When a team scores six goals, that’s typically considered a success. Often, one guy has a hot stick or there’s just a certain combination that happens to be clicking. On Saturday against the Colgate University Raiders, though, the UConn Huskies saw six different players find the back of the net en route to victory.
It’s not that the Raiders are a poor hockey team. In last week’s USCHO.com poll, the Huskies checked in as the unranked team receiving the ninth-most votes while the Raiders were a vote behind them in tenth. So…what happened? The answer: UConn just got going and couldn’t be stopped.
Things started reasonably quickly for the Huskies, with senior Marc Gatcomb retrieving the puck from a scrum behind the net just nine minutes in. After gaining possession, Gatcomb delivered a beautiful wrap-around shot, deceiving Colgate goalkeeper Mitch Benson and putting UConn up 1-0.
Seven minutes later, a Gatcomb-tipped pass found its way to Hudson Schandor, who netted an open look, giving the Huskies a 2-0 lead and Schandor his first of the season after collecting eight assists.
Colgate looked to make things interesting with a moment left in the first period, creating a two-on-one rush that left UConn goalkeeper Darion Hanson hanging. Hanson stopped the initial shot, but couldn’t keep Pierson Benson’s strike out of the net, pulling the Raiders within one.
After a reasonably quiet few games, sophomore Nick Capone made his presence felt just a minute into the second session, receiving a cross from sophomore and Moscow native Artem Shlaine and hitting a beautiful one-timer for the score, extending the Huskies’ lead to 3-1.
Less than two minutes later on UConn’s first power play of the night, Shlaine decided it was time to join the party, netting his first of the season initially off of a Gatcomb pass, then a rebound of his own shot.
At the halfway point of the game, Schandor won a faceoff, knocking the puck directly back to senior Carter Turnbull. Turnbull drilled in a shot on a difficult angle, solidifying the contest as a blowout.
With just 14 minutes to play, freshman Sasha Teleguine intercepted the puck from the Raiders and dished it to junior defensemen Harrison Rees, who put a shot past the keeper for the final goal of the contest.
Darion Hanson finished the gem with 31 saves, keeping the game uncompetitive and comfortable for the Huskies.
UConn Coach Mike Cavanaugh noted that “one of our points of emphasis was getting off to a good start.” He continued, “at one point I looked up and it was 2-0 and we were outshooting the 9-0.”
“We’ve been getting better offensively and we had a good week at practice,” Cavanaugh mentioned. “We did a lot of things that make us a good team today. When we were up 5-1, I thought we were a little too loose at times, but overall it was a great win for the team.”
“It was great to get another one under our belt, since we’ve been grinding all season and it’s good to see the hard work pay off,” Gatcomb noted. “It was definitely great to give [Hanson] a cushion behind there because I know we’ve kind of hung him out to dry a few games. Moving forward, we need to do a better job of closing things out. I think we gave them a bit too much breathing room, but again it’s great to have [Hanson] back there making all those crazy saves.”
Looking ahead, the Huskies return to Hockey East play with a home-and-home against Merrimack College scheduled for this weekend on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.