HARTFORD, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey team put seven goals on the board for the second-straight game to beat New Hampshire 7-4 and earn the Huskies a Hockey East sweep over the Wildcats in front of 8,211 fans at the XL Center Saturday afternoon.
UConn senior Alexander Payusov (Montreal, Quebec) and sophomore Jachym Kondelik (Budejovice, Czech Republic) each had a pair of goals while senior Wyatt Newpower (Hugo, Minn.) matched his career-high with three assists to pace the Huskies offense.
The Huskies improved to 11-12-4 overall and over the .500 mark in Hockey East play at 8-7-2. The Wildcats drop to 13-11-2 overall and 7-8-1 in the league.
UConn trailed 2-1 in the first period but tied it just before heading to the locker room for the first intermission on freshman Vladislav Firstov's (Yaroslavl, Russia) team-leading 11th goal. From there it was all Huskies as they dominated the second period with three goals and built a 6-2 lead in the third.
Firstov finished with a goal and an assist as did sophomore Ruslan Iskhakov (Moscow, Russia). Junior Zac Robbins (Glenview, Ill.) had the other UConn goal. In all, 12 different Huskies registered a point in Saturday's win as UConn finished the weekend sweep over UNH scoring 14 total goals.
UNH held a 42-37 edge on shots and scored on one of their two power play chances. Patrick Grasso finished with a pair of goals. UConn's Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic) made 38 saves to earn his 11th win on the year.
The Huskies jumped out in front for the second-straight night, scoring just 4:12 into the game. Evans broke into the zone on the right win and threw the puck on net where Iskhakov was able to get a redirect in front of Taylor for his ninth on the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats got a power play chance and took advantage, scoring just 36 seconds later. Grasso got his first of the night getting a feed down low from Charlie Kelleher and curling to the middle, beating Vomacka to the far-right post to tie it at 1-1.
UNH took a 2-1 lead at 14:01 as Grasso scored his second, burying a rebound in the slot. The puck came out of the corner and Max Gildon blasted one on net that got stopped but Grasso found the rebound and put his team up a goal.
UConn answered late in the period as Firstov scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season. Newpower snapped a shot on goal from the high point and Firstov was able to get a tip in traffic to beat Taylor to tie the game up, 2-2, into the first break.
The Huskies dominated the second period as Payusov put two on the board, sandwiched around a Robbins goal to take a commanding 5-2 lead. Payusov got his first at 4:32, blasting home a rebound in the right circle of a Yan Kuznetsov (Murmansk, Russia) shot.
The Huskies took advantage of a UNH miscue for their fourth goal, coming at 15:06. Taylor came out of net to play the puck behind the net, but missed it. Senior Justin Howell (Saint Paul, Minn.) got it in the right corner and quickly fired on net where Robbins got a tip past an out of position Taylor.
Paysuov struck for his second with just 15 seconds left in the period. Coming off a face-off in the UNH zone, freshman Harrison Rees (Oakville, Ontario) fired the puck deep where Payusov picked it off the boards and threw toward the net. The puck went off a UNH defenseman and under Taylor for a 5-2 UConn lead into the break.
UConn pushed their lead to 6-2 as Kondelik picked-up his first of two goals on the night, scoring at the 7:06 mark. The sophomore fired on net and then collected his own rebound, putting it home for a four-goal lead.
UNH cut into the lead at 10:04 as Will MacKinnon buried a slap shot from the high right circle, coming off a face-off in the UConn zone. Kondelik followed with his second, burying a one-timer chance off a feed from Kale Howarth (Red Deer, Alberta) at 16:37 to extend the lead to 7-3.
UNH closed out the scoring on the night as Joe Sacco scored his first on the season at the 18:06 mark to produce the 7-4 final.
UConn will have an off-week before heading up to Maine for a weekend series on February 14 and 15.