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Huskies Take Down No. 11 Northeastern for Sixth-Straight Win

Feb. 9, 2018

Final Stats

BOSTON, Mass. - The UConn men's hockey team got a 34-save night from senior Tanner Creel (Arlington Heights, Ill.) as the Huskies picked-up their sixth-straight win knocking off No. 11 nationally ranked Northeastern 4-2 Friday night at Matthews Arena. 

UConn improved to 14-16-2 overall and 10-11-1 in Hockey East with the win, picking up two league points in the stretch run to the postseason.  The Huskies 10th league win is their most since joining the conference in 2014-15. 

The Huskies win streak has featured wins over three nationally ranked opponents in No. 11 Northeastern tonight, No. 16 Boston College (5-3) and No. 10 Providence (3-1).  It is their first six-game streak since the 2001-02 season.

Junior Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) scored what proved to be the game-winner early in the third period to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead they would never give up.  After a scoreless first, senior Spencer Naas (Minnetonka, Minn.) and sophomore, Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, Maine) both scored in the second.



Northeastern pulled within 3-2 on goals by Nolan Stevens and Adam Gaudette in the third but UConn senior Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) put the seal on the win with an empty net goal with just two ticks left.

The UConn penalty kill kept Northeastern at bay on Friday night, killing off all four power plays in front of Creel, who improved to 6-1-0 over the last seven games.  His 34 saves marked a season-high.  Northeastern's Cayden Primeau made 30 saves in taking the loss. 

The Huskies and Northeastern played a scoreless first period, each team coming up empty on a power play chance.  UConn got plenty on net in the first 20 minutes but Primeau turned away all 18 shots that came his way. 

UConn used two quick goals from Naas and Freeman just 18 seconds apart to grab a 2-0 lead.  Naas picked-up the puck from Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) and curled back into the right circle, found some space and whipped a shot toward the left post.  Freeman set up in front of Primeau, taking his eyes away as the puck found the back of the net for Naas' ninth on the season for a 1-0 lead at 4:52.

Just 18 seconds later, Freeman again put himself in front of the net and was able to get a deflection on a Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury, Mass.) shot from the point to beat Primeau for his seventh of the season, making it 2-0. 

Letunov struck just 1:46 into final period to give UConn a 3-0 advantage.  The junior picked a puck off a NU defender at the blue line and skated in for a one-on-one chance with Primeau.  He got the goaltender to commit and placed a perfect shot top-shelf over his stick for his 10th goal of the season.

Northeastern chipped away at the Huskies lead, breaking into the scoring column at 8:30.  Stevens finished off a rebound right in front after Jeremy Davies drove hard to the net, getting taken down and but getting one off on Creel.  The play was waived off but reviewed and called a goal to cut the UConn lead to 3-1.

NU's top-scorer Gaudette struck for his 21st goal at 13:01, finishing off a pretty one-timer at the left post off a feed from Stevens on the play to pull within 3-2.  Northeastern pulled Primeau with 2:02 left for the extra skater and the Huskies twice fired on the empty twice just missing from deep in their own end.  They finally put it away with just two ticks left when Ronan chased down a loose puck and tucked it in for his fifth of the season. 

UConn sweeps the season series from Northeastern and wins for the first time at Matthews Arena.  The Huskies had been 0-7-0 in Boston coming into tonight.

Naas extended his point streak to six-straight games with his goal, a career-best.  During that stretch, he has three goals and three assists.  Freeman has had a point in a career-best five-straight thanks to his goal, giving him two goals and four assists during the streak.

Letunov scored his third goal in as many games and raised his season total to 10, the most since he potted 16 during his freshman campaign.  Ronan picked-up a point in his third-straight game, matching his career-best streak set last season.