Ice Chips ...
The Huskies return home to the XL Center on Friday night to play host to the No. 20 nationally ranked Boston University Terriers. Friday's game will be available on ESPN3.
UConn will bring a six-game winning streak into Friday's match-up, the longest streak for the Huskies under head coach Mike Cavanaugh and the program's first since the 2001-02 campaign. The Huskies are tied with Minnesota State for the longest active winning streak in the country. UConn will play just BU this weekend while the Mavericks host Ferris State in a weekend series.
During their six-game streak, the Huskies have knocked off three nationally ranked opponents in No. 10 Providence, No. 16 Boston College and No. 11 Northeastern.
The Huskies come into the weekend sitting alone in sixth place in the Hockey East standings with 21 points. Their 10 conference wins this season mark a program best since joining the league in 2014-15. UConn is two points behind both BU and Maine in fourth place and point in front of UMass Lowell in seventh.
Senior goaltender Tanner Creel won his first-ever Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honor this week after a 34-save night helped lead the Huskies to their first-ever win at Matthews Arena, a 4-2 victory over No. 11 Northeastern. Creel has started the last seven games for an injured Adam Huska (wrist) and is 6-1 over that stretch (.923 save percentage/2.34 goal against average).
Senior Spencer Naas has a six-game point streak to match the Huskies current winning streak. Naas is coming off a three point night (1g/2a) at Northeastern, matching his career-high. During this career-best six-game streak he has eight points on three goals and five assists.
Sophomore Benjamin Freeman scored his seventh goal of the season at Northeastern and extended his point streak to a career-best five-straight (2g/3a). He is has 18 points on the season, seven goals and 11 assists, and is a +5 on the year, all career-best marks.
Junior Maxim Letunov scored a goal in his third-straight game providing the game-winner at Northeastern. Letunov leads the team with 24 points on 10 goals and 14 assists. He has 91 career points in 101 career games.
Senior Corey Ronan is riding a three-game point streak into the weekend. Over the last five games, Ronan has four goals and an assist. Fellow senior Kasperi Ojantakanen carries a four-game point streak into Friday's game, picking up an assist in each of the last four.
UConn's special team units rank among the best in Hockey East. The Husky power play has scored 26 goals and ranks fifth at .194 percent (26-134). The penalty kill is third in Hockey East, killing at a .833 percentage (115-138) and has scored six shorthanded goals, tied for the most in the league.
This Season vs. BU ...
October 20 & 21, 2017
The Huskies took on No. 7 ranked Boston University in a home-and-home series back in October, coming away with a 2-2 tie on the road in Agganis Arena but falling 6-3 at home in the XL Center. In game one in Boston, UConn sophomore Alexander Payusov scored a power play goal and assisted on another as the Huskies finished 2-for-3 on the power play but gave up a pair of shorthanded scores. Senior defenseman Johnny Austin scored the Huskies first goal of the night and added an assist on Payusov's third period tying goal. BU's Bobo Carpenter scored both shorthanded goals for the Terriers. UConn goaltender Adam Huska made 33 saves while his counterpart, Jake Oettinger stopped 31 for BU. The Terriers held a 35-33 edge on shots. In the series finale, BU's Carpenter scored three power play goals to lead the Terriers to a 6-3 win and three of four points on the weekend. Carpenter scored a power play goal in each period and tacked on an assist for a four-point night. Patrick Curry tacked on a two goals, both in the first and Brandon Hickey tacked on the other BU tally. UConn got a power play goal from Payusov while senior Spencer Naas scored his first on the year and classmate Kasperi Ojantakanen had a third period score. Oettinger made 27 stops to record the win. The Terriers held a 32-30 edge on shots, including a 14-6 advantage in the first as they built a 3-0 lead. The Huskies finished just 1-for-6 on the power play.
Scouting the Terriers ...
The Boston University Terriers come in ranked No. 20 in this week's USCHO top-20 poll and had been unbeaten in eight-straight (6-0-2) before falling to Northeastern in Monday night's Beanpot Championship game, 5-2. The Terriers are 10-7-3 in Hockey East play with four to play, currently tied with Maine for fourth in the standings. BU will be without one of their top-scorers in junior Jordan Greenway who is representing Team USA at the Olympic Games in PyeongChang. Greenway has 25 points (9/16) on the season. Junior Bobo Carpenter is the team's top-scrorer with 28 points coming on 17 goals and 11 assists. Freshman Shane Bowers is the top-scoring rookie in Hockey East with 16 goals and nine assists. He is sixth among the country's freshmen in scoring. In goal, sophomore Jake Oettinger has a 2.61 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. The Terriers have one of the best power play units in the league and country, converting at .231 percent (28-121), good for 10th in the nation.
Last Time Out ...
The UConn men's hockey team got a 34-save night from senior Tanner Creel as the Huskies picked-up their sixth-straight win knocking off No. 11 nationally ranked Northeastern 4-2 last Friday night at Matthews Arena. Junior Maxim Letunov 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 and sophomore, Benjamin Freeman 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 put the seal on the win with an empty net goal with just two ticks left. The UConn penalty kill kept Northeastern at bay, killing off all four power plays in front of Creel. Northeastern's Cayden Primeau made 30 saves in taking the loss.
Huskies Celebrate "Senior Night" ...
Prior to Friday night's game, UConn will recognize this year's graduating class of nine seniors along with their parents. Captain Derek Pratt, alternate captain Spencer Naas, Johnny Austin, Tanner Creel, David Drake, Kasperi Ojantakanen, Corey Ronan, Jesse Schwartz, and Jesse Schwartz make up this year's graduating seniors and alos represent the first full recruiting class under head coach Mike Cavanaugh. These nine have been a part of UConn's first four seasons competing in Hockey East.
Senior Tanner Creel Earns HEA Defensive Player of the Week ...
Senior goaltender Tanner Creel was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Huskies to a 4-2 win at No. 11 nationally ranked Northeastern. Creel turned away a season-high 34 shots as the Huskies extended their winning streak to six-straight with a 4-2 win over NU. Creel has started seven-straight games and during that stretch has posted a 6-1-0 record with a 2.44 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. He owns wins over three ranked opponents on this recent run, beating then No. 10 Providence, No. 16 Boston College and the No. 11 Huskies.
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