Ice Chips …
The Huskies are back at home at the XL Center Tuesday night hosting the No. 12 nationally ranked Northeastern Huskies for a midweek Hockey East match-up.
UConn has never beaten Northeastern and were knocked out of last year’s postseason by the Huskies in a two-game first round sweep.
UConn closes out the first half of the season with three of four at home over the next two weeks. The Huskies play 21 games before their December break, leaving just 13 in the second half starting December 30th at Boston College.
The Huskies have won two-straight coming into Tuesday night, coming off a 2-1 win at home on Saturday over RIT. UConn got power play goals from senior Jesse Schwartz and sophomore Philip Nyberg and used a strong defensive effort in front of sophomore goaltender Adam Huska who made 21 stops in the win.
The UConn defense has allowed just one goal in three-straight and four of the last five. On the season, UConn is 4-1-1 when allowing one goal or less.
Senior Jesse Schwartz had three points in last week’s wins over Vermont and RIT. On Tuesday night, he scored in the Huskies 4-1 win over the Catamounts and on Saturday, he provided the game-winner and assisted on UConn’s other goal in the 2-1 win over the Tigers. Over the past six games, Schwartz has five goals and an assist.
The UConn power play had a pair of goals on Saturday and finished last week 3-of-12 (.250) after a three-game stretch going scoreless (0-12).
Sophomore goaltender Adam Huska has appeared in all 17 games with 15 starts this season. During the last three games, Huska has a 1.01 goals against average and a .961 save percentage. During the month of November (9gms), he boasts a 1.96 goals against with a .924 save percentage.
Junior Maxim Letunov picked-up his team-leading 11th point on Saturday, assisting on Schwartz’s game-winning power play goal. The junior forward has two goals and nine assists on the season.
Last Season vs. Northeastern ...
Northeastern swept the regular season home-and-home affair, winning 3-0 in Hartford and 4-1 in Boston. In the opener, NU got a pair of goals from Sam Kurker and a 20 save effort from goaltender Ryan Ruck on the way to the shutout win. 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. UConn goaltender Adam Huska made 30 saves in taking the loss. In game two, NU senior Zach Aston-Reese scored a hat-trick to lead his Huskies to the sweep. UConn’s lone goal came from Maxim Letunov. 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. Aston-Reese finished off his hat-trick and the scoring for the night in the third period. NU’s Ruck stopped 24 shots to earn his second win of the weekend.
Postseason - HEA First Round
UConn was knocked out of the postseason with two-straight losses at Northeastern in the opening round of the Hockey East Playoffs. In game one, NU posted a 3-1 win. Northeastern built a 2-0 lead over the first two periods on goals by Garret Cockerill and Brendan Collier. UConn got a late power play in the third period and pulled their goaltender for an extra skater. The Huskies cut the lead in half with 1:21 left to play as Benjamin Freeman put home a rebound just as the power play expired. With 43 seconds left, Nolan Stevens tacked on an empty net goal for Northeastern to seal it. Northeastern’s Ryan Ruck stopped 30 shots to earn the win. The Huskies made it a sweep in game two thanks to a 6-2 win at Matthews Arena. Northeastern scored four power play goals en route to the win. UConn pulled within 3-2 to start the third period but a five-minute major midway through the period resulted in three-straight NU goals to put the game away. John Stevens scored back-to-back at 11:13 and 13:10 and Jeremy Davies put the cap on it at 14:52. NU’s Ruck stopped 32 shots.
Scouting the Huskies ...
The Northeastern Huskies come in ranked 12th in this week’s USCHO.com Top-20 poll and 11th in the USA Today Top-15. The Huskies last played on Saturday, November 18th, a 5-1 loss at home to Boston College. Northeastern is 3-2-0 in November and are tied for third in the Hockey East standings with a 5-2-0 record and 10 points. The Huskies are the top-scoring team in the conference, coming in averaging 3.83 goals per game. Leading the charge is junior Adam Gaudette who has 17 points on eight goals and nine assists. Gaudette leads the club with four power play goals as well. Senior Dylan Sikura has 15 points coming on six scores and nine helpers. On defense, sophomore Jeremy Davies is one of the top scoring defensemen in the country with 13 points (2g/11a). In goal, freshman Cayden Primeau and junior Ryan Ruck have split time this season. Primeau has a 2.39 goals against and a .907 save percentage in eight games. Ruck has played in five games and has four wins with a 2.60 goals against and a .910 save percentage.
Last Time Out ...
UConn got power play goals from senior Jesse Schwartz and sophomore Philip Nyberg and used a strong defensive effort in front of sophomore goaltender Adam Huska to post a 2-1 win over RIT Saturday afternoon at the XL Center. The UConn defense allowed just 22 shots on goal in front of Huska and kept RIT off the board in the second and third periods. The Tigers went to the penalty box nine times on the afternoon, six in the first period. UConn responded scoring twice with the extra skater. The Tigers took the early 1-0 lead on a goal by Erik Brown at 9:25. UConn answered with two in the opening frame as Nyberg tied it at 13:37 and Schwartz provided the game-winner at 16:42. RIT goaltender Christian Short stopped 32 shots in taking the loss. The Tigers were 0-for-4 on the power play.