STORRS, Conn. - UConn junior Jonny Evans scored four-straight goals as the Huskies posted a 6-2 win and earn a Hockey East sweep over Merrimack Saturday afternoon from the Freitas Ice Forum. The win marked the 100th career victory for UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh.
The Huskies earn all six Hockey East points on the weekend and improve to 7-6-2 on the season. Merrimack falls to 2-9-1 with the loss.
With UConn leading 2-1 in the second period, Evans ripped off four-straight, including three in the third period to become the first Husky in the Division I era (1998-present) to score four or more goals. His four goals were the most by a UConn player since Brian Sutherland who scored five in a 19-2 win over Quinnipiac in the 1991-92 season.
Evans scored on the power play, shorthanded and twice at even strength to finish out his career-best day. It was the third career hat-trick for Evans who had two last season.
After a 1-1 first period, freshman Ryan Tverberg (Richmond Hill, Ontario) scored the game-winner at 3:21 prior to the Evans onslaught of goals. Junior Kale Howarth (Red Deer, Alberta) had the Huskies other power play goal and added an assist.
Freshman Hudson Schandor (North Vancouver, British Columbia) had a season-high three assists while classmate John Spetz (Oak Ridge, N.J.) picked-up a pair of helpers. Junior Jachym Kondelik (Budejovice, Czech Republic) added to his team-leading assist totals with a pair.
Junior goaltender Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic) made 26 saves to earn the win.
Merrimack got power play goals from Declan Carlile and Zach Uens in the loss.
UConn and Merrimack traded power play goals in the first period. UConn got two power play chances int eh game's first five minutes and took a 1-0 lead at 4:51 on Howarth's third of the season. Freshman Artem Shlaine (Moscow, Russia) sent the puck in low to classmate Schandor who quickly centered to Howarth on the doorstep who punched it in.
The Warriors evened things up at 15:10 as Carlile scored his first on the season. Coming in to the zone, Chase Gresock left the puck for a trailing Carlile who skated into the slot and beat Vomacka with a wrister to the left post to tie the game at 1-1.
The Huskies jumped back in front just 3:21 into the second period as Tverberg got his second of the season. Howarth won a puck battle behind the net and got the puck out front where Schandor got a stick on it before Tverberg cleaned up the loose puck into the back of the net at the left post for a 2-1 lead.
Sophomore Vladislav Firstov (Yaroslavl, Russia) helped set-up the first of Evans' four goals, stealing the puck behind the Merrimack net, feeding Kondelik who found Evans in front for a tic-tac-toe goal at 12:27 to give UConn a 3-1 lead into the third.
Evans got goal number two at 5:03 in the period, putting in a rebound off an Adam Karashik (Ridgefield, Conn.) shot on a delayed penalty to make it 4-1. On the ensuing power play, Evans found some room in front and was able to finish off a rebound of a Spetz shot to make 5-1 at 6:57.
The junior capped off his four-goal day with a shorty at the 14:41 mark. Schandor made a beauty of a pass over a MC defenseman to spring Evans for a break-away chance and he buried it for the 6-1 lead.
Merrimack closed the scoring at 15:47 with Uens scoring the Warriors' second power play goal of the game.