Connecticut native brings ‘edge’ to UConn hockey team

The first time UConn hockey trainer Mike Cavanaugh noticed Nick Capone play a United States Hockey League sport, Capone had a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick.”

This was once again within the fall of 2019, out in Nebraska, with Capone a member of the Tri-City Storm. In a preseason sport towards the Lincoln Stars, Capone scored a objective, recorded an help and were given right into a combat, throwing rapid-fire haymakers on the head of Ross Mitton after leveling one in every of Mitton’s teammates with a frame take a look at alongside the forums.

“He’s always been a big, strong, tough kid,” Cavanaugh mentioned this week. “He also has the ability to make a play, and he can really shoot the puck. So there’s a lot to like about Nick. I think he’s your prototypical power forward, like a Milan Lucic or Cam Neely. He can score. He can play physical. I think this year it’s starting to come together for him.”

Capone, a junior proper wing from East Haven, has contributed each muscle and contact to the No. 17 Huskies’ 4-0 get started. He has 3 objectives, already only one shy of his overall in 31 video games closing season, and one help.

As UConn skates into house video games Friday and Saturday towards Ohio State on the XL Center, there was not more stabilizing drive than the flexibility of Capone and the road he bureaucracy with Chase Bradley (3 objectives, two assists) and Tristen Fraser (one objective, two assists). The linemates have blended for 12 issues and skated at a plus-11 objective differential.

Capone, who turns 21 in December, has been on the middle of a sophisticated and thrilling time at UConn, arriving on the peak of the pandemic and scuffling with accidents his first two seasons. Still, he helped the Huskies to the Hockey East championship sport closing season and now could be central to UConn’s hopes for team momentum to fit program momentum.

UConn has its absolute best USCHO nationwide score, and the $70 million Toscano Family Ice Forum opens in January.

“It’s indubitably superior, however we’re hungry for extra,” Capone said. “We want to keep improving upon what this program has done. Getting a new rink is exciting, but we’ve been saying hockey rinks don’t win games. Teams do. We’ve been harping on that one.”

Capone dedicated to Maine as a 15-year-old highschool freshman, leaping at his first scholarship be offering. Two years later, Cavanaugh figured it was once value having a look into.

“I asked him, ‘Is that commitment solid?’” Cavanaugh mentioned. “I said, ‘If you tell me it is, then great, I won’t talk to you again.’ But he was having second thoughts and we actively recruited him.”

This dialog was once both simply earlier than or after the Gordie Howe Hat Trick sport, which was once Sept. 7, 2019. Capone introduced his decommitment from Maine days later and dedicated to UConn on Sept. 18.

“The way our sport is now, you can go on a recruiting website and see that some schools have 30 kids committed,” Cavanaugh mentioned. “So they’re all not going to go there. So until a kid signs a national letter, I think they’re fair game. And I’ve told pretty much everybody in our league, that’s how I’m handling it.”

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