PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Billy Latta’s third-period goal proved to be the difference as Connecticut upset No. 9 Providence Tuesday night.
Matt Grogan turned in a career night in stopping 58 of Providence’s 60 shots.
Ross Mauermann scored both goals for the Friars.
Huskies’ coach Mike Cavanaugh was proud, yet humble, after coaching the Huskies to their first win over a top-10 team in program history.
“That is an excellent team in there,” Cavanaugh said. “Our goaltender played very well [and] I thought we did a great job in the defensive zone of eliminating second chances.”
Friars’ coach Nate Leaman knew that while his team’s execution was in place, they need to finish on their chances if they want to win in the future.
“We did a lot of things well tonight, [but] we just didn’t finish our chances,” said Leaman. “I thought we had good jump, I thought we executed well. We just didn’t finish our chances. We missed the net. In the first, we shot some wide, we missed the net on some of our best chances. That’s the only thing I can say right now. I am not disappointed with our effort, with our execution.”
Early penalty trouble left the Huskies vulnerable and the Friars took advantage.
With 11:43 remaining in the first period, the Friars drew first blood on a power-play goal by Mauermann. After Paul de Jersey hit the right post on a shot, he collected his own rebound and slid the puck to John Gilmour at the right point. Gilmour spotted Mauermann cruising through the slot and put a low, hard shot where Mauermann could redirect it. The deflection went through Grogan’s pads for Mauermann’s 17th goal of the season.
With 2:59 remaining in the period, Connecticut drew even. Patrick Kirtland put the puck on net from a bad angle and Jon Gillies was unable to secure the rebound. The puck sat in the slot and Ryan Tyson tucked the puck into the net on his backhand. Kyle Huson also assisted on Tyson’s fourth of the season.
The Friars carried the pace of play and possessed a clear territorial advantage, leading the Huskies in shots 20-12.
Providence continued its territory and shot advantage in the second, but still entered the locker room trailing 2-1, but carrying a 37-21 shot advantage.
Kirtland came off the Huskise’ bench to collect a pass at the center point and fired a low slap shot that eluded the left pad of Gillies. The play originated with a stuff attempt down low by Shawn Pauly following a Ryan Segalla shot. The goal marked Kirtland’s fourth goal of the season.
At 12:44 of the third, Latta, UConn’s captain, stole the puck in the neutral zone and skated in alone on Gillies. Mauermann skated hard to catch up and caused a huge collision with the goaltender, but not before the puck crossed the line for Latta’s 11th of the season.
A short review confirmed that the puck was in the goal before the net was knocked loose.
Mauermann drew the Friars back within a goal with 29 seconds remaining in the game when he scored his second goal of the game on his 12th shot. Tom Parisi took the initial shot from the point and Nick Saracino collected the rebound before passing across to Mauermann for his 18th goal of the season.
In the waning seconds following Mauermann’s goal, a Brandon Tanev shot hit the Friars’ fourth post of the game, but Grogan was able to keep the puck out of the net.
The Friars finished the game with a 60-26 shots on goal advantage and officially attempted a season-high 92 shots overall.
Jacob Poe led all players with seven of the Huskies 19 blocked shots.
Following his career night, Grogan was quick to pass credit on to his teammates.
“There were a lot of huge blocks,” said Grogan. “I know Poe had a couple high percentage blocks. He was on the puck right after and they did not get possession back.”