For any sports fan, there are few things more exciting than witnessing an upset or a historic win by their favorite team. Unforeseen victories and memorable moments are what make sports so thrilling and captivating, and the world of hockey is no exception. In the state of Connecticut, the University of Connecticut (UConn) has a long and storied history in hockey, filled with unforgettable upsets and triumphant wins. From their early days in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) to their current spot in the Hockey East conference, UConn has produced some of the most memorable moments in college hockey. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and highlight some of the most remarkable upsets and wins in UConn’s history, reminding us why we love the game of hockey.
The Upset of the Century
On January 29, 1999, UConn faced the number one team in the nation, the University of Michigan, in a non-conference game. Michigan, led by future NHL stars Mike Comrie and Mike Cammalleri, was heavily favored to dominate the game. But UConn had different plans. The Huskies stunned the hockey world with a 4-3 victory, ending Michigan’s 12-game winning streak and becoming the first unranked team ever to defeat a number one team on the road. The game remains one of the biggest upsets in UConn’s history, cementing their place in the record books and making a name for themselves as a formidable opponent in the world of college hockey.
First Frozen Four Appearance
In the 1998-1999 season, UConn made their first-ever appearance in the Frozen Four, the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. Despite their underdog status, the Huskies shocked the hockey world once again by defeating some of the top teams in the nation, including Boston College and Michigan State. Led by captain Brad Mueller and goaltender Marc Senerchia, UConn’s historic run came to an end in the semifinals, but the team had earned their spot in the Frozen Four, establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.
Hockey East Championship
In 2000, UConn made their debut in the Hockey East conference, one of the most competitive conferences in college hockey. In their first season, the Huskies proved they could hold their own, making it to the conference championship game against Boston College. Despite falling short in the end, UConn’s dramatic rise to the final showcased their talent and determination, positioning them as a formidable opponent in the prestigious Hockey East.
John Gardner Memorial Trophy
The John Gardner Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the Hockey East team that has shown the most improvement in the regular season from the previous year. UConn won this prestigious award in the 2002-2003 season, after finishing last in the conference the previous year. This remarkable turnaround was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Huskies’ players and coaching staff, solidifying their spot in the conference and showcasing their determination to achieve success in college hockey.
Frozen Four Run
In 2019, UConn made their second Frozen Four appearance, after a remarkable season that saw them defeat some of the top teams in the nation. In the quarterfinals, the Huskies faced the number one-ranked team, the University of Michigan, once again. In a thrilling game, UConn came out on top in overtime, securing their spot in the Frozen Four for the first time in 20 years. While their run came to an end in the semifinals, the Huskies’ perseverance and grit throughout the season had solidified their spot as one of the top teams in the nation.
Rematch against Boston College
In January 2020, UConn faced Boston College, who had been undefeated in the conference and ranked number one in the nation. Despite the odds, the Huskies shocked everyone by defeating them in a thrilling 4-3 game, capturing their first victory over Boston College in the Hockey East era. This win highlighted UConn’s continued rise in the conference and showcased their ability to compete with the best in college hockey.
From stunning upsets to championship runs, UConn’s hockey history is filled with memorable moments that will be remembered for years to come. These victories not only showcase the team’s talent and determination but also inspire future generations of hockey players to push themselves to their full potential. As UConn continues to make their mark in the world of college hockey, it is evident that their historic upsets and wins have solidified their spot as a top contender in the game.