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UConn Faces Northeastern in Hockey East First Round

March 2, 2017

Opening Round Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

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The Last Meeting
February 18, 2017
Boston, Mass.
UConn Loses 4-1, Swept by Northeastern
Northeastern senior Zach Aston-Reese scored a hat-trick to lead his Huskies to a 4-1 win and Hockey East sweep over UConn at Matthews Arena Friday night.

The UConn Huskies head into the Hockey East post season as the #9 seed after posting a program best 8-10-4 league record (20 pts).  The Huskies are on the road in the opening round, heading to #8 seeded Northeastern for a best-of-three weekend series.

UConn has gone winless in their eight meetings with Northeastern, including an 0-6-0 mark in Hockey East match-ups.  UConn is 0-5-0 at Matthews Arena.

The Huskies enter the postseason off a weekend sweep of New Hampshire, winning 5-3 on the road and 4-2 at home a week ago.  Northeastern split their final series of the regular season at Maine, winning 5-4 in overtime and falling 5-4.

Sophomore Tage Thompson finished the regular season leading the Huskies in scoring with 32 points and 19 goals.  His 19 goals is the highest goal total by a Husky since the 2011-12 season when Cole Schneider finished with 23 goals.  His 19 goals is tied for sixth in Hockey East and 10th in the nation.

In game one of the UNH series, the Huskies blasted a season-high 50 shots on goal, marking their highest shot total since the 2011-12 season.  (50 shots on Jan. 10, 2012 in a 5-5 tie vs. Sacred Heart)

Junior Kasperi Ojantakanen had his first career multi-goal effort in the 5-3 win at UNH, with a career-high two goals.  He added an assist for a career-high three points as well.  It was his third multi-point game this season and fourth of his career.

Junior Spencer Naas set a new career-high with three points (1g/2a) in the win at UNH.  His two assists tied his previous career-high.  He now has four multi-point games this season and eight for his career and the Huskies have never lost (8-0-0) when Naas has had two or more points in a game.

In Saturday’s 4-2 win, both Tage Thompson and Corey Ronan finished the night with two points each on a goal and an assist.  For Thompson, it was his 10th multi-point game of the season and 18th of his career.  Ronan had his second multi-point game this year and third of his career.

Senior Evan Richardson scored his sixth on the season in the 4-2 win over UNH and enters the postseason with a three-game point streak.  On the season, he has 22 points on six goals and 16 assists, all career-best marks.

GAME 1 (Feb. 17)
Northeastern got a pair of goals from Sam Kurker and a 20 save effort from goaltender Ryan Ruck to post a 3-0 win over the UConn Huskies at the XL Center.  The Huskies were shutout for the second time this season and the first time at home since November of 2015.  Ruck made 11 of his 20 saves in the third period on the way to earning his first shutout win on the season.  NU’s Adam Gaudette scored the Huskies’ other goal and added a pair of assists for a three-point night.  After a scoreless first period, Northeastern chipped in two in the second from Kurker and Gaudette.  The NU defense continued to clamp down in the third and Kurker added an empty net goal at 18:23 to seal off the win.  Freshman goaltender Adam Huska made 30 saves in taking the loss for UConn.

GAME 2 (Feb. 18)
Northeastern senior Zach Aston-Reese scored a hat-trick to lead his Huskies to a 4-1 win and Hockey East sweep over UConn at Matthews Arena.   UConn got a goal from sophomore Maxim Letunov while suffering their fourth-straight loss.  Northeastern put three goals on the scoreboard in the first period, two off the stick of Aston-Reese.  Sophomore Adam Gaudette made it 3-0 with a power play goal, his team-leading 14th of the season.  UConn cut into the lead in the opening minutes of the second period as Letunov found the back of the net to make it 3-1 just 1:47 in.  Aston-Reese finished off his hat-trick and the scoring for the night at 16:28 in the third period.  Ryan Ruck stopped 24 shots to earn his second win of the weekend while Northeastern finished with a 29-25 edge on shots and was 1-for-3 on the power play.  UConn’s Rob Nichols stopped 25 shots in the loss.