Connecticut Huskies men's ice hockey
|Connecticut Huskies men's ice hockey|
|University||University of Connecticut|
|Head coach||Mike Cavanaugh 
5th season, 51–70–23 (.434)
|Captain(s)||Derek Pratt (C), David Drake (A), Spencer Naas (A)|
Surface: 200' x 85'
|Colors||National Flag Blue and White
|Conference Tournament championships|
The Connecticut Huskies men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents the University of Connecticut. The Huskies are a member of Hockey East. They play at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
Prior to 1998, the Huskies played all home games outdoors at a partially enclosed rink on-campus near Memorial Stadium. The UConn Hockey Rink had a roof but was open on the sides. However, in preparation for the upgrade to Division I, the University built the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. Construction began in 1996, and the first indoor home game for UConn was on November 7, 1998.
The move to NCAA Division I status allowed the team to join other Husky athletic programs. In 1998 they joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, after previously playing for 38 years in the Division III ECAC East. At the time, head coach Bruce Marshall was in his tenth season at the position. In its 2nd season in the 2000 MAAC Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, Uconn beat Iona 6-1 to win its 1st league championship. However, due to a 2-year probationary period placed on the MAAC for an automatic bid to the NCAA Ice Hockey championship by the league champion, UConn was unable to participate in the NCAA tournament that year. It has been the only championship Uconn would earn since moving to Division I (as of May, 2016). But when the athletic department was forced to remove all athletic scholarships from the sport in order to comply with Title IX, and the Huskies consistently finished in the bottom few spots of the national computer rankings before the most recent season. In 2003, the MAAC formed a new league called Atlantic Hockey.
In June 2010, the University announced that the team would face Sacred Heart at Rentschler Field in East Hartford on February 13, 2011, as part of a doubleheader also featuring a game between the women's team and the Providence Friars. The Huskies won this game 3-1, in front of 1,711 fans. The Huskies also played their first ever game at the XL Center in downtown Hartford that year, though this was not originally scheduled. Due to heavy snow accumulation on the Freitas roof, the team's February 5 game against Army was moved to the off-camps arena, also home to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League. In spite of free admission, only 891 fans turned up on short notice to watch the Huskies lose 5-3. As a whole, the 2010-11 season was also a major improvement for the Huskies, who advance to the Atlantic Hockey Tournament semifinals at Blue Cross Arena before being eliminated. They finished with a final record of 16-18-4. One of the major factors in the turnaround was the young recruits the Huskies had signed. Freshman Cole Schneider led the team with 32 points, while sophomore Sean Ambrosie finished second with 29. Meanwhile, sophomore Garrett Bartus set a school record with 1,085 saves. The 2011-12 AHA preseason rankings reflected the newly gained reputation, with the Huskies ranked fifth out of twelve teams. The Huskies posted a winning record once again in the 2012-13 season.
On June 21, 2012 Connecticut announced the program will join Hockey East as the conference's 12th member beginning in the 2014-15 season. Prior to the move into Hockey East, on January 7, 2013, head coach Bruce Marshall resigned after 25 years  and was replaced in interim by Asst. Dave Berard. The season ended with a record of 17-13-4. The team finished 4th in the AHA, drawing a crowd of 1438 for their final home game of the season against Sacred Heart. As part of the move from Atlantic Hockey to Hockey East, the university added 18 scholarships for the men's ice hockey team and additional scholarships to existing women's sports programs to meet Title IX gender equity requirements. The university is also investigating options to significantly renovate the Freitas Ice Forum, which has a seating capacity around 2,000 fans, and mostly consists of metal bleachers; or build a new, larger ice arena on-campus. As a new member of Hockey East the team will play home games at the 15,635-seat former NHL arena, the XL Center in downtown Hartford, with other select (home) games at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. A study by the university projected a cost around $20,000 a game to play at the XL Center.
New Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh, who spent 18 seasons as an assistant at Boston College, was hired to guide Uconn into their new era of scholarship hockey in the Hockey East. He coached Uconn's final season (2013–14) in Atlantic Hockey to a record of 18-14-4, with wins over future Hockey East opponents Providence and Umass, while playing to a 2-2 draw with eventual 2014 NCAA Champ Union . Uconn made a successful transition to Hockey East in 2014-15 as they finished in the top 10 nationally in home attendance (5,396) while also leading their new conference . They were also competitive on the ice as their transition year resulted in 4 wins over top 20 teams while gaining ties with national championship game finalists Providence and Boston University. Starting in the 2015-16 season all home games were played at the XL Center, which drew a much better attendance per game (5,879) than those at the Webster Bank Arena (2,900) in which Uconn appeared during the 2014-15 season.
