BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey team came-up a goal short in the opening game of the Connecticut Ice tournament on Saturday, falling 3-2 to the No. 17 nationally ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
The Huskies fall to 9-11-4 overall while Quinnipiac moves on to the championships game and are now 14-8-1 overall.
UConn got first period goals from sophomores Ruslan Iskahkov (Moscow, Russia) and Carter Turnbull (Nanaimo, Bristish Columbia). The Huskies and Bobcats went to the first break tied up at 2-2 but QU would get the game-winner in the second period.
QU senior captain Nick Jermain punched in the game-winner at 7:57 of the second period and the Bobcat defense locked in the rest of the way, holding the Huskies to five shots in the second and seven in the third. Quinnipiac got first period goals from Karlis Cukste and Wyatt Bongiovanni.
UConn's Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic) made 22 saves in the loss. The Huskies were 0-for-3 on the power play on Saturday.
The Huskies struck first, opening up 1-0 lead 4:59 into the game. With possession in the QU zone, the puck found senior defenseman Wyatt Newpower (Hugo, Minn.) at the blue line and he threw one on net that banged off the post. Iskhakov was sitting at the left post, ready to bury the rebound for his seventh on the season.
QU answered just 18 seconds later, right off a face-off in the Huskies' zone. William Fallstrom won the face-off back to Cukste who buried it from the just above the circle, through traffic to knot it at 1-1. The Bobcats jumped in front at the 10:52 mark on an odd man rush chance. Odeen Tufto left the puck for a trailing Bongiovanni who wristed home a shot past Vomacka glove side for a 2-1 lead.
The Huskies tied it back up with a great effort goal from Turnbull at 17:45. The Bobcats looked to clear the zone but an errant pass behind their net wound up on the stick of Turnbull who burst to the net to bury it for his eighth on the year, pulling UConn to 2-2 into the first break.
Quinnipiac pulled back in front with the one goal of the second period, coming at the 7:57 mark. Out of a scrum in front of the net, Jermain go the puck near the left post and stuffed a shot off Vomacka and in for a 3-2 lead.
The Bobcats held the Huskies to seven shots and off the scoreboard. UConn got Vomacka off with just over a minute left looking for a tying goal but couldn't crack Keith Petruzzelli.
The Huskies will face either Sacred Heart or Yale in Sunday's consolation game at 3:30 pm.