evans was involved in both goals. A couple of minutes before the end of the second period, Merrimack’s Liam Walsh scored the lone goal for the Warriors. UConn put the game to rest seven and a half minutes in the final period of Friday’s game from Rees securing his pair. 

UConn almost replicated the score from Friday’s game when they hosted the Warriors at the Freitas Ice Forum on Saturday. While they did net in another six goals, goaltender Thomas Vomacka allowed two pucks to pass by him. 

The Huskies’ Kale Howarth struck first in Saturday’s game at the 4:51 mark in the power play after Merrimack forward Jakob Lee was sent to the box for roughing. As the first period went on, Merrimack were awarded a power play at the 13:30 mark after UConn’s Marc Gatcomb was sent to the box for boarding. With about 20 seconds before the power play was over, the Warriors equalized at the stick of Declan Carlile. 

As for the second period, UConn scored a pair: the first from freshman forward Ryan Tverberg, his second of the season, and the second from Evans, which became the first of four goals the forward scored. Evans scored his second of the afternoon, which was met with his hat trick over a minute later. Evans’ last goal that was short-handed was at the 14:41. The Warriors’ final goal of the series came from the stick of defenseman Zach Uens off the power play. 

“I wish it came quicker,” head coach Mike Canvaugh said in a post-game conference regarding his 100 wins as UConn’s head coach. “I think players win games, coaches direct traffic. I think it just speaks to a lot of the players that came here when a program was starting basically from nothing … I’ve had unbelievable leaders, captains, in this program.” 

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