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- UConn men's hockey defeated at Maine, 7-3
UConn men's hockey defeated at Maine, 7-3
The Huskies ended the first half with a tough road loss.
Photo: Daniel Connolly
UConn men’s hockey allowed four goals in the second period en route to a 7-3 loss to the No. 11 Maine Black Bears on Sunday night at Alfond Arena. The seven goals are the most the Huskies have allowed all season.
UConn scored first off the stick of Jake Percival, but Maine came back with four in the middle stanza. Then when Percival got the Huskies back within a goal, the Black Bears answered with two more to put the game out of reach.
Nick Capone also found the back of the net in the loss. Ethan Haider played well despite allowing seven goals. The Black Bears scored on an unlucky deflection off Harrison Rees, a well-executed screen, a 2v0 breakaway, a 2v1 rush, a back-door shot, and a power play score.
The Huskies also gave up their fourth shorthanded goal of the year and lost the special teams battle 3-1.
Maine dominated possession in the first period but struggled to do much with it. UConn’s defense limited the danger and made life easy on Haider, so it had a 10-9 edge in shots through the first 20 minutes.
While the Huskies had trouble getting through the neutral zone in the first, they were fine once they got set up in the offensive zone. For a while, they didn’t get any second chances — until Jake Flynn fired a shot from the point that rebounded out to Percival. His initial attempt got turned away, but it forced Maine goalie Victor Ostman out of position and Percival buried his second try into an open net.
After a relatively quiet first period, the action cranked up in the second. The Black Bears took the lead just 2:35 in with a pair of goals — one during 4×4 play and another thanks to a bizarre deflection off Rees, but UConn answered back on the power play courtesy of Capone.
Maine went back ahead off a shot from that point that Haider never saw due to a screen, but the Huskies had a golden chance to tie the game with a power play during the period's final two minutes. Jake Richard sprang free on a breakaway, only to be denied by Ostman. Off the ensuing rebound, the Black Bears then went flying up the ice on a short-handed 2v0 rush and they scored to double the advantage.
Like that, UConn went into the second intermission down 4-2.
For a moment, the Huskies looked like they were back in it when Percival scored his second of the night just 89 seconds into the third, making it a 4-3 game. But Maine fired back five minutes later off a 2v1 rush and then made it a three-goal game midway through the period.
That deficit proved to be too much for UConn to climb back from. the Black Bears tagged on another via the power play to reach the 7-3 final.
With the loss, UConn finishes the first half with a 7-9-1 record overall and a 4-6-0 mark in Hockey East play. The Huskies will return to action on New Year’s Eve for a matchup with Harvard which will be televised on ESPN.