UConn falls to Quinnipiac in CT Ice final, 4-3

The Huskies led 3-1 but allowed three unanswered goals in the defeat.

Photo: Daniel Connolly

UConn men’s hockey came up short in the CT Ice final again, falling to the No. 7 Quinnipiac Bobcats for the third straight year. The Huskies led 3-1 at one point but allowed three unanswered goals en route to a 4-3 defeat.

Harrison Rees, Chase Bradley and Matthew Wood scored for the Huskies. Ethan Haider got the nod in net but struggled by allowing two soft goals.

After a back-and-forth start, UConn fired the opening salvo. The Huskies held the puck in the offensive zone multiple times during an extended shift and started to pile up the attempts. At one point, a deflected puck drifted to the top of the circles, where Rees skated in and blasted a shot off the goalie’s leg pad and in to put UConn ahead.

The Huskies were strong in both the offensive zone and in transition, but couldn’t add another despite multiple dangerous chances. The 1-0 scoreline held into the first intermission.

The action cranked up in the second period. Quinnipiac got on the board when Haider lost the puck while behind the net, so the visitors scored on the open goal. Just moments after tying the game, the Bobcats went on the power play when Tabor Heaslip got sent to the box for goaltender interference, but UConn ultimately would capitalize on the chance.

Just as the penalty began, Bradley stole the puck at center ice and scored a shorthanded breakaway to put the Huskies back up just 18 seconds after conceding. Two minutes later, they added another when Heaslip found Wood off the rush to make it a 3-1 game.

Quinnipiac answered back shortly after, though. The Bobcats scored two goals in less than a minute to even the game then appeared to take their first lead of the night, only for the goal to be waved off by the officials.

After all that, the two sides went into the second intermission knotted at 3-3.

Quinnipiac eventually got its go-ahead goal. Just 28 seconds into the final frame, Zach Tupker skated into the zone and beat Haider clean glove-side to put the Bobcats ahead 4-3. UConn had its chances over the final 19:32 but couldn’t find the equalizer.

Bradley and Hudson Schandor each made the all-tournament team.

The loss drops the Huskies to 11-12-2 on the season. Next, they’ll return to Hockey East play with a home-and-home series with the Providence Friars.