After starting the season with a win and a tie in two matches against Colgate last week, the No. 20 University of Connecticut men’s ice hockey team returned for a home-and-home and was swept by Holy Cross this weekend.
UConn’s first game versus the Crusaders came Friday evening in Worcester, Massachusetts. After finishing two periods tied 1-1, Holy Cross took the lead on a Jack Ricketts goal early in the third to win the game.
The two teams played with high intensity from puck drop. Holy Cross had a number of opportunities in the period, but they were halted by Connecticut’s stout defense. Sophomore goalkeeper Arsenii Sergeev played well in the goal for the Huskies. In the first, UConn had two power play chances but was scoreless in both.
A hooking penalty put Connecticut on another power play in the second. Freshman Jake Richard won the faceoff and was in position to drive in a rebound for the first score of the match. Holy Cross was quick to respond in the 8th minute of the period when Matt Guerra tied the game at one with a goal. The Crusaders’ Tyler Ghirardosi received a five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit to UConn’s Jake Flynn, but the Huskies couldn’t take advantage of the power play.
The Ricketts goal put Holy Cross on top for good in the third period. The Crusaders’ defense iced UConn’s offense for the remainder of the period, securing a one-goal victory.
The Huskies outshot Holy Cross 23-22 that evening. UConn committed five penalties in the game, resulting in 10 penalty minutes. The Crusaders committed six penalties for 23 penalty minutes. Sergeev made 20 saves in the contest, all during the first two periods. Meanwhile, goaltender Jason Grande had 22 saves over the match for Holy Cross.
Connecticut returned to action for their home opener at Toscano Family Ice Forum to host the Crusaders on Saturday. Once again, the Huskies’ offense was stifled as they were shut out 2-0.
UConn’s offense looked explosive early in the game but was unable to connect with the net. It appeared that the Huskies scored a goal in the first when Grande’s glove crossed the plane into the Holy Cross goal after capturing the puck, but the officials ruled that Grande made the save on the play.
Jack Stockfish scored the Crusaders’ first goal early in the second following a UConn turnover. Connecticut couldn’t muster any goals in response and was held scoreless through the remainder of the period.
The Huskies had their third power play of the contest during the third period but still could not find points on the ice. Ricketts scored a second goal for the Crusaders on an empty net with just one minute of action remaining.
Connecticut outshot Holy Cross 28-17 on the night but could not capitalize on any of their chances. The Huskies committed four penalties for eight penalty minutes while Holy Cross committed three penalties for six penalty minutes. Ethan Haider made the start in goal for UConn and made 15 saves over the course of the contest. Meanwhile, Grande made 28 saves for Holy Cross.
With the two losses, UConn drops to 1-2-1 in the early weeks of their season. Holy Cross propels to a perfect 3-0-0 with the two wins.
“You can’t score one goal in a weekend and expect to win,” Huskies head coach Mike Cavanaugh said after Saturday’s loss. “I thought that we played really well defensively and was happy with the [intensity] that we played, we just need to find a way to finish our chances.”
The Ice Bus will return to action for two away games in Schenectady, New York against Union College next weekend. Game one is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m., and the second is set for Saturday at 4 p.m.