UConn hosted UMaine in a home-and-home series at the Freitas Ice Forum this weekend where the Huskies (9-10-2) suffered one more defeat before returning to winning ways. Quite an action-packed series, to say the least.
UConn was left stunned by the Black Bears (3-10-1) on Friday with a score of 6-4. The hosts were off to a good start in the opening period however, as junior forward Marc Gatcomb scored a shot-handed goal while Maine was on the power play under a minute earlier when junior forward Carter Turnbull was penalized for tripping.
By the midpoint of the first period, the Black Bears’ AJ Drobot brought the game leveled. Toward the end of the first period, both teams managed to put up another goal on the scoreboard. The Huskies were first, at the 18:27 mark, with Hudson Schandor scoring an unassisted goal, and Maine’s Ben Poisson less than half a minute later with sophomore defenseman Adrien Bisson and JD Greenway aiding in the buildup.
The second period only saw the visitors dominate by slotting in three goals before the midpoint. At the 2:22 mark, sophomore Brady Gaudette managed to find an open space in the net to shoot despite UConn heavily guarding the area. About 20 seconds later, senior forward Jack Quinlivan scored his first of the season; by the 8th minute Greenway got another point in the match to make the scoreboard 5-2.
A similar start in the final period of Friday’s match, UConn scored first before the midpoint of the period. Leading goal scorer Jonny Evans slotted in his 13th goal of the season after getting ahold of a loose puck and sending it right behind the Maine goaltender. With under two and a half minutes left in the match, Maine’s AJ Drobot picked up his pair and dealt the final blow for a UConn comeback. At the 19:04 mark, UConn’s Eric Linell scored the final goal.
As for Saturday’s rematch, UConn made a valiant effort to add another win to their record. The first period was overall quiet on both sides. UConn managed to strike first, but it didn’t come until the 14:43 mark by Carter Berger. The second period was actioned-packed with not just power plays from both sides, but of the Black Bears leveling the match. Freshman forward Cassidy Bowes scored his first of the season in the 9th minute, with Adam Karashik providing the assist. Toward the end however, Maine’s Adam Dawe was able to snag a pair against a three-man UConn.
The third period was the most crucial 20 minutes for the Huskies to return to winning ways. Leading up UConn’s third goal of the match, Maines’ Dawson Bruneski was sent to the penalty box at the 17:03 mark for high sticking. Less than a minute later, Ryan Tverberg brought the Huskies in the lead by tapping the puck in from a distance shot taken by Schandor. To deal the final blow, Gatcomb got his second goal in the series with two seconds left in the match.