Prospect Park: First Star Huska Key To UConn Win

In News, Prospect Park by Jess Rubenstein

Adam Huska (Stephen Slade)

The Saturday night Rangers prospect report is led by first star Adam Huska’s 37 saves as he leads his UConn Huskies to a 5-1 win over the Maine Black Bears in Hockey East action. It was not the best of evenings for the prospects with just two of them seeing their team earn wins on Saturday.

After a heartbreaking loss in overtime on Friday, Adam Huska and his UConn Huskies were right back at it for an early afternoon matchup with the Maine Black Bears. Huska was more than up to the task as he stopped 37 out of 38 shots to help lead UConn to a 5-1 win and their first win of the season.

Huska shut out the Black Bears over the first two periods stopping 11 shots in the first and then 13 more in the second. Only an early third goal got past Huska but he still stopped 14 shots after that to give his team their first win of the season. This was the kind of performance that we are expecting from Huska this season and if Huska can perform like this then UConn is going to be a very successful team in the NCAA’s as well as the Hockey East.

UConn will play a couple of non-conference games next week before returning to Hockey East action against Boston University.

Tyler Nanne (Minnesota Golden Gophers)

Tyler Nanne’s first NCAA point set up the game-winning goal as his third-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers shut out Union College 2-0 at the Ice Breaker Tournament for the Gophers first win of the season. In the second period with no score in the game, Nanne got the puck toward the Union goal where teammate Casey Mittelstadt pounced on it to score the only goal the Gophers would need at 3:43.

Nanne was again the third-pair defense which is to be expected but there was more to his game in this contest. Minnesota lost a lot of offense from their blueline off last year’s team so they are hoping that Nanne can give them offense from the blueline this season.

Next week Minnesota will open Big Ten play with a series against 10th-ranked Penn State.

Fifth-ranked UMass Lowell with goalie Tyler Wall dropped the second game of their weekend series against the New Hampshire Wildcats 3-1. A frustrating opening weekend for Wall and the River Hawks as Wall simply did not play well.

On the first goal, Wall’s reaction time was too slow as the puck came from behind the net right out in front and he was beaten. The second goal was a power-play goal from the point that Wall may have been screened on. The third goal was simply not controlling a rebound and it cost him. The “highlights” from ESPN3 are here:

Wall stopped 21 out of 24 shots as he falls to 0-2. The River Hawks will drop in the next rankings as they will return home to host Nebraska-Omaha of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Ty Ronning set up Vancouver’s first goal but it was not enough as his Giants fell to the Tri-City Americans 4-3. Ronning improves on the season to 4-2-6 in five games. The Giants fall to 2-3 on the season as they hit the road for a seven game road trip starting with a game in Seattle on Tuesday before heading east for games against the WHL’s East Division.

Sean Day and his teammates will get some slack here as they were playing their third game in three nights. It is part of the dumb scheduling that junior hockey is guilty of at times asking these young men to play a ton of games with little rest. That said Day’s Windsor Spitfires were whipped 9-2 on the road by the Owen Sound Attack.

This game was over by the end of the first period when Owen Sound scored four goals jumping all over the Spitfires. Day was scoreless on three shots.

In case you missed it both Adam Huska and Tyler Wall were named as part of the 2018 Mike Richter Award Watch List. The award is given annually to the best goalie at the Division One level in hockey. It would be awesome if one of the Ranger prospect goalies won the award named after one of the all-time great Rangers.