The UConn men’s hockey team went 0-1-1 this weekend in a two-game series with Atlantic Hockey rival Canisius College on the road in Buffalo, N.Y., losing to the Golden Griffins 3-1 on Friday afternoon and tying 2-2 on Saturday afternoon.

After tying Friday night’s game at 1-1 three-and-a-half minutes into the second period on a rebound goal from sophomore forward Shawn Pauly, the Huskies (4-5-2, 3-2-1 AHA) were unable to take a lead, as the Golden Griffins (4-7-1, 3-3-1 AHA) netted another score just ten minutes later to move the score to 2-1 in favor of Canisius.

Despite stepping onto the ice for the third period only down by one goal, UConn’s deficit quickly grew to two scores as the Golden Griffins took a 3-1 lead just a minute-and-a-half after the period’s initial faceoff.

Even with a late-period powerplay – which with senior goaltender Matt Grogan gave the Huskies a 6-on-4 opportunity – UConn failed to chip away at Canisius’ two-goal lead as time expired.

Excellent scoring opportunities for senior captain Brant Harris and senior forward Billy Latta on the two-man advantage yielded a save and a wide shot, respectively, and the Huskies eventually fell to the Golden Griffins 3-1 for their second conference loss of the season.

Grogan registered 19 saves on 22 shots for the Huskies, who also finished the night 0-for-3 on the powerplay and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Other point-getters for UConn were freshman defenseman Joona Kunnas and junior defenseman Jacob Poe, who each assisted Pauly’s goal.

The Huskies returned to the ice on Saturday night for the second contest of the two-game series, emerging with a 2-2 tie, their second of the season.

After a scoreless first period, Canisius got on the board first, capitalizing on a powerplay opportunity six minutes into the second stanza on a shot past freshman goaltender Robbie Nichols.

After being silenced once again in the second period, UConn would answer with a goal of its own six minutes into the third, as junior forward Ryan Tyson netted his first of the season off a deflected shot from Kunnas, who was awarded an assist, to tie the game at 1-1.

Canisius broke up the short-lived tie just two minutes later, scoring its second powerplay goal of the night to move the score to 2-1.

The Huskies, however, were able to pull of a late powerplay goal with just a minute-and-a-half remaining in regulation after a tripping penalty was called on Golden Griffins forward Ralph Cuddemi.

UConn pulled Nichols to get an extra skater on the ice for a 6-on-4 opportunity. Latta won a draw in the Canisius defensive zone and fed the puck back to Poe, who ripped a shot on goal that was blocked for a save. Harris, however, was waiting in front of the net, and the captain corralled the rebound and slid the puck past the Golden Griffins goaltender to tie the game 2-2, a score that would send the game into overtime.

UConn, however, was held without a shot in the extra period, which allowed Canisius to hang on for the tie.

Nichols finished the night with 18 saves on 20 shots in his second career start and his first since Nov. 2, and the team finished 1-for-7 on the powerplay and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.

UConn returns home on Friday, Dec. 6 for another Atlantic Hockey tilt against Niagara at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum at 7:05 p.m.

This story appeared in the Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 edition of The Daily Campus, UConn's student newspaper.

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