Rhode Island

No. 7 UConn men’s hockey defeats No. 9 Providence in a shootout

The No. 7 men’s UConn hockey earned a shootout victory over the No. 9 Providence Friars thanks to Samu Salminen, who scored the only goal in the tie-breaker. The game goes down a 1-1 draw, but the Huskies get a valuable extra point in the Hockey East standings with the shootout win.

At times the competition was more like a brawl than a hockey game, at times an intense physical struggle lasting the full 60 minutes. The first goal didn’t come until the third period when Providence hit a shorthander but UConn equalized on the power play after Justin Pearson buried a rebound.

After an uneventful overtime, the two teams went to a shootout to decide the points. The Huskies sent Salminen out first and the newcomer killed the chance – which turned out to be the only goal. UConn goaltender Logan Terness parried Providence’s first attempt and the brothers missed their last two scoring chances, giving the Huskies the shootout victory.

UConn’s penalty shootout featured a perfect 7-on-7 night while converting the power play on 1-of-5 opportunities – although the shorthanded goal made it possible. Terness stopped all but one of the 36 shots he faced between the barrels.

UConn continued its slow start trend – but this time the early fights lasted the duration of the first period. The Huskies had 15 tries in the first 20 minutes, but only three of them were on target. UConn’s only significant chance came on their first power play when Matthew Wood snapped a one-timer off the post.

However, the two teams went into the first break 0-0 thanks to UConn’s strong defense and strong penalty shootout. The Huskies survived two power plays from the Friars and limited danger around Terness, although the goalie still made big saves when called.

In the second third, it was mainly in the final minutes. Providence went on the power play at 16-10, but UConn had the best chance in the two minutes. Jake Percival and Ryan Tverberg each stole the puck in the neutral zone and ran in for undermanned breakaways, but both were denied by Providence goaltender Philip Svedeback. Shortly after the penalty expired, Tverberg attempted a wrap-around, but Svedeback parried from post to post, toeing off the shot to deflect it.

UConn’s penalty was outstanding in the middle stanza, keeping the brothers off the net on the three power plays and limiting the hosts to just three shots on those occasions. After a one-sided first half, Providence only had a 12-10 lead on shots in the second.

In the third period, the team continued to benefit from power plays that were a man behind. The Huskies had the advantage on the first opportunity and after a few shot attempts, Providence finally cleared the zone. When UConn went for the puck, Andrew Lucas lost it at his own blue line where Chase Yoder picked it up, ran in and defeated Terness to give the brothers a 1-0 lead.

Shortly after, the Huskies nearly leveled the game with a shorty of their own when Tverberg ran in on a breakaway, but Svedeback rebuffed him again.

After battling for most of the game, UConn’s power play eventually prevailed. The Huskies took a 5-10 lead thanks to a boarding penalty on Providence. They dominated possession with the extra skater and eventually broke through when Pearson hit a rebound home to level the game with 3:46 remaining 1-1. UConn controlled the final minutes but couldn’t find a late game winner, sending the game into overtime.

Neither team scored much in overtime and the shootout win gave the Huskies two of a possible three points. The two teams will return to action on Saturday at the XL Center. Puck Drop is scheduled for 3:05pm ET.

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