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UConn and Northeastern will open their weekend Hockey East home-and-home series Friday night at Matthews Arena in Boston. The two teams, who are currently tied for seventh place in the Hockey East standings, will be right back at it Saturday afternoon from the XL Center in Hartford. UConn is coming off a 1-0 win Tuesday night at home over Merrimack, pulling them into a seventh place tie with 16 points. The Huskies are four points in front of Maine and Merrimack in ninth and just a point behind Vermont in sixth and two points behind Notre Dame in fifth. Northeastern comes in winners of four-straight and unbeaten in their last six after a 5-3 win at UMass last Friday.
UConn vs. Northeastern All-Time Series... UConn and Northeastern have met just twice before and not since the 2004-05 season. Northeastern has won both meetings, both on their home ice. The two teams met for the first time on October 11, 2002, a 10-1 Northeastern victory. In the return match-up on November 5, 2004, Northeastern posted a 5-2 win.
- Freshman Spencer Naas scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season on Tuesday to beat Merrimack, 1-0. Naas leads Hockey East and is tied for fifth in the nation in game-winners this season. Naas has five game-winning goals in UConn's nine wins.
- The Huskies are 7-2-2 this season when Naas records a goal. The freshman's 12 goals is just two away from tying the UConn Division I record for rookie goals scored set by Andrew Olson (2007-08)
- Sophomore Rob Nichols recorded his third shutout this season on Tuesday, making 32 saves to blank Merrimack 1-0. Nichols is second in Hockey East, behind Providence's Jon Gillies (4) for shutouts this season.
- Sophomore Brent Norris has a point in each of the last three games and has 2 goals and 4 assists over the last 10 games.
- UConn played its 11th one goal game on Tuesday and are 5-6-0 this season. The Husky defense has allowed one goal or less eight times this year and is 6-1-1 in those games.
- Friday Night Lights - The Huskies are 4-3-1 when playing on Friday this season.
- The UConn power play is ranked 12th in Hockey East converting at .118 percent (12/102). The Huskies have scored 12 power play goals, tied for third fewest in the nation. The Huskies have not scored a power play goal in five games, a streak of 19-straight power plays.
Scouting the Huskies... The Northeastern Huskies have won four-straight heading into this weekend and are unbeaten (5-0-1) in their last six. The Huskies opened their season 0-9-1 but since then have been one of the best teams in the nation. After beating New Hampshire for their first win of the season on November 15th, Northeastern has rattled off a 12-3-3 mark, tied for the third best record in the country since then. Junior Kevin Roy leads the offense with 30 points, sixth in the league, coming on 12 goals and 18 assists. Roy leads a power play unit that ranks third in the league converting at .217 percent (26-120) with 14 points (4g-10a), tops in the conference. In goal, senior Clay Witt has played the most time, playing in 16 games with 2.71 goals against and a .907 save percentage.
Last Meeting with Northeastern... After a scoreless first period, Northeastern exploded for four-straight goals in the second period on the way to a 5-2 win on November 5, 2004 at Matthews Arena. Jason Guerriero scored his first of two goals just 32 seconds into the second period to start the Northeastern run. Steve Birnstill, Josh Robertson and Jared Mudrykall followed to make it 4-0 at the 16:04 mark of the second. UConn halted the streak with a J.R. Corkery goal late in the period. NU's Guerriero scored his second of the night to give Northeastern a 5-1 lead early in the third. UConn's Tim Olsen tacked on the second goal for the Huskies late in the third to produce the 5-2 final. UConn goaltender Brad Smith made 39 saves in the loss. Northeastern doubled up UConn on shots, 44-22.
Last Time Out... UConn freshman Spencer Naas scored the game-winning goal at 14:42 in the third period and sophomore Rob Nichols turned away 32 shots as the Huskies knocked off Merrimack 1-0 Tuesday night at the XL Center in Hartford. Nichols notched his third shutout of the season, all coming at home in the XL Center. Naas scored his team-leading 12th goal on the year and came-up with his fifth game-winning goal this season, a mark that now leads Hockey East. The two teams skated to a scoreless first two periods with Merrimack holding a slim 12-11 edge in shots in the first. The Huskies got three power play chances in the first period, including a 4-on-3, and generated six shots with the extra skater but couldn't beat Merrimack goaltender Rasmus Tirronen. The Huskies put offensive pressure on the Warriors in the second, outshooting Merrimack 15-9 in the period. UConn was finally able to break through with under six minutes to play in regulation. Freshman Corey Ronan beat his defender through the neutral zone and carried the puck up the right wing creating an odd-man rush for the Huskies. Ronan centered the puck to a hard charging Brent Norris who sent a behind the back pass to the left post where Naas was coming on to bury it. Merrimack's Tirronen finished the night with 35 saves in net.
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