Matt McDonough, Associate Sports Editor
By this point in the basketball season, the UConn men’s and women’s hockey teams are usually thrust into the back burner of Huskies’ fans’ minds. But this weekend, the two teams will skate front and center.
The UConn men will take the ice at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. That’s right, a rink has been set up on the gridiron and in Winter Classic fashion, the Huskies and in-state Atlantic Hockey rival Pioneers will skate outdoors. The puck drops at 4 p.m. for the UConn women’s game against Hockey East foe Providence. The two college games are part of Whalers Hockey Fest 2011, put on by the AHL’s newly rebranded Connecticut Whale, formerly the Hartford Wolfpack.
After a surprisingly pleasant start, the UConn men have dropped to 10th place in the Atlantic Hockey conference. The Huskies are 8-11-2 in conference and 8-16-4 overall. The UConn women got off to a slow start, but have since recovered, moving up to third place in Hockey East. They have 18 points in the league and a 8-7-2 record. They Huskies are 12-16-2 overall.
The day hasn’t garnered the attention it deserves. Players from both teams are hoping for a big crowd. So brave the cold and go to the Rent and watch some outdoor hockey. It’s not often hockey players get this kind of an unique opportunity. The same goes for the UConn students.