BOSTON, Mass. – The UConn men’s hockey team saw their season come to a close on Saturday night at Matthews Arena as Northeastern scored four power play goals on the way to a 6-2 win and sweep in the Hockey East Opening Round series.
Northeastern improved to 18-13-5 on the year and will move on to the Hockey East Quarterfinals. UConn ends their season at 12-16-8 overall.
UConn trailed 1-0 after the first and were down 2-0 in the second before Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.) finally put the Huskies on the board with his seventh of the season. Northeastern responded with their first of four power play goals coming from Adam Gaudette at 14:30. UConn closed the second period scoring with Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury, Mass.) throwing a shot on net that got deflected in front to cut the NU lead to 3-2.
Chasing a goal for much of the third period, the game turned at 10:35 as UConn’s Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, British Columbia) was given a five-minute major and game-misconduct for contact to the head. Northeastern pulled away, scoring three times on the ensuing power play to put UConn away, 6-2. John Stevens scored back-to-back at 11:13 and 13:10 and Jeremy Davies put the cap on it at 14:52.
NU goaltender Ryan Ruck stopped 32 shots to pick-up the win in goal. The Huskies got 28 saves from Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia). UConn was 0-2 on the power play on the night.
Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh – “Well, I thought it was a great hockey8 game up until we took the five-minute major. It was two teams going at it and we had a lot of chances. I think it was setting up for an exciting finish but we took the major and we didn’t kill the penalty. Plain and simple and that was the game. ”
UConn is still looking for their first win against Northeastern, falling to 0-10-0 all-time and 0-7-0 at Matthews Arena.
The Huskies finished the two-game series 0-for-6 on the power play while Northeastern was 5-for-6.
The Huskies were swept for the third-straight season in the Hockey East playoffs. UConn is 0-6-0 in the postseason since joining the league.
Morgan scored his first goal in five games and ends his one-year UConn career with seven goals and seven assists for 14 points. Richardson also played in his final game for UConn and ends this season with six goals and 16 assists for 22 points. Over his three seasons, he appeared in 92 games with 14 goals, 27 assists and 41 points.
Northeastern controlled the face-off circle in the first period, 14-6, and it helped lead to their first goal. The Huskies won a face-off in the UConn zone and Collier got the puck back from Lincoln Griffin right in the slot, snipping a wrist shot past Huska, stick side for his fifth of the year and a 1-0 lead at 4:09.
UConn turned up the offensive pressure in the second period and outshot Northeastern 15-9. Northeastern made it 2-0 at 8:06 off a 2-on-1 rush. Nolan Stevens fired on Huska who made the stop but the rebound found a trailing Aston-Reese who buried it for his 30th on the year.
The Huskies cut the lead down to 2-1 at 12:20 on an odd-man rush of their own. Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill.) broke down the right wing and fired on Rucka who left the rebound for Morgan to put into an empty net for his seventh on the season.
NU made it 3-1 on the power play at 14:30 as Gaudette buried a one-timer from a tough angle in the left circle off a feed from John Stevens, his 26th and 16th on the power play. UConn answered again at 18:01, as Gendron fired on net from inside the blue line with his shot deflecting off a NU defenseman in front and past Ruck for his fourth, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Northeastern took advantage of a five-minute power play opportunity when Richardson drew a contact to the head penalty at 10:35. NU scored three times on the man-advantage as Stevens buried a pair of shots back-to-back from the slot at 11:13 and 13:10 and Davies buried a rebound at 14:52.