STORRS, Conn. - UConn junior Jachym Kondelik (Budejovic, Czech Republic) recorded his first career hat-trick to lead the Huskies to a 5-3 win over No. 15 Providence Friday at the Freitas Ice Forum. Kondelik scored all three of his goals on the power play and in the first period to fuel the Huskies in the regular season finale.
The Huskies end the regular season 10-10-2 and will be the four-seed in the upcoming Hockey East playoffs. Providence falls to 10-8-5 overall on the year.
UConn bolted out to a 4-0 lead after the first period thanks to Kondelik's natural hat-trick and freshman Hudson Schandor's (North Vancouver, British Columbia) sixth goal of the season. The Huskies made it 5-0 early in the second period as junior Jonny Evans (North Delta, British Columbia) scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season.
Providence scored three-straight in the opening 6:23 of the third period but the Huskies dug in defensively and held the Friars at bay the rest of the way.
Both Evans and Kondelik finished the night with four points. Kondelik added an assist on the Evans goal while his four points and three goals were both career highs. Evans had the primary assist on all three of the Kondelik goals.
Junior Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic) made 42 saves while PC's Jaxson Stauber stopped 40 shots. UConn finished 3-for-4 on the power play.
After going scoreless over the first 21 games of the season, Kondelik exploded for three power play goals in the first period on Friday to complete the natural hat-trick. His first of the night gave UConn a 1-0 lead at 10:16, stuffing home a rebound on an Evans shot.
The junior forward made it 2-0 UConn at 11:58 with a quick one-timer on the left post, coming off a feed from Evans behind the net. UConn kept the offensive pressure on and went up 3-0 at the 14:39 mark on Schandor's sixth of the season. On a 3-on-2 rush into the zone, Vladislav Firstov (Yaroslavl, Russia) carried up the right wing and cut to the back of the net, feeding a pass back to the slot to Schandor who buried it top-shelf to the far corner for a 3-0 lead.
On the Huskies' third power play chance of the period Kondelik finished off his hat-trick at the 17:05 mark. Set up again in front of the net, Kondelik was able to tip in a deflected Evans shot to put the Huskies up 4-0 after the first 20 minutes.
The Huskies wasted little time in adding to their lead as Evans got on the board to make it a four-point night just 24 seconds into the second period. Coming on an odd-man rush, Marc Gatcomb (Woburn, Mass.) fired on Stauber who made the initial save but a trailing Evans up the right wing was there to collect the rebound and bury it for his 14th of the season and a 5-0 lead.
The Friars climbed back into the game with three-straight goals over the first 6:23 of the third period. Thompson got the Friar's first goal on the night, his 10th, ripping one past Vomacka in the slot while on the power play.
Just 56 seconds later, Parker Ford made it 5-2, finishing at the front of the net, catching a loose puck and putting it home on an open net. John McDermott put the third-straight Friar goal on the board at 6:23, his first career goal. Michael Callahan threw the puck on the net from out deep and McDermott was able to redirect in front of Vomacka.