UConn men's hockey pulls out win at No. 10 Providence, 2-1

Despite taking 10 penalties and getting out-shot 43-19, the Huskies pick up a big victory.

Photo: Ian Bethune

UConn men’s hockey pulled out a split on the weekend by grabbing a win over the No. 10 Providence Friars on Saturday night, 2-1. The Huskies were out-shot 44-19 and took nine penalties but held on for the victory.

Jake Richard opened the scoring with a power play goal late in the first period and Chase Bradley doubled the advantage at the end of the second. Soon after, the Huskies took their fourth major penalty in five games then compounded it by taking a second penalty, which gave Providence a two minute 5-on-3 power play. While the hosts converted on the two-man advantage, UConn’s penalty kill held strong and ultimately finished the day with a 7-8 performance.

Ethan Haider bounced back from his recent struggles to stop 43 of 44 shots in the victory.

The first period featured plenty of penalties. UConn took three in the first 12 minutes but the penalty kill held strong to keep it a 0-0 game. In the final four minutes, Providence took its turn in the box with two penalties of its own. The Friars prevented the Huskies’ power play unit from setting up on the first chance and prevented any dangerous chances. On the second, UConn needed just eight seconds to capitalize.

After a face-off win, Andrew Lucas found Richard in front of the net, who deked the goalie and slipped the puck around him to give the Huskies a 1-0 advantage on their first goal of the weekend.

Providence owned the second period, holding a 15-3 edge in shots on goal, but UConn made its chances count. After a strong forecheck, Bradley jumped onto the ice and unleashed a snipe into the top right corner from the circle to double the Huskies’ lead to 2-0.

UConn opened the door for the Friars to climb back in late in the second. First, Matthew Wood got sent to the locker room with a game misconduct after a major boarding penalty. Just moments after that, John Spetz went to the box for holding, which gave Providence a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play to start the third.

It took 1:13, but the Friars finally broke through on the two-man advantage when they got the puck to the back door and scored on the open net. But UConn’s PK unit bounced back to kill the rest of the major penalty and preserve the lead.

In the later half of the period, both sides missed chances to score. On one end, Harrison Rees laid out to block a shot that was headed for an open goal and moments later, Richard sprung free on a breakaway the other way but couldn’t get a shot off.

In the final minutes, UConn held possession in the offensive zone to melt the clock down and nearly pushed the lead back to two when Jake Percival had an open look on net, but he hit the post.

Providence pulled the goalie with 45 seconds remaining but the Huskies’ defense held on to secure the victory.

UConn improves to 12-13-2 on the season and 7-9-1 in Hockey East with the win. Next, it’ll take on UMass in a home-and-home series, beginning on Friday at Toscano Family Ice Forum.