The UConn Huskies open a home-and-home series with the University of New Hampshire Friday night from the XL Center in Hartford. Friday night's game at the XL Center is a "White Out" event for fans who are encouraged to wear white to the game. The Huskies and Wildcats will take the ice again on Saturday night from the Whittemore Center to close the series in a game begin broadcast live on NESN. Both UConn and UNH are in a tight battle for playoff positioning with a Hockey East opening round home playoff series on the line. The Huskies enter the weekend tied for eighth place with Maine, both with 16 points on the season. UNH sits just three points back in 10th place.
UConn vs. New Hampshire All-Time Series... The Huskies and Wildcats haven’t met on the ice since the 2002-03 season and before that you have to go back to the 1969-70 season to find the last time the two New England institutions have skated against each other. New Hampshire has won all 10 meetings between the two schools since the 1960-61 season, UConn’s first as a varsity program. The two schools met nine times during the ‘60’s before taking the ice again in 2002.
- The Huskies will play two of their final three regular season games at home in the XL Center. UConn is 4-2-3 this season in Hartford.
- UConn will play their sixth game of the season on television on Saturday night at UNH. The game will be broadcast on NESN with Alex Faust (pxp) and Billy Jaffe (color) on the call. The Huskies are 1-3-1 on TV this season.
- UConn assistant coach Mike Souza is a former Wildcat, playing at UNH from 1996-2000. He was a member of two Frozen Four teams and finished his career with 156 points (66g-90a), ranking 21st on the school’s all-time scoring list.
- Freshman Spencer Naas leads the team with 12 goals on the year. Naas leads Hockey East and is tied for sixth in the country with five game-winning goals. The Huskies are 7-2-2 on the season when Naas finds the back of the net. His 12 goals are two away from tying the UConn Division I record for rookie goals scored set by Andrew Olson (2007-08).
- The UConn power play is ranked 12th in Hockey East converting at .108 percent (12/111). 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 seven games, a streak of 28-straight power plays.
Scouting the Wildcats... The New Hampshire Wildcats start the weekend in 10th place in the Hockey East standings with 13 points. The Wildcats are coming off a home-and-home split with No. 2 ranked Boston University last weekend and have earned a weekend split in each of their last three Hockey East series. After tangling with the Huskies this weekend, UNH will close out the regular season at home with two against Merrimack. The Wildcats are ranked fourth in the league in scoring offense averaging 3.00 goals per game but defensively are near the bottom of the league allowing 3.20 goals per outing. Sophomore Tyler Kelleher is sixth among Hockey East leading scorers with a team-best 29 points (12g-19a) on the season. Senior Grayson Downing leads the team with 14 goals on the year, tied for seventh among HEA goal scorers. Rookie Andrew Poturalski has collected 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists, ranking sixth among the league’s freshmen scorers.
Last Meeting with UNH... UConn and New Hampshire have met just once during the Huskies Division I era (1998-present) with the Wildcats postinig a 3-1 win on their home ice during the 2002-03 season. UNH came in as the No. 2 ranked team in the nation but needed to erase a 1-0 UConn lead in the second period to come away with the win. UConn’s Michael Hoffman put the Huskies in front in the second but three-straight from Andrew Leach, Kevin Truelson and Patrick Foley delivered the Wildcats the win. Jason Carey stopped 37 for the Huskies in the loss as Jeff Pietrasiak denied 22 for the Wildcats.
Last Time Out... The Huskies were swept by Northeastern last weekend, falling 6-1 at the XL Center in Hartford on Saturday. Northeastern won both game of the set by a combined score of 15-1. Northeastern was led by seniors Adam Reid and Torin Snydeman who each scored a pair of goals in Saturday’s win. UConn junior Shawn Pauly provided the only Husky goal, scoring his fourth on the season in the second period. Northeastern’s leading point scorer Kevin Roy finished the afternoon with three assists to give him 37 points on the season. Junior Mike McMurtry and sophomore Brendan Collier each finished with a pair of assists. In goal, sophomore Derick Roy made 30 saves to pick-up his fifth win on the season. Both teams got 31 shots on net and were held scoreless on the power play. UConn has not scored on the power play in the last seven games, a streak of 28-straight power plays.
- UConn has three regular season Hockey East games left on the schedule and sit in tied with Maine for eighth place in the Hockey East standings with 16 points.
- UConn holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with Maine (1-0-1).
- Two of UConn’s final three games will be played at the XL Center, where the Huskies are 4-2-3 this season.
- The top-four teams at the end of the regular season will earn a bye in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs.
- Teams in the No. 5 through No. 8 spots will host first round best-of-three series against the bottom four teams.
- The first round of the playoffs is scheduled for Friday to Sunday, March 6th-8th.
- The tiebreakers for playoff seeding are:
1. Head-to-head results between the tied teams
2. Number of wins in conference play
3. Best record against the first-place team(s), then the second-place team(s), then the third-place team(s), and so on
4. Coin flip