HARTFORD, Conn. - The UConn Huskies scored three unanswered goals in the third period to come away with a 6-4 win over visiting Miami University in a non-conference match-up at the XL Center Friday afternoon. UConn freshmen Vladislav Firstov (Yaroslavl, Russia) scored two goals and added an assist to pace the Huskies.
UConn takes the opening game of the two-game set and improves to 4-6-3 overall while grabbing their first win at home in the XL Center this season. The RedHawks drop to 4-7-3 with the loss.
Firstov recorded his first career multi-goal game and had a season-best three points. Junior Brian Rigali (Libertyville, Ill.) posted a career-high three points, all assists, for his third career multi-goal game. Senior Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, Maine) and sophomores Ruslan Iskhakov (Moscow, Russia) and Jachym Kondelik (Budejovice, Czech Repbulic) each had a goal and an assist in the win.
UConn senior Justin Howell (Saint Paul, Minn.) scored his first goal on the season. Junior Zac Robbins (Glenview, Ill.) had a career-high two assists, his first career multi-point game.
The UConn power play had a pair of goals while the Huskies rang up a season-high 48 shots. Sophomore goaltender Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic) made 26 saves to earn the win.
For Miami, Gordie Green and Casey Gilling each had a goal and an assist for the RedHawks. Goaltender Ryan Larkin made 42 saves in taking the loss.
The Huskies got a great early opportunity as Miami went to the box twice, a second a pair to give UConn a 5-on-3 chance just 1:50 in. UConn made it 1-0 at 2:51 as Iskhakov buried a one-timer chance from the right circle off a feed from Firstov.
The RedHawks answered with three-straight the rest of the way in the first. Miami got a 5-on-3 chance of their own at 10:36 and they got a power play goal at the 10:43 mark. Karch Bachman got a redirect on a shot form the high point by Rourke Russell to tie it at 1-1.
Miami went up 2-1 at 16:08 as Green scored his seventh of the season, getting a second chance rebound in front and stuffing it home. Just 1:18 later the RedHawks went up 3-1 as Gilling buried a wrist shot past Vomacka, top-shelf, stick side for his third of the year.
UConn came storming out of the locker room and cut it to a one-goal lead for Miami just 19 seconds into the game. On rush into the zone, Rigali got to the front of the net but was stopped by Larking with a sprawling save. Robbins got a stick on the puck but Freeman stayed with the play, found the loose puck and buried it on an open net as Larkin couldn't recover, pulling UConn within 3-2.
With 15:09 left, the Huskies tied it up at 3-3 as Firstov buried his first on the night. Rigali sent Firstov into the zone and up the right wing. The frosh made a nice move to beat the defense to the slot and buried a shot in the top-right corner, bar-down, for his third on the season.
The RedHawks took the lead back with under two minutes to play in the second period. Miami got a 3-on-2 break-out chance as Scott Corbett fed Monte Graham on the right wing and he left it for a trailing Daschke in the slot who snapped a shot past Vomacka for a 4-3 lead at 18:18.
UConn used another early goal to tie the game up a second time. Just 1:21 into the final period, UConn's Gatcomb collected a rebound and shot around the back of the net, finding some room out front and shoveling a backhand shot through traffic for his fourth on the year, pulling the Huskies even at 4-4.
The Huskies took their first lead since early in the first as Firstov buried his second of the night. He took a feed from Iskhakov and cut to the slot area, deked the D and buried it for a 5-4 lead on his fourth of the season at 13:46.
UConn quickly tacked on another, just 27 seconds later, as Howell came up with his first goal on the season. On a break-out up ice, Rigali took a feed from Robbins and put a pass through his legs to an oncoming Howell who buried it on the right post.
UConn and Miami will close out their weekend series at the XL Center on Saturday afternoon. Opening face-off is scheduled for 4:05 pm and the game will be broadcast around the state on CW20.