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The UConn Huskies return home to the XL Center to open a home-and-home Hockey East series with No. 5/4 Boston University Friday night.
After a stretch of five-straight and eight of their last nine on the road, UConn is back at home at the XL Center for five of their next seven before their December break. The Huskies are 1-1-1 in Hockey East action this season and tied in sixth with four other teams all with three points.
UConn is coming off a 0-1-1 weekend at No. 14 Ohio State. In game one, the Huskies led 4-2 in the second period before the Buckeyes ran off five-straight goals to close the game on the way to 7-4 win. In game two, UConn saw its 2-0 first period lead erased into a 3-2 third period deficit but rebounded behind a career-high 46 saves from Rob Nichols and a tying goal from grad student Brian Morgan to notch a 3-3 tie with the Buckeyes.
After his 46-save effort, Nichols picked-up his second Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week award on Monday. He is seventh in the league in goals against (2.40) and eighth in save percentage (.915).
Sophomore Tage Thompson is coming off a five-point (3g/2a) weekend at Ohio State and leads the team with 14 points (7g/7a). He is tied for sixth in the league in scoring.
Thompson has nine points on the power play this season, including four power play goals. He led the nation last season with 13 power play goals.
Over the last five games, Thompson has eight points (3g/5a) and will take a three-game point streak into tonight’s game. Classmate Maxim Letunov is also on a three-game point streak and has six points (4g/2a) over his last five games.
Freshman goaltender Adam Huska is seventh in Hockey East and 22nd nationally with a .916 save percentage.
The UConn power play has scored in seven-straight games and have had a goal in eight of the first 11 games. The Huskies are second in Hockey East and 12th nationally with a power play percentage of .222 (12/54)
SCOUTING THE TERRIERS
The Boston University Terriers come into the weekend at 5-3-1 overall and 1-0-1 in Hockey East and were ranked fifth in the USCHO.com top-20 and fourth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top-15 polls this week. The Terriers split their non-conference series at Michigan last weekend, falling 4-0 then rebounding for a 4-2 win in game two. Freshman Patrick Harper is the team’s leading scorer with 14 points on five goals and nine assists. He is second in the league averaging 1.56 points per game. Sophomore Jordan Greenway has 12 points on five goals and seven assists, averaging 1.33 points per outing. Three of Greenway’s five goals have been game-winners this season. Sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy is fourth among the league’s defensemen in scoring with nine points (1-8-9). Freshman Jake Oettinger has been one of the nation’s top-goaltenders this season. He leads Hockey East and is seventh nationally with a .932 save percentage. He is one of 12 goalies nationally with a goals against average below 2.00 this season (1.79). Defensively, BU is tops in Hockey East allowing 2.00 goals per game and have the top-penalty killing unit at .903 percent (56/62).
LAST MEETING WITH BU
The Huskies split their season series with Boston University last season, losing on the road 4-2 and winning at home in the XL Center, 5-2. In game one, freshman Maxim Letunov scored a pair of goals but the Boston University Terriers posted a pair of third period power play goals on the way to a 4-2 win at Agganis Arena. The Terriers got goals from four different players with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Brandon Fortunato each scoring a goal and picking up an assist in the win. In game two, UConn freshman Tage Thompson a hat trick to lead the Huskies to a 5-2 win over the Terriers. The Huskies scored four times on the power play with all three of Thompson’s goals coming with the extra skater. UConn’s Rob Nichols turned in a then season-high 36 saves to garner the win. After playing a 1-1 first period, UConn rattled off four-straight goals over the second and third. The Terriers held a 38-24 edge on shots but were just one-of-five on the power play.
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