As of July 18, 2017.
|#||S/P/C||Player||Class||Pos||Height||Weight||DoB||Hometown||Previous team||NHL rights|
|1||Creel, TannerTanner Creel||Senior||G||5' 10" (1.78 m)||165 lb (75 kg)||1994-04-10||Arlington Heights, Illinois||Odessa (NAHL)||—|
|2||Pratt, DerekDerek Pratt (C)||Senior||D||6' 2" (1.88 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1994-03-12||Mount Hermon, Massachusetts||Waterloo (USHL)||—|
|3||Karashik, AdamAdam Karashik||Freshman||D||6' 0" (1.83 m)||197 lb (89 kg)||1998-01-15||Ridgefield, Connecticut||Chicago (USHL)||—|
|4||Nelson, BryanBryan Nelson||Sophomore||D||6' 3" (1.91 m)||225 lb (102 kg)||1996-02-19||Upton, Massachusetts||Connecticut (USPHL)||—|
|5||Drake, DavidDavid Drake (A)||Senior||D||6' 6" (1.98 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||1995-01-07||Naperville, Illinois||Des Moines (USHL)||PHI, 192nd overall 2013|
|6||Austin, JohnnyJohnny Austin||Senior||D||5' 11" (1.8 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||1995-07-22||St. Louis Park, Minnesota||Benilde-St. Margaret's (USHS–MN)||—|
|8||Naas, SpencerSpencer Naas (A)||Senior||F||5' 11" (1.8 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||1994-07-14||Minnetonka, Minnesota||Benilde-St. Margaret's (USHS–MN)||—|
|9||Payusov, AlexanderAlexander Payusov||Sophomore||F||5' 11" (1.8 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||1997-07-26||Montreal, Quebec||Madison (USHL)||—|
|10||Gendron, MilesMiles Gendron||Junior||D||6' 3" (1.91 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1996-06-28||Shrewsbury, Massachusetts||Penticton (BCHL)||OTT, 70th overall 2014|
|11||Ronan, CoreyCorey Ronan||Senior||F||5' 8" (1.73 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1995-10-06||Franklin, Massachusetts||St. Sebastian's (USHS–MA)||—|
|12||Wisocky, EvanEvan Wisocky||Freshman||F||5' 11" (1.8 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||1998-03-20||Hoboken, New Jersey||Youngstown (USHL)||—|
|13||Masonius, JosephJoseph Masonius||Junior||D||6' 2" (1.88 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||1997-02-17||Spring Lake, New Jersey||USNTDP (USHL)||PIT, 181st overall 2016|
|14||Robbins, ZacZac Robbins||Freshman||F||5' 10" (1.78 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||1996-10-03||Glenview, Illinois||Cedar Rapids (USHL)||—|
|16||El-Mir, KarlKarl El-Mir||Junior||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||1996-03-14||Montreal, Quebec||Grande Prairie (AJHL)||—|
|17||Schwartz, JesseJesse Schwartz||Senior||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||1994-04-10||Toronto, Ontario||Victoria (BCHL)||—|
|18||Kalter, MaxMax Kalter||Junior||F||5' 8" (1.73 m)||160 lb (73 kg)||1996-03-01||Highland Park, Illinois||Sioux City (USHL)||—|
|19||Rigali, BrianBrian Rigali||Freshman||F||5' 8" (1.73 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||1997-03-08||Libertyville, Illinois||Sioux City (USHL)||—|
|20||Newpower, WyattWyatt Newpower||Sophomore||D||6' 4" (1.93 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||1997-12-09||Hugo, Minnesota||White Bear Lake (USHS–MN)||—|
|21||Wight, JeffJeff Wight||Senior||F||6' 3" (1.91 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||1995-12-04||Coquitlam, British Columbia||Merritt (BCHL)||—|
|22||Howell, JustinJustin Howell||Sophomore||F||5' 10" (1.78 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||1997-04-26||Saint Paul, Minnesota||Des Moines (USHL)||—|
|23||Ojantakanen, KasperiKasperi Ojantakanen||Senior||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||170 lb (77 kg)||1995-01-12||Helsinki, Finland||Jokerit U20 (Nuorten SM-liiga)||—|
|24||Freeman, BenjaminBenjamin Freeman||Sophomore||F||6' 5" (1.96 m)||205 lb (93 kg)||1996-01-10||Falmouth, Maine||Connecticut (USPHL)||—|
|26||Nyberg, PhilipPhilip Nyberg||Sophomore||D||6' 4" (1.93 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||1997-04-27||Linköping, Sweden||Madison (USHL)||BUF, 129th overall 2016|
|27||Letunov, MaximMaxim Letunov||Junior||F||6' 3" (1.91 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||1996-02-20||Moscow, Russia||Youngstown (USHL)||SJS, 52nd overall 2014|
|30||Húska, AdamAdam Húska||Sophomore||G||6' 4" (1.93 m)||205 lb (93 kg)||1997-05-12||Zvolen, Slovakia||Green Bay (USHL)||NYR, 184th overall 2015|
|35||Stone, BradleyBradley Stone||Freshman||G||6' 2" (1.88 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||1996-07-14||London, England||Philadelphia (USPHL)||—|
Various alumni have gone on to play in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League, ECHL, and Central Hockey League. Former Husky Todd Krygier played ten seasons in the National Hockey League.
- Todd Krygier (1988): Played for the Hartford Whalers (1989–91), Washington Capitals (1991–94 & 1995-98) & Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1994–96)
- Mike Hoffman (2003): Signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs
- Cole Schneider (2013): Signed by the Ottawa Senators, traded to the Buffalo Sabers (2015–16)
- Tage Thompson (2017): Signed after his sophomore year at Uconn by the St. Louis Blues. He was their first round pick, 26th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft
All-time coaching records
As of completion of 2014-15 season
|Totals||4 coaches||54 seasons||670–758–99||.471|
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- "Bentley Falcons: Atlantic Hockey Preseason Poll Released".
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- "2017-18 Roster". University of Connecticut. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
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