STORRS, Conn. — Freshman goaltender Scott Tomes was a brick wall, while junior Tim Olsen shined once again on offense as Connecticut won the 2003 UConn Hockey Classic with a 1-0 shutout of Air Force.
The shutout marks the first for the Huskies in over a year, the last a 3-0 defeat of Army on December 6, 2002. Tomes made 32 saves on the night to record the first shutout of his career and earn tournament MVP honors.
The Falcons saw the most chances on goal in the first period, recording 13 shots to UConn’s 10. Brandon Merkosky recorded three of Air Force’s shots and was a constant presence at the net, but Tomes let nothing past. Power plays were limited, as each team was whistled for just one penalty in the first period.
Olsen wasted no time in the second, taking a pass from freshman Cole Koidahl in front of the net just 1:34 in and sliding the puck past the right side of Air Force goaltender Mike Polidor. The goal was Olsen’s second of the tournament, not including the two he scored in Sunday’s shootout against Bentley to advance the Huskies to the championship.
The final period saw even play between the teams on both offense and defense, with neither team able to convert. Defensive play was solid at both ends, and Polidor kept his team in the game with 11 third-period saves and 33 saves overall.
The win gives UConn its third title at the Classic, the last being a 6-4 victory over Sacred Heart in 1999-2000. The win is also the Huskies’ first-ever over Air Force, a team they had previously lost to eight times.
2003 UConn Hockey Classic All-Tournament Team
Goaltender Scott Tomes, Fr., UConn
Forward Tim Olsen, Jr., UConn
Forward Matt Scherer, Fr., UConn
Forward Theo Zacour, Fr., Air Force
Defenseman Mark Murphy, Jr. UConn
Defenseman Brooks Turnquist, So., Air Force