PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The UConn men’s hockey team got two goals from grad student Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.) and a career-high 48 saves from senior goaltender Rob Nichols (Dallas, Texas) but came up a goal short in a 4-3 loss at No. 11 Providence College Friday night. The Friars got a hat-trick from sophomore Erik Foley to sweep the Hockey East season series and extend the nation’s longest winning streak to nine-straight.
The Huskies dropped to 10-12-8 overall and 6-8-4 in Hockey East with the loss. The Friars raised their record to 18-8-4 overall and 10-6-2 with the win.
Providence outshot the Huskies 52-18 on the night and were 2-of-6 on the power play. UConn’s Nichols made 21 of his 48 saves in the second period and also stopped a third period penalty shot.
Morgan’s first goal of the night gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead and junior Spencer Naas (Minnetonka, Minn.) made it 2-1 in the opening minute of the second period. Morgan’s second goal on the night came at 7:42 in the third period to tie the game up at 3-3. Foley provided the Friars with the game-winner at 13:04, scoring on the power play to complete his hat trick.
Friar goaltender Hayden Hawkey made 15 saves to earn the win in net.
Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh – “I was proud of the guys, I thought we battled. We certainly weren’t perfect but we hung in there and battled. I thought Robby (Nichols) played pretty well and we had a chance to win a hockey game. There was eight minutes left and its 3-3 and we had a chance to win a game. Had some failed clears on the penalty kill and they capitalized. We just couldn’t get the tying goal.”
The Friars have swept the season series with the Huskies in each of the last two seasons and have now won five-straight against UConn, extending their all-time series lead to 6-1-2.
Nichols’ 48 saves eclipsed his previous career mark of 46 stops, set earlier this season in a 3-3 tie at Ohio State. Nichols also picked-up his second career assist in the loss, getting the secondary on Naas’ second period tally. His first career assist came on an empty net Jesse Schwartz goal late in a 4-1 win over Quinnipiac in 2014-15.
Morgan’s two-goal night ties his career high, set when he played for Maine against Boston University on Nov. 15, 2013. Morgan ended a streak of eight-straight games without a goal.
Naas set a new career-high with his 14th goal on the season, eclipsing his career-best mark set during his freshman season.
Sophomore Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) had a pair of assists in the loss, raising his season point total to a team-high 29 (17g/12a). It was Thompson 17th career multi-point game and his ninth this season.