UConn Falls at No. 19 Harvard, 6-3
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– The UConn men’s hockey team dropped a 6-3 decision Sunday night at No. 19 Harvard in a non-conference match-up from Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The Huskies got goals from grad student Kevin O’Neil (Latham, N.Y.), senior Jachym Kondelik (Budejovice, Czech Republic) and sophomore Artem Shlaine (Moscow, Russia) in the loss.
The Huskies, playing for the first time since November 27th, fall to 8-7-0 with the loss while the Crimson improve to 7-4-1.
Harvard’s Nick Abruzzese, Alex Laferriere and Sean Farrell each finished with three points for the Crimson, scoring a goal and assisting on two others. Harvard also got goals from Austin Wong, Marshall Rifai and Baker Shore.
The Huskies tied the game at 2-2 in the second period but Harvard scored twice on the power play from there and never trailed en route to the win. Mitchell Gibson made 32 saves to earn the win in goal.
UConn held a 35-28 shot edge but was 0-for-3 on the power play including coming up empty on a 5-on-3 chance. Grad student Darion Hanson (East Bethel, Minn.) had 22 saves.
Harvard opened up a 2-0 lead in the first period, the first goal of the night coming off the stick of Wong at 7:12. The Crimson kept possession of the puck in the Husky zone and John Fusco took it out of the right corner to Sean Farrell in the right circle. Farrell found Wong in the slot for a one-timer inside the right post for a 1-0 lead.
The Crimson made it 2-0 at 17:05 coming off a UConn turnover. Trying to clear the puck behind their net, an errant UConn pass found the stick of Rifai who walked in and buried a wrister top—shelf on Hanson’s glove side.
The Huskies got one back with just 15 seconds left in the period as Shlaine notched his second on the year. A shot came in from Roman Kinal (Waterford, Mich.) at the high point and Shlaine battled in front to get a stick on the rebound and slipped it past Gibson to pull within 2-1.
UConn evened the game up at 2:36 in the period as Kondelik picked-up his fourth of the season. O’Neil collected the puck behind the net and quickly fed Kondelik cutting across the goal. Gibson got the initial stop but Kondelik cleaned up the rebound at the right post to make it 2-2.
The Crimson answered back with goals at 14:38 and at 19:20 to build back their two-goal edge. Farrell got on the board at 14:38, finishing off a rush into the zone by putting in an impossible angle shot near the right post, sneaking it just over Hanson and under the bar. Harvard got a power play goal in the closing seconds of the period as Laferriere cleaned up a rebound in front for a 4-2 lead.
The Huskies were able to cut into the lead, pulling within 4-3 at the 6:54 mark. Kondelik carried into the zone and fed O’Neil up the left wing and he was able to get to the front of the net and chip a shot over Gibson for his second of the season, making it a one-goal game.
Harvard capitalized on the power play late to push their lead back to two-goals. Getting a 4-on-3 chance, the Crimson set up in the Husky zone and Abruzzese finished off a tic-tac-toe play, burying a one-timer off a feed from Farrell near the right post for a 5-3 lead with 2:06 left. Shore tacked on an empty-netter with one second enough to produce the final score.
UConn returns to the ice and to Hockey East play on Saturday, January 8 at Boston College. 3:45p on 97-9 ESPN