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UConn Athletics | December 31, 2016

UConn takes down No. 18 St. Cloud St.

  UConn moved on to the title game of the Desert Hockey Classic after defeating the No. 18 team in the nation.

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The UConn Huskies advanced to the title game of the Desert Hockey Classic thanks to a 4-3 win over No. 18 St. Cloud State Friday night at the Prescott Valley Event Center.  Sophomore Spencer Naas (Minnetonka, Minn.) scored a pair of goals while senior Rob Nichols (Dallas, Texas) stopped 33 shots in the win.

UConn remained unbeaten in the month of December, a 3-0-1 stretch, and improved to 7-6-1 overall with their fourth win this season over a nationally ranked opponent.  St. Cloud State dropped to 8-8-1 overall.  It was the first ever meeting between the two schools.

Naas gave UConn a 1-0 lead after the first period and sophomore Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury, Mass.) made it 2-0 just 37 seconds into the second.  SCSU tied it with two-straight before Naas struck for his second of the night with 1:20 left in the second.

RELATED: USCHO.com Men's Ice Hockey Rankings

UConn, now 7-1-1 this season with a lead heading into the third period, pushed their lead to 4-2 thanks to sophomore Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) who scored at 14:45.  SCSU scored on a late power play with the goaltender pulled, making it 4-3 with 52 seconds left.  Nichols sealed the win with 2.7 seconds left, when he snatched a one-timer off the stick of Mikey Eyssimont at point blank range.

Nichols evened his record at 3-3-3 on the season with the win.  SCSU goaltender Jeff Smith made 26 saves in taking the loss.  SCSU held a 36-30 edge on shots and finished 1-for-4 on the power play.  UConn was 0-for-2.

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