HARTFORD, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey team dropped their third-straight game, falling to Merrimack College on Tuesday night at the XL Center, 6-2, in a Hockey East match-up. Six different Warriors scored for Merrimack in the win.
UConn, who falls to 7-9-4 overall and 4-6-2 in Hockey East, got goals from senior Justin Howell (Saint Paul, Minn.) and sophomore Marc Gatcomb (Woburn, Mass.) in the loss. Merrimack wins the season series with the Huskies, 2-1, and is now 5-14-2 overall and 3-6-2 in Hockey East.
Merrimack got a first period goal from Hugo Esselin to take a 1-0 lead into the first break. Howell and Gatcomb found the back of the net in the second for UConn but goals by Logan Drevitch, Mac Welsher and Tyler Irvine gave the Warriors a 4-2 lead into the third.
MC finished it off in the final period, tacking on two more from Ben Brar and Patrick Holway. Goaltender Jere Huhtamaa made 26 saves to earn the win. Merrimack held a 31-28 edge on shots.
UConn sophomore Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic) stopped 25 shots in taking the loss.
The Warriors were all over the Huskies in the first period and dominated the shot chart to a 15-5 edge on shots. Merrimack made it pay off at the 6:01 mark, getting the game's first goal. Coming off a UConn turnover deep in their zone, Regan Kimens carried the puck to the left corner and threw the puck on net from an off angle. Esselin was camped at the left post and got a redirect past Vomacka for a 1-0 lead.
Merrimack made it 2-0 quickly in the second period, scoring just 46 seconds into play. Another UConn turnover got the Warriors loose as Drevitch sent the puck up the right wing to Chase Gresock. Drevitch got it back from Gresock in the slot and buried it for his fifth on the season.
The Huskies got on the board at the 2:16 mark as Howell came up with his second on the season. Sophomore Jordan Timmons (South Fayette, Pa.) took the puck up ice and drove to the left corner, feeding it back to Howell at the top of the circle. The senior snapped a quick shot to beat Huhtamaa to the near post cutting the deficit to 2-1.
The Warriors answered with two-straight starting at 9:19 on Welsher's third of the season. Gresock fed the rookie from the right corner to the slot area and he beat Vomacka stick side to make it 3-1. MC went up 4-1 at 15:59 thanks to a 2-on-1 chance. Sami Tavernier fed a streaking Irvine up the right wing, who kept it and tucked it past a sprawling Vomacka for his eighth of the year.
UConn got one back late in the period as Gatcomb picked-up his fifth goal on the year. Newpower blasted one on net from the high point with Jonny Evans (North Delta, British Columbia) getting the rebound on net. Huhtamaa made both stops but Gatcomb found a rebound at the right post to make it 4-2 at 19:34.
Merrimack tacked on two more in the third period to produce the 6-2 final. At the 2:09 mark, Barr scored his second on the season to make 5-2. Barr fired a shot that was blocked but he got it back and beat Vomacka with a wrist shot. The final goal of the night came at 10:19 as Holway scored his first of the season, walking in to the right circle and snapping a shot past the goaltender for a 6-2 edge.
UConn is on the road on Saturday night, heading to No. 12 nationally ranked Providence for a Hockey East match-up.