Sunday Gravy: UConn hockey on the fast track (C Malafronte) | The Boneyard

Sunday Gravy: UConn hockey on the fast track (C Malafronte)

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Aug 26, 2011
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From today: Also note info on SHU game @ Taft

>>The incredible crowd of 8,000-plus at the XL Center on Wednesday night is validation that UConn’s entry into Hockey East will be a rousing success. For three decades state fans have thrown their full support behind all things Huskies. There was no reason to think even a niche sport like college hockey would be any different.

If a sellout crowd wasn’t enough, UConn’s stunning 1-0 victory over No. 3 Boston College was another signal of the program’s presence on the fast track to national success. All the pieces are in place.

The Huskies have the perfect leader in coach Mike Cavanaugh, a longtime BC assistant who cut his teeth under Jerry York, arguably the greatest coach in the history of the college game. They have an administration with a track record of producing and marketing winners. And they have Hockey East, the vehicle to ensure security for cream-of-the-crop recruits, and NHL-caliber players who’ll no doubt be drawn to Storrs by a vibrant, fully supportive campus capable of cheering the roof off the XL Center.

UConn, in spite of this week’s monumental upset, hasn’t reached the lofty levels of conference mates Boston College and Boston University. Yet. Around these parts, we’ve seen struggling (Yale) and newbie (Quinnipiac) college programs make remarkably rapid turnarounds to reach the top of the mountain.

So the question isn’t whether UConn can become a national championship contender. The question is how quickly will it raise a banner. (my emphasis)<<

>>UConn’s next in-state game is also expected to sell out, though the crowd will be considerably smaller. The Huskies agreed to play Sacred Heart on Friday night at 7 at the Taft School in Watertown. Rink capacity: 950. The game will benefit the family of Jason Pagni, a longtime area hockey advocate and coach killed in a January car accident. Pagni, a close friend of Sacred Heart coach C.J. Marottolo, left a wife and two young children.

A silent auction includes autographed game sweaters of local NHL players Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis) and Cam Atkinson (Columbus). Tickets are general admission and cost $10. Eric Opin, one of the game’s organizers, said roughly 100 remain and are expected to sell fast. To purchase tickets, contact Opin at 203-878-5881 or email All proceeds will be donated to the Pagni family.<<
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