Senior forward Karl El-Mir scored a goal for the Huskies
UConn Edged By Sacred Heart, 2-1

STORRS, Conn. - The Sacred Heart Pioneers scored two special team goals and got a 33 save night from freshman John Benson to deal the UConn Huskies a 2-1 loss Tuesday night in the XL Center. The Huskies lone goal came off the stick of senior Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec).

The Huskies drop their final non-conference game of the year and fall to 7-16-2 overall. The Huskies have lost six-straight to the Pioneers and are now winless in their last five-straight.

The tale of the game on Tuesday night came down to special teams as the Huskies, who outshot SHU 34-26 overall, came up empty on five power play chances. The Pioneers got a shorthanded goal in the first and scored on the power play in the second to produce all the offense they would need.

SHU sophomore Matt Tugnutt picked-up his sixth goal of the season, scoring shorthanded at 3:44 of the first period. At the 8:46 mark of the second, freshman Ryan Steele put the Pioneers up 2-0 with a power play goal.

The Huskies ended the shutout bid at 15:27 in the third as El-Mir scored his 12th goal of the season, putting one off a SHU defender and past Benson. The Huskies pulled goaltender Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia) for the final 2:33 but couldn't find the tying goal.

1st Period:

The Huskies had three power play chances in the first 20 minutes but it was the Pioneers who took advantage on special teams with a shorthanded goal at 3:44. SHU broke the puck out up the right boards with Tugnutt catching the UConn defense off guard to create a two on one chance. Tugnutt broke in on Huska and put one bar-down, stick side for a his sixth on the year and a 1-0 lead.

2nd Period:

Special teams gave the Pioneers their second goal on the night as they scored on their third power play chance to take a 2-0 lead at 8:46. SHU cycled the puck to Jordan Kaplan at the point who blasted a slap shot on goal. Steele was set up in the slot and was able to get a tip and redirect it past Huska for his seventh on the season.

3rd Period:

UConn finally cracked the scoring column at 15:27 as El-Mir picked-up his 12th goal of the season. The senior took a pass from freshman Jachym Kondelik (Budejovice, Czech Republic) and carried into the zone. He broke to the net and threw the puck on net, getting a deflection off a SHU skate and into an empty net to cut the lead in half, 2-1.

The Huskies pulled Huska with 2:33 left in the period and kept puck possession in the zone for much of that time. UConn got five shot attempts off but Benson picked-up his final three saves down the stretch to seal away the win.

Up Next:

The Huskies return to Hockey East action hosting the Boston College Eagles on Friday night at the XL Center. Game time is at 7:05 pm and the game is available across Connecticut on CW20.

Game Summary

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Game statistics
26 Shots 34
1 / 4 Power Plays 0 / 5
6 / 12 PIM 5 / 10
8-13-3 Records 7-16-2
Sacred Heart UConn
Matt Tugnutt (6)
1st/3:44 SH
Ryan Steele (7)
2nd/8:46 PP GW
Karl El-Mir (12)
Sacred Heart UConn
Josh Benson
60:00, 33 Saves, 1 GA
(W, 6-6-2)
Adam Huska
57:27, 24 Saves, 2 GA
(L, 5-11-2)

Empty Net
2:33, 0 GA