UConn played against the Providence Friars for the Hockey East Championship, their fourth time this season, at the Freitas Ice Forum where their postseason hopes came to an early end after being defeated 6-1.
Providence (10-8-5) dominated the first 20 minutes of the match. Collecting 19 shots compared to the nine that UConn (10-11-2) took, the Friars took the lead before the midway point. Sophomore forward Parker Ford nudged the puck into the back of the Huskies’ net after freshman defenseman Uula Ruikka had the initial shot on goal.
Following the goal, the visitors got to the power play following a roughing call on UConn’s Kale Howarth at the 16:42 mark. Despite the five-on-four advantage, Providence weren’t able to get another goal in before the period ended.
Providence’s momentum did not stop at the end of the opening 20 minutes as they were able to slot in two more goals in the second period. Ruikka got on the scoresheet in the opening two minutes while forward Nick Poisson scored the third a minute later. The Friars’ clean sheet ended around the midpoint as UConn’s Jachym Kondelik scored following Jonny Evans and Adam Karashik’s assist in the build-up.
In the final period of the match, the Providence Friars dealt the final blow by adding three more goals on the scoreboard. At the 1:45 mark, junior forward Tyce Thomson, a Connecticut-born player, got his 11th goal of the season after receiving the puck from Nick Poisson who made the pass from behind UConn’s net.
By the midpoint of the period, freshman forward Brett Berard got his third goal of the season and provided the Friars the fifth goal of the match. Getting a turnover on the puck after UConn couldn’t maintain possession, Patrick Moynihan countered and took a shot on net but was blocked by goaltender Tomas Vomacka. Vomacka’s block wasn’t enough as Berard was able to sweep in and put the puck in the back of the net. Sophomore defenseman Max Crozier got the final goal of the match to advance to the Hockey East semifinals.
“It just wasn’t our night tonight,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said in a post game press conference. “I gotta give credit to Providence. I thought they played a great game … hats off to the Friars.”