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Huskies Battle No. 11 Northeastern on NESN Friday Night

Feb. 8, 2018

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Radio:  UConn IMG Network / WTIC 1080 AM   Talent: Bob Joyce
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Twitter: @UConnMHOC

The Last Meeting
November 28, 2017
Hartford, Conn. - XL Center
Huskies Upend No. 12 Northeastern, 4-1
The UConn Huskies got another stellar defensive effort Tuesday night on the way to upsetting the No. 12 nationally ranked Northeastern Huskies, 4-1, in a Hockey East match-up from the XL Center. It was the fourth-straight game and fifth time in the last six the Huskies have allowed just one goal.

Ice Chips …
UConn heads to No. 11 Northeastern Friday night to close out the season series with the Huskies.  UConn took the first meeting this season, a 4-1 win at the XL Center.  Friday night’s game is being carried live on NESN.

The Huskies are riding a five-game winning streak into Friday night’s match-up, the longest streak for the Huskies under head coach Mike Cavanaugh and the program’s first since the 2010-11 campaign.  The Huskies are tied with Minnesota State for the second longest active winning streak in the country behind just Boston University who have won six-straight.

UConn is all alone in seventh place in the Hockey East standings with 19 points. The Huskies are five points up on New Hampshire and Vermont in eighth place and just a point behind UMass Lowell for sixth, two points behind Maine for fifth and three points behind Boston University in fourth.

Senior Corey Ronan was named the Hockey East Co-Player of the Week after helping the Huskies to wins over No. 16 Boston College and Brown University last weekend.  Ronan had a three-point weekend, scoring twice including the game-winner against the Eagles.

Ronan and freshman Brian Rigali both scored shorthanded goals last weekend, giving UConn six on the season.  That mark leads Hockey East with UMass Lowell and is one behind Northern Michigan for tops in the NCAA.

Senior Spencer Naas picked-up a point in his fifth-straight game with an assist in Saturday’s win at Brown, matching his career-long point streak set back in 2015. 

Sophomores Benjamin Freeman and Wyatt Newpower matched their career-highs with two points on a goal and an assist in the win at Brown.  Freeman extended his point streak to four-straight (1g/3a), a career-best mark.

Junior Maxim Letunov scored goals against both BC and Brown and has a team-high 23 points.  Saturday’s empty net goal at Brown marked the 90th point of his career coming in his 100th career game.

Sophomore Alexander Payusov scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season in the win at Brown. 

Senior goaltender Tanner Creel has started the last six games for an injured Adam Huska (wrist/no timetable).  Creel is 5-1 over that stretch (.914 save percentage/2.51 goal against average).

UConn’s special team units rank among the best in Hockey East.  The Husky power play has scored 26 goals and ranks fifth at .195 percent (26-133).  The penalty kill is third in Hockey East, killing at a .828 percentage (111-134). 

Last Meeting vs. Northeastern ...
November 28, 2017
The UConn Huskies got a stellar defensive effort on the way to a 4-1 upset over then No. 12 nationally ranked Northeastern at the XL Center in the first meeting this season.  Four different Huskies found the back of the net in the win while sophomore Adam Huska posted 26 saves to earn the victory, his sixth of the season.  UConn used a hot start, piling up three goals in the first period to solidify a lead they would never relinquish.  Junior Maxim Letunov and seniors Johnny Austin and Jesse Schwartz all found the back of the net in the opening frame.  Austin finished the night with a goal and two assists while both Letunov and Schwartz had a goal and an assist.  Northeastern cut it to 3-1 in the second period thanks to a Dylan Sikura power play goal but UConn sealed it in the third as sophomore Alexander Payusov, who returned after missing the last nine games with a knee injury, scored his seventh goal of the season.  NU held a 27-18 edge on the shot chart while both teams scored power play goals on the night. 

Scouting the Huskies ...
The Northeastern Huskies come into Friday night’s match-up on the heels of a 3-0 win over Boston College Monday night in the Beanpot.  The Huskies are ranked No. 11 nationally in both and USA Today/USA Hockey weekly polls.  Northeastern is sitting in second place in Hockey East with 25 points, just a point behind BC for the top-spot.  The Husky offense averages 3.39 goals per game and is led by junior Adam Gaudette who leads the country with 42 points.  Gaudette has scored 20 goals this season, second nationally.  Senior forward Dylan Sikura is fourth in the country in scoring with 38 points, coming on 14 goals and 24 assists.  In goal, freshman Cayden Primeau has a league-low 1.92 goals against average and is second with a .925 save percentage. 

Last Time Out ...
The UConn men’s hockey team got goals from six different Huskies Saturday night on the way to a 6-4 win at Brown University, their fifth-straight victory on the season.  The Huskies were led by sophomores Benjamin Freeman and Wyatt Newpower who each had a goal and an assist in the win.  UConn held one goal leads four times Saturday night before Freeman buried what would be the game-winner at 12:02 in the third period, coming on the power play.  Junior Maxim Letunov put the icing on the win with an empty net goal with 27 seconds left.  Sophomore Alexander Payusov scored his team-leading 11th goal in the first followed by a shorthanded tally by freshman Brian Rigali and a power play goal by Newpower to close out the first.  Senior Jesse Schwartz scored his ninth on the season in the second period to give the Huskies a 4-3 lead headed into the third. Brown’s goals came off the stick of Tommy Marchin and Max Gottlieb in the first on the power play, Zach Giuttari in the second and Tyler Bird in the third.  The Huskies held a 34-31 edge on shots with senior Tanner Creel making 27 saves in earning the win. Brown netminder Luke Kania stopped 28 in the loss.  Both teams were 2-of-5 on the power play. 

Senior Ronan Tabbed HEA Player of the Week ...
Senior Corey Ronan was named the Hockey East Co-Player of the Week after helping lead the Huskies to wins over Boston College and Brown.  Ronan shared this week’s honor with Maine’s Brendan Robbins.  Last Friday, Ronan scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, as the Huskies pulled off a 5-3 upset of No. 16 nationally ranked and first place Boston College at the XL Center.  Ronan scored his team-leading third shorthanded goal of the season to help the Huskies build a first period lead.  He potted his second of the night in the third period to give UConn a 4-2 lead on the way to win while notching his first career mulit-goal game.  In UConn’s win over 6-4 win at Brown, Ronan picked-up an assist on Jesse Schwartz’s third period goal to help the Huskies to their fifth-straight win.  Ronan shares the Hockey East and NCAA lead in short handed goals this season.  For his career, Ronan has scored six times when the Huskies have been shorthanded.