Men’s Hockey: No. 12 UConn prepares for Connecticut Ice Tournament hosted at Quinnipiac 

UConn comes back from being down 1-0 in the first period to a tie in the 2nd period. UConn end up winning the game against UMass 3-1 at Toscano Family Ice Forum in Storrs, CT. Photo by Jordan Arnold/Staff Photographer Daily Campus

Coming off of their first win at the new Toscano Family Ice Forum, the No. 12 Huskies will have a week off from Hockey East action and travel down to Hamden for the Connecticut Ice Tournament.  

UConn is one of the four Division I Ice Hockey programs in the state of Connecticut and this is the third consecutive year that this tournament is being held. The other programs are Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Yale. The tournament does not have an official name after SNY dropped the sponsorship but the location will rotate every year at each team’s on-campus arena. This year, Quinnipiac will host at the M&T Bank Arena. 

“We have four majors that we play for and this is the first one on tab and we are excited about it,” Coach Mike Cavanaugh said of playing in the Connecticut Ice Tournament. 

For the second straight year, UConn will face Yale in the first round of this tournament. Yale is 3-12-4 overall so far with a 2-10-2 record in conference play. Although the Huskies don’t have the most positive history with the Bulldogs having a 2-14-0 all-time record against them, they have taken two out of three of their most recent matchups. 

A key player for the Bulldogs is Luke Pearson. The sophomore goaltender has seen lots of playing time for the struggling Bulldogs and has been a huge aspect of their biggest moments of this season. Last week Pearson was named ECAC Goaltender of the Week after his performances in games against RPI and Union. In that two-game stretch, he posted a .980 save percentage with 49 saves. Overall, Yale has solid goaltending that controls rebounds, giving opponents less chances for second or third opportunities at the net.  

As for the Huskies, they had a successful weekend against UMass Amherst, coming out with a sweep of their two game series. In those two close matchups, a sharp defense kept the Huskies at the top with the addition of their “no quit” mentality. 

UConn is full of veteran leadership with juniors Nick Capone, Hudson Schandor and Andrew Lucas, as well as graduate students Justin Pearson and Ty Amonte. Additionally, on the team are seniors Roman Kinal, Jake Flynn and Harrison Rees. This provides UConn with experienced players who are used to playing in crucial situations. The leaders on this team have been a significant part of the Huskies’ achievements throughout the season. 

“I think it’s just a team that doesn’t get too high in the highs or too low in the lows, we try to consistently just play our game,” Coach Cavanaugh said of the maturity of the team. 

In last year’s Connecticut Ice Tournament, the Huskies beat Yale but went on to lose the championship game to Quinnipiac. UConn looks to change that script and earn the trophy this time around. If the Huskies beat Yale, they will advance on to face the winner of the second game between No. 2 Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. If not, the consolation game will be at 4 p.m., also on Saturday. 

 Puck drop for Friday, Jan. 27 is set for 4 p.m. at the M&T Bank Arena in Hamden and will be streamed on UConn Sports Network From Learfield-ESPN 97.9 FM.  

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