After a successful, undefeated opening weekend down in Hamilton, NY at Colgate, the Ice Bus is set to get back to work this weekend against Holy Cross for a home and home series.
The Crusaders are coming into this series with one win under their belt. Their opening weekend consisted of a single win against LIU so this weekend against Connecticut will be their first series with multiple games this season. In their opener, the Crusaders defeated the Sharks 5-2 so they definitely showed a lot of offensive dominance and had a very strong skating performance.
A notable player for the Crusaders is senior forward Jack Ricketts. On Monday Oct. 9, the league announced that Ricketts was named the Atlantic Hockey Association Forward of the Week. In Holy Cross’s season opener against LIU, Ricketts earned the primary assist on their first goal of the night, the equalizer goal as well. In addition, he assisted on the game-winning goal. On the defensive end, Ricketts played on a penalty kill unit that stopped seven of eight of LIU’s scoring opportunities. While going 17-23 at the faceoff dot, he finished the night with a +2 rating. Rickett was productive on all sides of the puck and can be a big threat to the Huskies this weekend.
As for UConn, they are coming off a 1-0-1 weekend at Colgate. The Huskies saw a lot of toughness in their abilities to make a comeback and fight until the last second, a lot of what Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh is looking for with the qualities of this year’s team.
“I liked our resilience, to come back, find a way to tie that game and preserve a point,” said Cavanaugh on the Huskies second game against Colgate. “I think we learned a lot, we certainly got a lot to work on and we’re going to have another really tough opponent this week in Holy Cross.”
Samu Salminen was one of the cores of the Huskies offense in the opening weekend as he scored two goals in the first game. The sophomore forward was effective in all three zones and capitalized on plays in order to get the puck into the net. Coming off of his rookie season where his adjustment time to his new life as a UConn freshman was cut short due to moving across the world to get to Storrs, Salminen looks to have a breakout season. Hee definitely showed up and was very productive for the Huskies in the first series.
“I thought he was pretty good in all three zones,” said Cavanaugh on Salminen.”He obviously had a couple of goals. I thought he was really good. He was good in the face off dot. He played a 200-foot game and that’s what we are going to need from him.”
The Huskies will start off this series in Worcester, MA but will travel back to Storrs on Saturday for their home opener. A lot of excitement still surrounds the Ice Bus as the newly opened Toscano Family Ice Forum is now in full action. This will be the first full season that both the men and women’s hockey teams will get to play many home games at the on-campus arena. For the men’s side, it all starts this Saturday.
“I think it’s going to be great. It’s always fun playing here at Toscano – I’m looking forward to having a full season here this year,” noted Cavanaugh. “I know it’s going to be pretty busy here on Saturday night; we have a soccer game, a volleyball game and a hockey game. So there’s going to be a lot of energy here on this part of campus. I’m looking forward to a full barn, a big student section and a rowdy ground for the Crusaders on Saturday night.”
The Ice Bus will get back in hockey action this weekend in their two-games series with Holy Cross. They will open on Friday, October 13 in Worcester. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be streamed on FloSports. To follow, the highly-anticipated home opener will be the finale of the Holy Cross series on Saturday, Oct. 14. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Toscano Family Ice Forum and will be available to stream on ESPN Plus.