UConn clinches 4th seed in Hockey East playoffs

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The University of Connecticut men’s hockey team photographed playing Providence College during a game on Nov. 22, 2019. The Huskies beat the Friars 5-0 this past Friday, March 5. Photo by Kevin Lindstrom/The Daily Campus.

The Huskies played their last regular season game against the No.15 Providence Friars on home ice on Friday. UConn was able to fend off a nationally ranked Providence squad and end the night with a 5-0 win, keeping the game under their control until a shaky third period. The Huskies are ending their season 10-10-2 and are ranked fourth under the Hockey East Power Index with a HEPI score of 52.01. The Friars’ season is finished with a record of 10-8-5 and a HEPI score of 50.08.  

The Huskies were able to open up scoring a little more than 10 minutes into the first period after a goal from Jachym Kondelik during a UConn powerplay. After not scoring for the entire season thus far, Kondelik dominated the ice and scored three power play goals during the first period, earning him a natural hat trick. The junior forward was able to catch a rebound after a shot on goal from Johnny Evans and buried it in the net past Providence goalkeeper Jaxson Stauber.  

Jachym did not wait long to score again, having a second scoring opportunity during another UConn power play after a cross checking penalty against Tyce Thompson. Hudson Schandor was able to get control of the puck soon after play started and fed a pass to Johnny Evans, who was able to get the puck to Kondelik. Kondelik beat Stauber again and put the Huskies up 2-0 at 11:58 into the first period. Both Schandor and Evans picked up assists on the play 

The Huskies’ third goal of the game came from Schandor who took a pass from Firstov. Firstov was able to break into the offensive zone during a 3-on-2 rush and got the puck behind the Providence net. Schandor was able to receive from there and slotted it into the top left corner of the net.  

The fourth goal of the period, and third of Kondelik’s hat trick, came at 17:05. Friars defenseman Max Crozier took a holding penalty which put the Huskies back onto the power play. Kondelik set himself up in front of the net and tipped in a deflected shot from Evans. 

Evans was able to get onto the board with a goal of his own 24 short seconds into the second period. The Huskies were able to get an odd man rush with Marc Gatcomb carrying the puck into the Providence zone. Gatcomb took a shot on the Providence net but it was stopped by Stauber, but the puck rebounded straight to Evans. Evans fired a shot past Stauber and scored his 14th goal of the season. 

It took until the third period for the Friars to start scoring on the Huskies, with Tyce Thompson ending Vomacka’s shutout. Providence was up on the powerplay early in the third after a slashing penalty against Vladislav Firstov. 56 seconds later, Providence forward Parker Ford found a loose puck at the front of the net and pushed it in. The third goal for the Friars came from John McDermott who received a deep pass from Michael Callahan and redirected it past Vomacka. 

The next game for the Huskies will be during the Hockey East tournament quarterfinals against a yet to be determined opponent.  

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