LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The UConn Huskies fell to the No. 17 ranked Western Michigan Broncos, 5-1, in the opening game of the 2019 Ice Vegas Invitational from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The Huskies got 36 saves from junior goaltender Adam Huska(Zvolen, Slovakia) in the loss.
UConn, who falls to 6-12-1 overall with the loss, will play in the consolation game on Saturday against either Air Force or St. Lawrence at 5:00 pm PST. The Broncos improved to 10-6-1 overall.
WMU got a goal and an assist each from junior Cam Lee and sophomore Austin Rueschhoff to lead the way. Senior goaltender Trevor Gorsuch made 22 save to post the win.
The Broncos held the Huskeis to just two shots in the first period and took full advantage, scoring twice on their 15 shots on net. Lee opened the scoring at 4:41 and sophomore Josh Passolt made it 2-0 at 9:32.
WVU made it 3-0 on Rueschhoff's second period tally before UConn ended the shutout bid at 15:06. The Huskies, who got their offense kick-started in the second, scored on the power play as senior Karl El-Mir(Montreal, Quebec) buried his 10th of the season.
The Broncos ended any thoughts of a comeback with two in the third period off the sticks of Luke Bafia and Ethen Frank.
The Broncos took care of all the scoring in the first with two on the board while defensively limiting the Huskies to just two shots on net. WMU's Lee scored the game's first goal at 4:41, crashing the net on the left wing and burying a cross-ice feed from Colt Conrad.
The Broncos made it 2-0 at 9:32 Rueschhoff created a turnover in the neutral zone and then fed Passolt who buried a wrister from the left circle, stick side past Huska.
WMU went up 3-0 at 3:03 in the third as Rueschhoff got position in front of Huska and got a tip on a Jared Kucharek shot from just inside the blue line.
UConn finally cracked the scoring column at 15:06, scoring on the power play. Freshman Jachym Kondelik(Budejovice, Czech Republic) fed the puck to sophomore Evan Wisocky (Hoboken, N.J.) at the point who fired on Gorsuch. El-Mir got good position in front of the net and got a redirect on Wisocky's shot for his 10th goal of the season to pull within 3-1.
The Broncos pushed their lead back to three at 5:58 in the final period. On a 4-on-4, Bafia stole the puck in the neutral zone and burst in on Huska, stuffing one in just inside the left post to make it 4-1 on his first of the season.
WMU ended any ideas of a comeback at 10:49 as Frank put home a pretty feed from Jamie Rome on a two-on-one chance to produce the 5-1 final.
The Huskies will play on Saturday against either Air Force or St. Lawrence at 8:00 pm EST to close out their weekend in the Ice Vegas Invitational.