Jan. 16, 2017
UConn fans have reason to be hopeful for remaining games at XL Center
There's hope for the 2016-2017 Hartford Hockey season. UConn's Hockey East season is well under way and the Huskies remain afloat in a realm of possibilities. The chance for UConn to continue to move up the Hockey East standings rests on them continuing to be competitive.
The story of the second half of UConn's season begins this Saturday when they play Yale. It has been announced that over five thousand tickets were sold as of last week, this Saturday could be the largest UConn home crowd of the season.
Its time to forget the stigma of a band wagon fan and consider jumping on this dog sled. Over the last two seasons UConn has moved up a spot in the final standings. In 2014-2015 they were 9th, last season they were 8th, right now they are tied for 6th with Boston University. There are some great reasons to be hopeful about the second half of UConn's third season in Hockey East.
1. The Huskies haven't lost since Thanksgiving week. Since then the Huskies have been 4-0-1 including victories over #6 UMass-Lowell and #18 St. Cloud.
2. Over the last couple of years during the holiday break UConn has made the trip out to Tempe Arizona to play in the Desert Hockey Classic. The tournament may not be the most prestiges but it is significant as it was UConn's first tournament win in Hockey East. One of Coach Cavanaugh's goals was for UConn to win tournaments. Now that they have one under their belt it provides some proof that this is a dangerous team.
3. Rob Nichols continues to shine and has already earned three defensive player of the week awards. If he has had that great of a first half he should be just as good if not better in the second half. Along with freshman Adam Huska in net UConn has as good goaltending as anyone.
4. Tage Thompson spent an incredible couple of weeks with the Juniors playing for Team USA. Thompson enjoyed a wild ride to say the least. After defeating opponent after opponent, Team USA beat both Russia and Canada in back to back shoot-outs to win the Gold Medal. Thompson is UConn's best offensive threat, they will need him down the stretch but it's safe to say that his experience with Team USA has only helped him be a better player.
5. UConn has eight games remaining with Merrimack, Providence, Northeastern and Maine. Those are also the last four teams at the bottom of the Hockey East standings. They will have chances to win games that they should.
If you already go to games hang on to your hat and hope for the best and if you haven't seen UConn at the XL Center now would be a good time. There is plenty of opportunities for UConn to rack up points in games they should win, and maybe they will surprise everyone with an upset or two along the way. UConn is the youngest member of Hockey East their history is short but this is their best shot to make some noise for Hartford Hockey in a division where most of fans' eyes are on Boston.