RPI Drops Non-League Game Against UConn

RPI Drops Non-League Game Against UConn

TROY, N.Y. – Junior Alexander Payusov scored twice in the third period to lead the University of Connecticut men's hockey team to a 3-1 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), in front of 4,282 at the Houston Field House on Saturday night. With the win, the Huskies improve to 2-2-0 on the season, while the Engineers drop to 0-3-0.

Payusov (Montreal, PQ/Madison Capitals) opened the scoring 37 seconds into the third period, when he snapped home a low shot from the left point that found its way past RPI sophomore goaltender Linden Marshall(Victoria, BC/Trail Smoke Eaters). Assists went to freshmen Corson Green (Potsdam, NY/Central Illinois Flying Aces) and Jachym Kondelik (Budejovice, Czech Republic).

RPI pulled even (1-1) at 4:32 of the third on junior captain Will Reilly's (Toronto, ON/Nanaimo Clippers) first goal of the season and 10th of his career. Receiving pass from the left wall by classmate Todd Burgess (Phoenix, AZ/Fairbanks Ice Dogs), Reilly deked past a defender before firing a shot that was stopped by UConn goaltender Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic). Reilly jumped on the rebound and lifted it into an open net.

The Huskies regained the lead on a goal by senior Max Kalter (Highland Park, IL/Sioux City Musketeers) at 9:26 of the third, taking a feed from below the goal line in the left circle and ripping a shot, just under the crossbar, for his first of the year. Helpers went to junior Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, ME/Connecticut Jr. Rangers) and sophomore Brian Rigali (Libertyville, IL/Sioux City Musketeers).

The Engineers pulled Marshall for an extra attacker with just under two minutes to and the Huskies capitalized, as Payusov potted the empty netter at 18:44 for a 3-1 advantage.

UConn outshot the Engineers, 10-4, in the scoreless opening period, which was aided by a pair of power plays for the visitors.

Rensselaer turned in a flurry of chances midway through the second, including three cracks at a rebound at the right side of the Huskies net. Junior Jacob Hayhurst (Mississauga, ON/Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) had his shot turned away by Vomacka, before linesmates Ottoville Leppanen (Espoo, Finland/Espoo Blues U20) and Burgess were denied at close range.

Junior defenseman Philip Nyberg (Linkoping, Sweden/Madison Capitals) rang a shot off the left post on the rush with 7:35 remaining in the second period. Just 30 seconds later, RPI senior captain Tommy Grant(Sparta, NJ/Bay State Breakers) found himself along in the low shot, but his tight angle shot was stopped by Vomocka. Grant then broke up a 2-on-1 rush the other way with a diving poke check.

Marshall (0-3-0) finished with 29 saves for the second straight game, including 11 in the second. Vomacka (1-0-0) had 23 stops in his collegiate debut. RPI was 0 for 2 on the power play, while UConn was 0 for 3.

The Engineers return to the ice next weekend, when they open ECAC Hockey play with a home-and-home series against No. 20 Union College. RPI hosts the Dutchmen on Friday night (7pm), before traveling to Schenectady on Saturday (7pm). UConn hosts Maine for a pair of Hockey East contests next week.